More and more these days people are become passive-aggressive. Passive-aggressive people tend to avoid anything that seems somewhat close to a confrontation, yet explode when they’re cornered. That’s where the term “passive-aggressive” comes from. Too many people these days are afraid to simply say “no” when they’re not interested in something because they fear what consequences may come.
Consequences for disagreement are always blown out of proportion, especially with a passive aggressive person because passive-aggressive people tend to disagree aggressively and don’t know how to stand their ground assertively.
Like everything, being assertive takes practice. Once the person realizes that being assertive is not about being “mean” or attacking the other person, it makes things so much easier. Being assertive is about expressing yourself as honestly as possible. It’s nothing personal, only self expression.
For example. If someone asks me to do something and I say “I’m not interested” and they follow up with “why not?” I’d usually say “I said I’m not interested” and that usually drives the point home without insulting the person.
Usually aggression involves insults, threats or leverage. Being assertive just involves keeping your composure and telling it how you want it. Be brief, be clear and make your point conclusive.