The Difference Between Assertive and Aggressive

by Eric Disco
Oct 1

Where do you draw the line between confident and cocky? Between assertive and aggressive?

How do you walk around like you think highly of yourself, but not like you think you’re better than everyone else?

Guys are always trying to reach that line. But they usually fail.

I’ll illustrate why with an example.

In coaching guys, one of the biggest problems is that they don’t speak loudly enough when talking with women.

About 95% of the guys I coach speak too quietly.

Introspective guys tend to speak quietly with everyone, friends included. And then they speak even lower when they take initiative with a stranger.

Put that guy on a crowded train where other people are within earshot, and he’ll speak even quieter.

It’s barely a whisper.

Speaking loudly is the biggest difference, by far, between getting a positive and a negative reaction from a woman. It’s the hallmark of confidence.

When a guy speaks loudly, he’s showing her with his body language that he isn’t afraid, that he’s not ashamed of himself, that he doesn’t think he’s doing anything wrong, and he’s not apologizing.

It shows her that he is unequivocally speaking to her and no one else.

So naturally, when I coach guys, I’ll tell them they need to speak louder.

But they never do.

They try to speak louder and they come back and ask me whether they spoke `loud enough.’

The problem is that `loud enough’ is not ever as loud as they should be doing. When you aim for `loud enough,’ you always fall short.

I tell the guy, “No, it wasn’t loud enough. Speak louder.”

“Is this loud enough?” he asks, projecting his voice a lot louder.

“Yes,” I tell him.

“It feels like I’m shouting,” he says.

But it doesn’t sound like he’s shouting. It sounds like he’s speaking at a normal voice volume.

This is why I tell guys to speak 20% louder than what they think is normal for any environment.

If you’re in a deli ordering, what volume do you think a confident person would use? Speak 20% louder.

If you’re ordering at the bar, what volume do you think a confident person would use? Speak 20% louder.

When you aim for the line, you will always fall short.

That’s because your body is fighting you when you try to act confident. You are so used to doing it one way, that it feels unnatural to do it another. It feels uncomfortable.

The truth is, there is no line between confident and cocky, between assertive and aggressive. There is no appropriate way to take initiative that will make everyone happy.

If you’re aiming to please everyone, you’ll keep falling short.

As inherent nice guys, we snap back to niceness like a rubber band. It’s hard not to.

But you can get out of that rut.

In order to proceed, you have to aim a lot higher than you think is `appropriate.’ You need to push yourself further out of your comfort zone than you think is possible.

You have to swing the pendulum a little further than just the middle.

And if you overshoot it once in a while, if you’re too aggressive and too cocky once in a while, congratulate yourself.

That means you’re on the right path.


posted in Attraction

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