Romans 15:1 - We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
On the outside, it’s quite obvious when someone is being aggressive. They’re the bullies of the world who push what they want onto others.
They get their way, because they cause fear in those around them. Maybe they physically hurt someone in the past and they threaten to do the same again, if they won’t do what the aggressive person wants.
Their aggression is worn like a garment, obvious to all that they’re angry; especially if they don’t get their way.
On the inside, it’s not quite as obvious when someone is being passively aggressive. So what exactly does that mean?
They still get their way, but by a hidden road. They manipulate others, yet most people are unaware of their tactics.
The passive aggressor may use crying or wear a look of sadness on their face. Or, they can be the one who works behind the scene in such a way as to cause others to think that what the passive aggressor wants is their own idea not the passive aggressor.
But look out – underneath all of the manipulations lives a hidden hostility toward others.
Then there is the passive personality. This is someone who will avoid conflict and accepts things as they are because they don’t want anyone mad at them. Unfortunately, the passive person is taken advantage of by both the aggressor and the passive aggressor.
This personality is also prone to depression, because it seems like their dreams will never come true. They’ve stopped trying to have their voice heard and withdraw from society.
None of these choices is healthy. Healthy relationships are based on a give-and-take and seek to uplift the one they care about. They also put the other person first and like having a discussion with the other individual before a plan is implemented without forcing their ideas as the only way to get the job done.
This is where the forth personality and the healthiest comes to play - assertive.
The assertive person recognizes other people’s wants and needs, but also their own. They are willing to listen to all sides of a situation and will contribute what they think without becoming aggressive.
Whichever personality you may have there’s a way to keep things balanced. The Bible verse above states that those who are strong should bear with the mistakes that the weak make. And they should help the weaker person, but not as manipulation or to please themselves.
Balance comes when we remember others and their strengths and weaknesses; and work on lifting them up not tearing them down, like the aggressive or passive aggressive personality does.
It’s okay to sometimes be weak in an area. But be willing to take the risk and ask for help. The assertive person who doesn’t try to make others look bad will be ready to lend a hand. They always want what’s best for others.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.