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Is "aggressive" A Negative Word To Decribe Someone?

GreenTeaSparklesGreenTeaSparkles somewherePosts: 285Banned
edited July 2009 in love & relationships
I was around school today and heard this woman getting upset with her friend because her friend said to another friend that she's aggressive, behind her back. So then she was all pissed off saying "Stop talking about me behind my back. Backstabber. I'd rather you say it in front of my face". So then her friend's like "i meant it in a good way. I hardly ever speak up, so i said you're aggressive because you always fight for what you want. I wish i can be more like you. I meant that you're assertive. It's the same thing". So then the woman said "no, aggressiveness is not the same as assertiveness. Aggressive has a negative meaning to it. quit backstabbing me".

When i heard it, i was like image . I didn't think describing someone who's aggressive is something horrible either. I say that someone's aggressive all the time too. Like if my friend fights for what she wants, i just said "ooh she's aggressive!" but i just mean it in a admirable way. But now i'm worried that it IS supposed to be a negative term. I'm worried i dissed a lot of people without realizing it image . what do you guys think?? is the word "aggressive" actually a negative meaning to describe a friend?

Replies

  • am747am747 Your local internet addict Ithaca, NYPosts: 145Member
    I think that some women may take "aggressive" as an insult because a lot of guys use that adjective to describe women who are difficult, demanding, etc. Also, it's often related to violence.
    But assertive is rarely used in this sense, it's almost always a compliment to say someone is assertive, because that means they're a "go-getter", know how to get things done, very straightforward.
    That's the only sense I can make of this situation.
    Cornell 2013!
  • kansaieitokansaieito New Orleans, LAPosts: 123Member
    That chick is mental. image

    Anyway, it depends on the situation. If someone is aggressive with people, it's a negative. If someone is aggressive in their work or goals or life in general, it's a positive.
  • MannosukeMannosuke Posts: 12,761Member

    SUPERSTAR

    edited July 2009
    It doesn't matter whether you knew or not, it's the fact that you were talking behind her back.
    There are various definitions for "aggressive" and "assertive" and various people take them differently.

    And yes, I agree with her, a lot of people see aggressive behavior as a bad thing.
    Doesn't matter what kind of aggressiveness, that kind of attitude is associated with negative implications.
  • hsin531hsin531 Posts: 308Member
    QUOTE (am747 @ Jul 9 2009, 06:36 PM) »
    I think that some women may take "aggressive" as an insult because a lot of guys use that adjective to describe women who are difficult, demanding, etc. Also, it's often related to violence.
    But assertive is rarely used in this sense, it's almost always a compliment to say someone is assertive, because that means they're a "go-getter", know how to get things done, very straightforward.
    That's the only sense I can make of this situation.

    I agree. Very good distinction.
  • iotaiota Posts: 1,081Member
    I guess different people take it to mean different things? There is a distinction between "aggressive" and "assertive", but I guess it depends on the context. Just to be safe, I guess it'd be better to say "assertive" if you were complimenting someone, because I don't think anyone would take "assertive" to be a negative comment.

    I agree with the 1st poster, "aggressive" can sometimes be linked to violence or being demanding/difficult, etc. which is probably why some people would find it to be a negative word.
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  • ny-sw / ny_sw.ny-sw / ny_sw. no more regrets. (: Houston, TEXAS.Posts: 1,894Member
    Wow, that kinda proves that she's aggressive as opposed to assertive.. ahaha.
    Aggressive is kind of like. the willingness to push people out of the way to get what you want.
    Assertive is a liitle nicer than that.
    "Selection is meaning." she picked those words subconsciously for a reason.
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  • mintcrackermintcracker Posts: 7,287Member

    IDOL

    aggressive has a negative connotation, it sure has hell doesn't mean the same thing nor has the same vibe as assertive lol.
  • xsaranghae<3xsaranghae<3 San FranciscoPosts: 1,549Member

    ROOKIE

    beauty is in the eye of the beholder right?
    well aggressive being negative or positive is the same i guess?

    im called aggressive all the time
    i just shrug it off?
    but i think the way she was saying it behind her friends back
    made it seem negative
  • love*beatlove*beat CALIFORNIA (:Posts: 449Member
    Well even though I don't really agree with why the woman kept being angry about it. o_o
    (After her friend explained why she said she was 'aggressive')

    I do think that there are positive and negative ways to describe words xP

    There's also that and the tone in which you're speaking.

    But yeah~ this is why people need to be careful with their words.

    It's like saying someone is stupid vs. dumb@ss, which one seems more insulting?

    I mean, sure it might not seem THAT important. But if you say it with the wrong meaning, it could offend someone.
    And if that someone happens to be someone with issues, RUN haha. image
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  • ShadowMax76ShadowMax76 themurderedpacifist Posts: 3,060Member
    yeah... gossip... women... "backstabbing".... lol.

    me: "aw, she's so useless. <3"

    her: "OMG. he called you useless!"

    you: "WOT!?!?!"

    _ .....now. you are stabbing me. why? cos 'her'/she, for SOME reason:
    a] is evil + wants to make drama
    b] can't tell my tone, and is loyal to you
    c] ???
    d]..profit.
    made it sound like i said it in a bad way. for some reason.

    _ o_O' but answering your question... well. yeah. the others have said it_
  • _ATELIER_ATELIER ♥ ♥ ♥ ATELIERPosts: 3,963Member

    IDOL

    edited July 2009
    when i hear aggressive .. i think of ..naughtyyy in be...
    nvm.

    girls are so feisty.
  • mrskimjinhomrskimjinho I love you. Asteroid B612Posts: 254Member
    edited July 2009
    QUOTE (_ATELIER @ Jul 10 2009, 09:42 AM) »
    when i hear aggressive .. i think of ..naughtyyy in be...
    nvm.

    girls are so feisty.


    I second this!!! image
    My bf says I'm aggressive in a pretty affectionate way cus I don't act like the dainty little flower a lot of people think I am. I loveeee rough play, esp. tackling and wrestling with my bf (even though I always end up losing) ...among other... things... image

    And I think aggressive is one of those words that have double meanings according to one's gender. When it's said to a guy, it generally doesn't carry as much negativity as when it's said to a girl. Society's gender rules say that it's okay for boys to be aggressive; aggressiveness in boys is pretty much expected and accepted as normal behavior. Even when a man's aggressiveness escalates into violence, no one ever gives it a second thought because we've all grown up with the image that men are supposed to be big & tough. But when girls show the same kind of aggressiveness, they're automatically labeled as tomboys or even butches and dykes because aggressiveness is not in society's gender role rulebook.

    image
    BS JP
  • fabrications.fabrications. i'm a ghost noPosts: 3,523Member

    IDOL

    I think what that lady really meant to say was "assertive," not "aggresive."
    "Agressive" is often implied in a negative way.
  • FrozyFrozy Posts: 1,082Member
    I suppose she must have taken aggressive and put it into masculine terms, while assertive can apply for both sexes. Maybe she hates masculinity ?_?
  • MeenuhMeenuh Rageaholic Supernerd. City of AngelsPosts: 5,724Member
    No... I don't think it's negative. Really depends on the way you say it. Sometimes being aggressive is good. Maybe it's because of gender roles the girl didn't want to sound that way but she wanted to be more like the damsel in distress.
    Some say i'm a genius, others say i'm crazy
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