Personality Test: The Aggression/Assertiveness Trait

Aggression and Assertiveness are the two characteristics I most desire. I am too anxious/worrisome/thoughtful of other people’s concerns. I am too submissive. How do I change? Instead of asking - “why are some people just naturally assholes?” - I propose the question - “how do you become an attractive asshole?”

My scores are as follows:

Aggressiveness ||||||||||||||||||||| 64%
Assertiveness ||||||||||||||| 44%
Submissiveness |||||||||||||||||||||||| 75% (damn it!)

I have questions for those of you who rank high on Aggressiveness, especially Future Man who commented “you are my bitch” (although Future Man ranked high in Assertiveness rather than Aggressiveness). Why are you aggressive? What is the justification? All you damn ILP’ers have ranked high on either aggressiveness or assertiveness.

OED’s definition of aggression: Self-assertive, pushful; energetic, enterprising. Being on the offensive or on the attack
OED’s definition of assertiveness: Tendency towards assertion or self-assertion.

My own subjective definition of aggressiveness is a trait where one is willing to gain at another’s loss.
Assertivenes means being able to take what you think is rightfully yours and preventing others from taking what is rightfully yours, but doing so in a political manner. It means being political with your demands. Instead of shouting at someone to tone down their voice in the library, you ask them quietly to please lower their voices, but you do it in a fashionable way.

I am defining these characteristics in this fashion, since I suspect people are not aggressive or assertive enough, because of their excessive concern for others.

I presume I can change my personality if I look at my reasons for acting submissive as opposed to aggressive.

Aggressiveness at its extremes can be unattractive, but if I can justify my actions for being unattractively aggressive, I can better justify my actions for being attractively aggressive.

If you are aggressive, it may follow that you (especially if the negative consequences are minimal) …

  • are willing to blast loud music for your sake despite the discomfort of others
  • fuck 'em and leave 'em
  • would make sure to be the first in line, whether it’s for food or for occupational advancement
  • would not recycle, since you have more important things to do
  • have a grab all you can get mentality in school, church, relationships, jobs
  • would be willing to buy a $200,000 home at the price of $20,000 from an old man with poor eyesight
  • weave in and out of traffic at breakneck speed
  • use elbows, knees, and jaw to push your way to the hoop in a basketball game
  • borrow books from others and never return them unless the lender gets too annoying
  • would cheat on a test, change your original guesses to win the football pot, feel no pain at other people’s losses

People will call you a damn bastard for being too aggressive, but the point is that these actions need justification.

Now, if aggressiveness is a desired trait, how do I justify myself for being aggressive?

Several possible justifications:

  1. I have philosophically thought out my life and am akin to a philosopher king. I aspire for high, albeit selfish, goals. Therefore, I am justified in gaining from other people’s loss, especially if they are incompetent, they don’t care, or they have no worthy goals.
  2. I am aggressive, because I was born that way, or because the harshness of life caused me to be that way.
  3. As long as I gain in a major fashion, minor discomfort from others means nothing. I do not plan to kill others or cause any major discomfort to others.
  4. If other people had a problem with me, they would tell me, and I will simply stop.

The first justification comes for Socrates. The second one from determinism. The third one can be weakly argued as being utilitarian. The fourth one is from an ethical egoist, someone who only considers the consequences of his actions as justification for them. (No wonder all you damn philosophers are so aggressive!)

Many of you would expound on the negative aspects of being aggressive. However, if you are too submissive, you must overshoot your aim and make aggression your goal, after which you can tone down and achieve the more desired quality of assertiveness. Also, Aggression and Assertiveness are two esteemed qualities in the United States. Sometimes, people find aggression attractive. As mentioned in the Sexual Tension thread, aggression is a Male characteristic. (Those of you who have read the sexual tension thread in the social sciences forum, please make your comments.)

Attractive aggression…

  • in sports
  • being aggressive when selling or negotiating, or simply getting what you want in business
  • as a leader to inspire others of your domination
  • career advancement

If your ultimate goal is to become assertive and attractively aggressive, how would you do it?

My thoughts…

  • you must know exactly what you are comfortable with getting from others at their loss
  • you must prioritize your life over others

Questions

  • are you willing to gain at the price of other people’s discomfort? how much of other people’s discomfort are you willing to tolerate for your gain?

I will post more conclusions as I come up with a theory as to how to become more aggressive or assertive. Help me out you super-aggressive philosophers!

be a nike commercial…

“just do it”

justification? you took the test, it is in your nature… perfect excuse…

besides, people will call you a damn bastard whatever you do, so why worry?

