The first step in AT is to identify the 3 basic styles of interpersonal behavior.
•Typical examples of aggressive behavior: fighting, accusing, threatening, and generally stepping on people without regard for their feelings.
•The advantage of this kind of behavior is that people do not push the aggressive person around.
•The disadvantage is that people do not want to be around him or her.
•Aggressive people do not respect the personal boundaries of others and thus are liable to harm others while trying to influence them.
•A person is behaving passively when he lets others push him around, when he does not stand up for himself, and when he does what he is told, regardless of how he feels about it.
•The advantage of being passive is that you rarely experience direct rejection or conflict with others.
•The disadvantage is that you are taken advantage of, and you store up a heavy burden which could lead to internal conflict that could manifest itself in resentment and anger.
•Passive communicators do not defend their own personal boundaries and thus allow aggressive people to abuse or manipulate them through fear.
•Passive communicators are also typically not likely to risk trying to influence anyone else
•A person is behaving assertively when she stands up for herself, expresses her true feelings, and does not let others take advantage of her. At the same time, she is considerate of others’ feelings.
•The advantage of being assertive is that you get what you want, usually without making others mad.
•If you are assertive, you can act in your own best interest and not feel guilty or wrong about it.
•Meekness and withdrawal, attack and blame are no longer needed with the mastery of assertive behavior.
•They are seen for what they are – sadly inadequate strategies of escape that create more pain and stress that they prevent. Before you can achieve assertive behavior you must face the fact that the passive and aggressive styles have often failed to get you what you want.