“The basic difference between being
assertive and being aggressive is how our words and behaviour affect the rights
and well being of others.” — Sharon
Anthony Bower

Assertively stick up for yourself. This level of personal
initiative extends to people and organizations with which you are associated.
Of course, needs are prioritized and have to be met. Interests need to be
pursued. Personal and organizational goals need to be realized. For you,
though, meeting your needs at the uncompensated expense of other people is
unacceptable. As Euripides observed, “Joint undertakings stand a better chance
when they benefit both sides.”

Pursuing self-interest in ways that prevent others from pursuing
their interests is problematic. Reaching goals in ways that make it impossible
for other people to reach their goals is to be avoided whenever possible.
Sticking up for one’s self and one’s interests is consistent with your approach
to everything, so long as every reasonable effort is made to avoid injuring
other people and their interests.