These days, particularly as evident in politics, the news and on social media, there seems to be an ever increasing number of people deliberately adopting aggressiveness as a personality style. Before you choose to do the same, let’s examine the disadvantages of aggressiveness as your personality style in order to provide you with a more balanced viewpoint.
It’s natural to assume you should adopt a more aggressive style when you can easily see examples of aggressive people who seem to being doing extremely well for themselves. Aggressiveness works, to a point, because most people avoid confrontation.
However, there’s a fine line and people who are perceived as confrontational are generally disliked and tend suffer in numerous other ways. Aggressive people often find themselves alone, disrespected, and unable to reach the highest levels of genuine success (even if they’ve assumed sought after positions of power).
If you’ve considered adopting an aggressive personality style, you might want to reconsider and reflect on whether there might be better options.
Consider these disadvantages of being too aggressive and how they may impact the outcomes that really matter to you.
Aggressiveness ignores the rights and interests of others. The message is clear: your needs are more important than those of anyone else.
Your personal relationships are limited to those that lack self-esteem. Anyone else will avoid you as much as possible. At work, you won’t be able to trust anyone. When the only person that matters to you is yourself, you don’t matter to anyone else. Everything in life is better when your relationships are thriving.
Down deep, aggressive people believe they can’t be successful any other way. The only way they believe they can compete is to steamroll the competition. It’s hard to feel good about yourself when you’re treating others poorly.
Aggressiveness can be very effective in the short-term, but hinders your long-term progress. You don’t get the support you need to ride to the highest levels. Give yourself all the help you can get by avoiding overly aggressive behavior.
Aggressive people struggle to create and maintain meaningful personal and professional relationships. There aren’t too many people who spend time with aggressive people by choice. Those that do won’t typically hang around for the long haul.
When aggression works for you, you fail to develop the other skills necessary to succeed in life and in relationships. You become a sort of “one trick pony”. Think about the aggressive people you know: they’re likely aggressive in most, if not all, situations. Now consider how others feel about them and whether they enjoy dealing with them.
Life is easier when others are willing to help you. When you’re aggressive, most people secretly want you to fail. Some are bold enough to make it a point to get in your way. Isn’t life tough enough without having others intentionally sabotaging your efforts? Avoid making enemies.
Hopefully, the above disadvantages of aggressiveness have helped to convince you it’s not the most effective path to follow. But where does that leave you then if you want to adopt a more effective personality style?
If you’re thinking that you want to adopt aggressiveness as your personality style, you’re probably really thinking that you want to learn how to be more assertive … in which case there are important distinctions.
Assertiveness is a positive and more beneficial option than aggressiveness. Assertiveness is viewed as a confident and agreeable trait. To be assertive, give your opinions, work constructively with others, and practice living a life of integrity. It’s also important to communicate clearly, directly, and to have excellent listening skills.
Assertiveness requires more skill than aggression, but the results are more pleasing and less limited over the long haul.
Accomplish More: Nine Actions That Will Enhance Your Personal Efficiency
Skill Mastery: Eight Tips for Practicing and Mastering Any Skill
Six Goal Setting Tips That Are Actually Based on Science
Making Friends: A 10-Step Checklist for Making and Keeping New Friends