-Imp

To your questions:

Everyone has to, at some point, gain at the price of other people’s discomfort. You can’t make everyone happy all of the time, even if you try. This is a tough reality for those of us why try.

I try to sacrifice as much as is humanly possible to make other people happy, like I said this often breaks the dam when I’ve had too much. It’s also about comfort levels, for example it is easier for me to assert my self with some people and not others. I have a problem asserting myself with strangers and people whom I look up to or feel dominated by (bosses or older people in general- figures of authority, however I am very rude and aggressive when talking with or confronted by cops- these being figures of authority whom I look down upon, especially when their greatest purpose in life is to reach their quota of tickets per day for petty moving or parking violations… so that’s my rant!)

I am the most honest and assertive with people whom I love and feel comfortable with- I guess that’s all that matters anyway- must account for that 35%…

wow, usually i look at threads and quickly scroll down when i see the word ‘furthermore’ because it looks like somebody mentioned me im sorry i missed the bold, but anyway

never any of those things!!

in my opinion, assertiveness means just what you say, i have beleifs, and everything that i have ever said does not slightly infringe upon them, and if people dont agree, they are incorrect or they misunderstood me. i have yet to see an exception.

my main infallible beliefs include “good and evil exist” and “fascism aint good”

but what what if your gain is directl predicated upon their loss? and what if they are incapable of understanding what they are capable of losing? what if a mom has a baby in a prison and the baby never learns of the outside world and you live outside the prison and you constantly bribe your politicians to keep that baby in prison because the longer he stays in, the more shiny objects you receive?

jesus’ message means nothing? the unbelievable amazement and happiness that that baby will receive upon release means nothing?

then you are absolutely no better than the stupid baby who was born stupidly believing that his prison was the ultimate in human happiness. damn that was awesome.

thats absolutely fair. calculate it out. all the poor people who are required ro suffer in order for your multinational corporation to thrive so that you may have an acre full of exotic cars… calculate it out. how happy are you with your cars? how happy would the poor people be if you gave them the cost of your cars? what if the sum of their minor happiness is greater than your stupid shallow happiness? (i condemn the real rich, not the middle class)

have you heard of the “mid life crisis”? do you know what causes it? because i do. it is caused by a very very productive man procuding very many things and yet, his kids dont need his product, his wife doesnt need his product, and the product goes purely to his selfish ass. oh he desperately buys big fast stupid cars and shiny objects and waht does that do for him??? nothing!!!

tell me, when did a mid life crisis end in happiness once the rich man bought a fast car?

when did it NOt end in happiness when he put smiles on the faces of undeserving nigger shitheads? or how about rwandan refugees? ever? give me one example, i have $100 on paypal with your name on it.

assertiveness is confused with agression. and the opinions that are formed with the agressiveness, they are agressively forced on others, which is incorrectly viewed as assertiveness. the thing that is admired in the US is getting your way, even though stupid bitches bow before you because of your agressiveness.

sticking to your “communist”, “white tower liberal” views are not the slightest bit respected unless they somehow take advantage of stupid idiots who dont know better. id like a contrary example VERY much.

you have two choices, be called a damn bastard by the righteous people who want to save the world, or be called a damn bastard by the rich people who just so happen to take advantage of a large number of innocent, unknowing people whos only unaccomplished wish is to be as happy as the rich. why worry? because ill call you a bastard even if im self employed. and then of course ill murder you.

Very amusing, future man. Let’s get down to business.

Your argument can be summed up as follows: If I gain material goods at other people’s loss, I am committing something “evil.”

This hypothetical scenario echos themes from Socrates’ cave and the matrix. Let’s say for argument’s sake that I am a politician who bribes people to keep a baby in prison. I have numbered my arguments below:

A Reflection of Your Argument

Such hubris! You are either joking, or I have discovered the roots of your assertiveness. You hold so strongly to your subjective beliefs that you cannot look objectively at an issue. Let me hold you as a model, then, and let me take your viewpoint. Like you, I hold that either others are incorrect, or they have misunderstood me. Therefore, I hold the ultimate truth, and every action committed by me is justified.

Consequently, my first justification is as follows: I am right, and they are wrong.

Further hubris, but also further example of how I should be, if attempting to be assertive.

Just as you have the “infallible belief” that “good and evil exist,” I have the “infallible belief” of my own self-worth, especially compared to a “stupid baby.” We are all equally infallible.

Other justifications:
Most of the following justifications are utlitarian in nature - i.e. - when calculating the gains, the gain is more for all when I gain.

