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Featured Aggressive, assertive or submissive?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by DuckRabbit, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. DuckRabbit

    DuckRabbit Well-Known Member

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    I came across the following helpful definitions:

    Aggressive people
    ● are determined to get what they want whatever the cost to others
    ● use threats, sarcasm
    ● want to win/ dominate
    ● do not respect the rights and feelings of others

    Assertive people
    ● are determined to get what they want while recognising the rights and feelings of others
    ● are direct and clear in what they ask and do so confidently
    ● are clear about their rights, status and abilities

    Submissive people
    ● would like to get what they want but are frightened or anxious about the likely reaction of others
    ● are uncertain about their abilities and rights
    ● hide their feelings; don’t want to offend
    ● hope other people will see their plight and help them
    ● expect to lose in most situations


    To use Tony Attwood's schema, I'd theorise that externalising Aspergers tend to use aggression while internalising Aspergers tend to use submissiveness. Which one to you tend to use? And do you think this depends on ASC or on one's particular personality? Or maybe on one's gender and age!
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
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  2. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I straddle assertive - submissive. Have elements of each.
     
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  3. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Wow, I've been trying to decide something this morning, and literally everything under "submissive" has been what's been keeping me from deciding. :eek: Thanks for the thread! :eek:
     
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  4. onlything

    onlything Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I used to be aggressive-submissive depending on the situation and people I dealt with. Then, it was only submissive. Now it's jumping between assertive and submissive.

    I would say it depends on personality, as well as emotional maturity of the person, at least from my experience.
     
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  5. Crozix

    Crozix Try. Fail. Learn. Repeat... V.I.P Member

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    I'm most likely submissive with some occasional unwanted aggressive traits.
     
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  6. DuckRabbit

    DuckRabbit Well-Known Member

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    Agree, most probably use a mixture of these approaches, and, as @onlything points out, it probably depends on situational factors e.g., more likely to use submissiveness with an authority; more likely to be assertive with an equal or when there is less to lose.

    Curiously though, submissiveness may seem like the strategy to maintain one's connection with others but it can in fact backfire and be the very thing people find distasteful; some people respond more warmly to a stroppier approach.

    Same as @Fino, seeing them clearly spelled out helps me avoid my natural bias and strive instead for the median, assertive. It can be hard though!
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
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  7. inkfingers

    inkfingers 19 year old Aspie artist and Jesus follower

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    I'm probably submissive, although I'd like to be more assertive.
     
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  8. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    I think I'm somewhere between assertive and submissive.
     
  9. tlc

    tlc The Mackinac Bridge and U.P. is my happy place.

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    Probably 75% submissive, 25% assertive, 0% aggressive.
     
  10. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    My counselor asked one time, “Don’t you ever advocate for yourself?” I had a hard time thinking of the last time I did.

    So, I guess, I’m submissive because someone told me I was.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
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  11. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    One of my problems is that when something happens, someone steamrolls over me, etc, I just take it. And I take it - I keep it inside for as long as I can. Then, when I can’t, i completely explode.

    I am trying to learn to advocate for myself so I don’t have to explode.
     
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  12. Solphire

    Solphire Learning to drop the mask

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    Submissive and assertive, no aggression.

    I similarly agree and relate to @DuckRabbit

    Submissive to authority and strangers.
    Assertive to 'equals' and loved ones.
     
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  13. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member

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    I seem to have traits from all three.
    A lot of submissive to authority.
    Assertive to those I know well.
    Aggressive to life situations and desire to achieve.

    I think that's what is called Passive-Aggressive in psychology?
     
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  14. Rexi

    Rexi owo uwu owo Weird&Unusual Atheist Science=<3

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    Entitled, self-competing/fired up by challenge like by falling in love, sarcastic, aggressive with overstepping others' rights and mine, anxious when saying something not widely accepted such as 'im an atheist' or refusing to do stuff for others against my nature and intention/willingness, confident in all areas yet a downer concerning my social abilities [but still proud of my differences and struggle to grow]

    Answurr: purrsonality would be it, but people's responses to situations and their issues also modify in time
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
  15. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Mostly passive. Sometimes in life, you need to be assertive, otherwise people have a tendency to overlook you and you don't get things done. Such as dealing with public services. Unfortunately, when I try to assert myself, I think I can come across as aggressive rather than assertive because I don't have the right tone of voice, nuances or body language and tend to shout, or that's how it comes across to them. I become frustrated and then find it difficult to modulate myself. Sometimes it's ok, other times I have problems. I prefer to get my partner to deal with this kind of thing, because he seems to be able to get it right.
     
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  16. DuckRabbit

    DuckRabbit Well-Known Member

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    Agree. I find there can be one way of behaving for NTs and another way for ASC individuals. Or rather both can behave the same way or do the same thing but for NTs it's acceptable and for ASC individuals it's not. NTs can even be full-on aggressive and it's seldom frowned upon as much as ASC individuals are frowned upon merely for trying to be assertive. Somehow it seldom comes out right. Or it comes out right but it's the wrong time and place, or to the wrong person. Whatever they do, they have a good chance of rubbing others up the wrong way.

    Children who are bullied are often judged by peers to be more irritating than non-bullied children. Perhaps there's a lack of authority or conviction behind the ASC individuals' actions which opens up a vacuum for 'human nature' to rush in and bully/ deride/ devalue. I attribute this to atypical neurological hardwiring including sensory atypicalities which means that no matter how much the ASC individual tries to do what the NT does, the ASC output is subtly different - as you say, nuances of body language. That's why suggestions for dealing with bullies such as "Stand up for yourself" can work for NTs but have little chance of success with ASC individuals, generally speaking. Often ASC individuals are forced to be submissive because anything more assertive attracts opprobrium - as if people are affronted that the ASC individual is getting beyond their station in life. It's enough that NTs tolerate these irritating anomalies living among them; to grant them equal rights and feelings as well is going too far.

    Asperger 'Samantha Craft' recounts on her blog how she once put a condescending doctor in his place. She was triumphant at how it all happened and how he came round and then tried to sweet-talk her. This shows that assertiveness can sometimes work for Aspergers 'if the stars are aligned', but the more usual outcome is to garner negative reactions.

    P.S. This is not to say that ASC individuals are immune from bullying others themselves, or finding the quirks of other Aspergers irritating. And there are many threads on here detailing how the NT-dominant world irritates Aspergers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
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  17. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    I suppose all of the above. So sue me. :p
     
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  18. DuckRabbit

    DuckRabbit Well-Known Member

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    Does that frustrate you or are you happy with your repertoire?
     
  19. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Neither, really. I just try to "deal with the cards I have been dealt" the best I can.

    I'm just grateful to have stumbled onto who and what I really am. Going through most of your life not understanding that can prove quite detrimental over time. While I can't change my past, I like to think that I have altered my present and future.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2019
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  20. Mia

    Mia Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Had submissive qualities early on in my life, in dealings with people, with a quite strong and assertive even aggressive family. In my twenties I began to realize that doing what others wanted all the time, would not make people like me nor would it benefit me in any way. In my working life, I eventually learned to be assertive with people.

    In my married life, I've learned to be assertive as well. My nature changes to aggression, when protecting loved ones be they people or pets in my life. And occasionally during competitions and games.
     
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