Aggressive vs Assertive

 

It was a showdown I’ll never forget.

 

I was taking my daily walk around our apartment complex in Tampa, FL when I heard a loud, angry hiss that stopped me in my tracks. There in front of me was a face-off the likes of which I’d only seen in a John Wayne movie: a huge tomcat had tried to play nasty with a ferocious snapping turtle who was not in the mood to play. I watched, incredulous, as the hissing turtle (turtles hiss?) stood upright on his hind legs, (turtles can stand up?) and lunged forward, totally intimidating that tom cat who had completely misjudged its prey. The cat was assertive. The turtle was aggressive.

I found myself cheering for the turtle.

 

Snapping turtle is the epitome of aggressiveness

 

When I came home and told the story to my husband, I mentioned that I wished I could be more like that turtle; now it was his turn to be incredulous. “You ARE that turtle!” he said.

Who, me?

I’d worked hard to be more assertive… maybe too hard. Had the assertiveness I’d pursued unintentionally turned into aggression? Determined to live my life in a more balanced manner, I began to study the difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness. I read, took notes, wrote in my journal and even now, years later, I look over those notes every so often to see how I’m doing.

OOPS, is my most frequent comment, but occasionally, I see some progress. 

 

I’ve come to see that assertiveness is a response while aggressiveness tends to be more a reaction.

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What are you waiting for?

I’d waited a long time for an answer to my prayer. It felt like forever. This spring I was sooo ready to move on and it looked like my prayers were finally going to be answered. Somehow our six-month foray into townhouse living had turned into six years and in my mind, seven was the magic number. The SCRIPTURAL number. Surely God would open the door for us to move this summer, if not sooner.

Nope.

I reeled at the delay. It felt like we were running out of time.

Time keeps on tick, ticking, ticking, into the future.

 

Last night as I scrolled through Facebook, I noticed a post by a marketing expert I used to follow; this was the caption:

“If you could have one dream come true this year, what would it be?”

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