  1. The other person’s loss is an illusion. The baby’s happiness when leaving the prison may be an illusion. For example, prisoners have a difficult time handling reality when they leave prison. Blind people have to adjust when they regain their eyesight. For most people, freeing them from the matrix saddens them.
  2. My gain actually ends up helping society. You need a politician in good working order for that politician to serve well. Therefore, material goods for a politician is justified. (I admit, this justification is weak)
  3. As long as I am following the laws of reality, I am somewhat justified. Ideally, everyone benefits; realistically, only one must benefit. You’re talking about the ideal, and not about reality. Ideally, the child goes free. In reality, the child does not. Enforce laws to achieve idealism, and you have just created communism. Communism has already failed. Capitalism has not. At the risk of being labeled a sheep, I am partly supporting the system in this counterargument.
  4. I know how to satisfy myself, so I should do what I want to become happy. To sacrifice my happiness for a baby’s possible happiness would be foolhardy.

To quote Nietzsche:
“Exploitation” does not belong to a depraved, or imprefect and primitive society: it belongs to the nature of the living being as a primary organic function; it is a consequence of the intrinsic Will to Power, which is precisely the Will to Life."

Are these justifications foolproof? Hardly. Am I deluding myself? Possibly, since their resounds some “goodness” within my body, but a certain amount of self-delusion is necessary.

Another person can clash with these arguments by simply stating a different point of view. The clashing point occurs between the differing desires of two people.

This same difference in desires leads to war. In war, you have two people with different desires; you have two people wanting the same territory, or you have two people with different plans for a country. By gaining when others lose, I am resemble a member of a warmongering society. On the other hand, war can be avoided by profitable negotiations. By gaining only when others gain, I resemble a member of a negotiating society. Which society is better for a certain individual? Should an individual take an action of war or negotation? The answer depends on the individual’s situation.

Capitalism

Consider yourself a rich person. You follow all the laws, you run a business, you work your butt off, and you get several new cars. Suddenly, a philosopher tells you that you don’t deserve your new cars. Is he crazy? If the United States has the best justice system in the world, and in the United States a man can work his ass off for material goods, then justice is giving the rich what they deserve according to the laws enforced. While I personally am not a man of rich taste, I understand why a rich man would feel disdain at those who condemn his luxury. If poor people want to be rich, they should take actions to get rich, and if the situation is out of their control, then tough luck. Shit happens. For those of us who are luckier, we should enjoy our luck while we can.

Capitalism works, because for the most part, their actions dictate what consequences they deserve. Poor people continue to stay poor because they their actions keep them in poverty.

If poor people are ignorant of their situation, that’s a problem of government and society, and it’s not my damn job to educate them out of poverty.

The Mid Life Crisis Argument

The exceptions are countlesss. There are a lot of rich people who have not gone through a mid life crisis. People who go through a mid life crisis are simply incompetent at the art of living. They failed to get their priorities straight, and they overestimated the happiness money would bring. A “mid life crisis” is a luxury for the rich. the poor are not lucky enough to suffer a mid life crisis. I wish I’d suffer one, but I still have yet to make a single buck! These poor fools say “I made a million dollars, but I realized that I was not paying attention to my family, so I went back to my family.” They go back to their families, and they tell the public to embrace what they have, but their story is special because we’re talking about rich fuckers. Instead of telling everyone to love what they have, they should tell everyone to get their damn priorities straight.

Your Infallible “Good and Evil” Belief

You apparently have a self-righteous point of view, which gives you power, since you are infallible, and somewhat unarguable. Good and evil exist, because you say they do. You argument can be summed up as the endpoint of all moral arguments: “Why should we be good? Because we should be good.” You are the type that may have suffered greatly at the hands of the rich or the powerful, and you attack them with philosophical justification. You get power from taking yours philosophical stance. An alternative scenario is that you yourself have suffered a mid-life crisis, and now have found new meaning in being “good” and have rejected the rich life you previously attempted to enjoy.

You will continue with your righteousness, because it gives you great power over others. You use morality as a weapon. You are the type that calls people “fucking bitch” for sideswiping you on the highway. You chide and scorn children or students who cross the boundaries of your morality. You make speeches about the “good of the people” and the “right way to act” - you expound about “family values.” You imagine a world were everyone exists in peace and harmony, where there is a high standard of living, where everyone adopts your beliefs and acts accordingly. But you are talking about the ideal, not the reality! The ideal is communism. The ideal is a place of peace and harmony where greed and selfishness do not exist. The reality is that the Indians got wiped out by the Americans. The Holocaust did occur. The Massacre of Nanking happened, that 3000 people died when those airplanes crashed into those two towers. As long as greed, selfishness, and violence exist, death and exploitation will continue, wether we like it or not.

