As poet Thomas Moore wrote, “Intimacy begins with the self”.
Only when one knows himself, his desires and needs, and is able to communicate them, can he expect to communicate effectively with the other. Assertiveness is necessary to communicate what you like, or want, or need.
Direct communication, however, may be difficult for many people. They may avoid revealing their true feelings, and then become reactive or aggressive.
It is important to distinguish between aggressive, passive-aggressive, and assertive behaviors.
In this article, Baltimore couple’s therapist Raffi Bilek discusses the differences and why assertiveness is so important.