Stop trying to reach for high ideals, for fear of being a victim. You hate murderers, because they may murder you, not just because you consider them evil. Your emotions dictate your justification. Hell, are you justified? Yes! 99% of the population believe in good and evil, just like you. Why? Maybe because of fairy tales. Maybe because they’ve been harmed by power; they need the morality of the masses to fight back. But most probably because they fear the concept of evil. I have found the essence of your assertiveness, and it derives from an arrogance birthed from fear! - fear from being different, fear from being the lone wolf, fear from being evil, fear from going to hell.

In fact, the moral of the story is that I must accept this fact: that my emotions drive my justifications - the emotions of fear, greed, selfishness, happiness, joy, desire, love. Just like you, I am justfied. Why? Because I say so. Because I feel that way. Because I am the way I am. Because my reality is truth. How can you justify the holocaust, 9/11, the massacres that continue day in and day out? There is no better justification than reality and truth. It happened; therefore there are reasons and justifications for it happening, and most of those justifications are derived from the emotions and whims of powerful people: Hitler, Osama, etc.

Usually, idealists want the world a better place, so that they themselves can benefit from it. On the flip side are those people who actually do make a difference; those are the type who just love what they do. If you really want to make a change, show how you can facilitate the evolution of this world into a more peaceful and accepting place, taking into account the natural turbulent emotions of our kind. You can’t just blast capitalism. Capitalism is the best we got, mainly because it takes into account our self-serving behaviors. Corporations are a necessary “evil,” but they are necessary.

If you truly believed in good and evil, you would stop wasting your time futilely attempting to change the minds of stubborn philosopher-wanna-bes. Instead, you would be shoulder-deep in shit trying to shovel out the bauble of a baby. Otherwise, your beliefs are only typographical. If you actually do spend 2 hours a day volunteering to the local library, what about the rest of the 22 hours in a day?

The fact will remain: philosophoser idealists most of the time expound on ideas; they love the idea and the concept, but not the reality. You are that which my name mocks, the “any man” of Sartre’s Nausea, the Any Man that the Self-Taught Man loves, but only symbolically.

Humorous quotes by you:

  • “nigger shitheads”: even though your intentions are clear, if I were black, I’d still be offended of the phraseology
  • hubris: “my main infallible beliefs” “damn that was awesome” “people are incorrect or misunderstand me. I have yet to see an exception.”
  • “I will murder you” contradicts your “good vs evil” spiel, unless by good vs evil you mean your values vs the world’s values. (I understand that you were probably being facetious, but I still needed to comment, regardless)
  • “Jesus’ message means nothing” Ahhhh, how beatifully religion comes into play as powerful propaganda.

Nietzsche

He says in Beyond Good and Evil the following:

How To Be Agressive: don’t back down LIKE A PANSY!!
How To Be Assertive: rely that your agressiveness will pull you through
Therefore, to become assertive, be an optimistic agressive person.

Aggressiveness ||||||||||||||||||||| 64%
Assertiveness ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 96%

I don’t think this makes me an “asshole”. I learned to be more assertive as a survival tactic. I’m learning to control my aggressiveness for the same reason.

A person who does not not assert their rights will be taken advantage of.

I am not always in a situation where I have to assert myself, but I am always prepared to do so. Part of this is knowing what rights you have to assert. i.e. I know the labour laws in my Province like the back of my hand, so I know if my rights in the workplace are being violated.

I assert the rights of those who cannot do it for themselves as well, possibly because:

Altruism ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 99%…wow!
Sympathy |||||||||||||||||||||||||||| 84%

I once had an employer who I discovered was not paying stat holidays or overtime. It was a professional office that brought in more than enough revenue to pay its employees fairly, so this was inexcusable. Most of his other employees were immigrants who were unaware of their rights…until I told them, of course. I submitted a complaint to the labour board for ALL of us.

I can’t even count the number of times I have asserted for the group in various areas of my life…I can’t help it. :slight_smile:

Sometimes aggression is needed in everyday life if dealing with people who only understand aggression, but it should be a last resort. (It was needed when I was boxing, but that is hardly an everyday situation.)

If I am being physically attacked, first I try to run, then I fight. I’d rather not fight unless it is in a ring, but I will fight if there is no other option.