What is the Difference between Firmness and Aggressiveness?

It’s fortunate that I am a writer because that has helped me understand the properties of words. They are what have made life complex. In the battle for status in the animal kingdom, power and aggressiveness have been all-important. But among humans, once they acquired speech, all that changed.

—Tom Wolfe

While the former comes from a place of self-respect and aims to show people our healthy boundaries and how to treat us, the latter is abusive and used by tormented souls in two situations:

Whenever something external triggers a narcissistic injury

The level can go from covert aggressiveness (sarcasm, subtly invalidating or gaslighting you, etc…) to a narcissistic rage! Abusers are broken toddlers in terms of emotional maturity. They constantly feel empty and manipulate you so that they can get their narcissistic supply on which they survive.

When it doesn’t happen as they expected it, and given that they have no clue about emotional regulation (a problem shared by many emotionally imbalanced good people as well, unfortunately) and that they need to be in control, they become aggressive and abuse you.

Let’s suppose you are sharing with me (the narcissist) that you are hurt. The difference between “gaslighting” and “invalidation” can be explained, in simple terms, as below:

  • Gaslighting: no you don’t feel hurt!
  • Invalidation: You feel hurt? Once again you feel hurt when I talk about your mother. I don’t know how to talk to you without you saying you are hurt (rolling eyes of course)…

In the latter situation, I am not doubting your feelings. Instead, I am criticizing them.

A “power” show

Many times, you don’t even need to trigger abusers in any way. Their grandiosity attribute makes them look for ways to prove their power over you. That’s what all bossy employers love doing. The authoritarian approach is nothing but a big red flag to spot! When troubled souls are granted a small amount of formal authority, they make sure to use it as a means to nurture their fragile ego at your expense. Some are very subtle in their strategies (the most dangerous ones), but many of them can be very impulsive.

To give you one example, let’s imagine that you were at the gym. You attended a muscle-building class. A person tried to join the group during the second track. According to the gym rules of procedure, one needs to have the coach’s approval first, which didn’t happen. The reason might be ignorance or a very loud music level or whatever. A decent coach would do one of those alternatives:

  • No reaction at all while ensuring to talk to the person privately, afterward, and explain the protocol,
  • Stopping the music for a minute, apologizing to the rest of the group for the inconvenience, and gently explaining to the person that they might hurt themselves when joining without the first warm-up track. The coach is going the extra mile here.

An abuser would exploit the delusional power they have to aggressively and very loudly deny you access in front of everybody. If you got offended and ignored them, they would continue talking about the incident and repeating that, at least, they did their part.

Last thoughts

Pay attention folks! Your critical thinking skills have been lying dormant for so long, and manipulators/abusers are taking advantage of it every single day! Maybe it’s time for you to take your power back? Let’s keep in mind that they hurt and never face consequences because we are the ones enabling them.

Now that you know, the choice is yours. I hope that you will choose wisely!

Enjoy this video from my YouTube Channel ⤵︎


Myriam Ben Salem
Myriam Ben Salem
I am deeply passionate about everything life has to offer. Writing has been my very favorite means to educate my audience, captivate their attention, talk to their emotions, and make them relate and take action. I have been honored by working as a columnist for BIZCATALYST 360°, an Award-Winning life, culture, and biz new media digest, serving as the global hub for enhanced performance and well-being, during 2020. Also, I am a contributing author in Mayhem to Miracles: True Stories of Courage, Triumph, and Peace. I am so in love with writing that I have a peaceful smile drawn on my face whenever I start visualizing the books I will be writing for whoever will be tempted to discover an inclusive philosophy breaking with all the stigmas! I was born in Tunisia, a small country in North Africa. I did pretty much everything earlier than the average: walking, talking, singing, dancing. Promoted throughout my entire education, I was also the leader of every end-of-year party. At some point, after working several years for multinational companies as an engineer, team leader, project coordinator, and product owner while always being a top performer, I figured out I was feeling miserable despite the 'perfect external image'. That marked the starting point of an existential crisis followed by an episode that triggered my re-birth and the beginning of the most rewarding adventure of my whole existence: re-writing my subconscious program and reconnecting with my true self. I was saved at the last moment through an out-of-body experience making me see all the lies, realize this gigantic Universe was not revolving around me. Most importantly, I was able to visualize I was here to leave a legacy like all of you, no matter how big or small! The butterfly took time to emerge though. Today, I identify myself as a Universal Citizen. Like-minded and light-hearted people are what I call home. I am deeply passionate about everything life has to offer, and was granted the edutainer qualifier: a combination between education and entertainment! I educate on the importance of healing unsuspected traumas, seeing our limiting beliefs and biases with honest lenses, finding one's purpose and a principled mission that goes beyond the self, and unleashing the hidden potential so that to leave our legacy for the generations unborn. I have been using a panoply of means that could vary from explicit ones such as mentorship, speaking, and writing, a skill that emerged naturally during my self-actualization process to implicit mediums like storytelling, how I daily show up in the world and model servant leadership! Writing is my very favorite and most preferred tool deployed for my mission. The topics I explore are in the nexus of stoic philosophy, psychology, neuroplasticity, epigenetics, and pretty much any topic involving human behavior. Common denominator? The quality of the subconscious program. You may have a look at some of my works published on my website; Set Yourself Free.

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  1. Myriam. Each and every day we deal with a variety of personality types… humble, narcissistic, passive-aggressive, alpha, timid, shy, bold, arrogant… etc. etc. I’m no expert, but I’d say that we all exhibit a wide range of personality traits on any given day. We all wear different masks for different people. We say things to please others, but inside we may not feel or identify exactly with their personal beliefs or statements. Others are not so subtle. As suggested, there are bullies, narcissists, and arrogant dwarfs. They are intellectually and emotionally severed from reality. They cannot see beyond their own superficial needs or desires. They live in a vacuum and their only way of satisfying their dopamine imbalance is to exploit the willpower and vulnerability of those who are weak. They will test boundaries, push and pull people into their web of manipulation, convince them that they are lesser beings… It is from this web of brainwashing that they will find comfort, power and balance. The problem is that they are playing with fire, and eventually they will be consumed by their own appetites. They will always seek new victims, but ultimately they will devour themselves. They cannot look in the mirror because they lack self-reflection. They have sealed themselves off from compassion, and the only gifts they have to share are those reserved for themselves. They are not interested love, kindness or the gentle gifts of life. They only seek to destroy, deprive, and manipulate… to undermine the genuine nature of those who give. What these sad losers fail to recognize is that the rest of humanity can see them for what they truly are – predators – and the very people they attempt to destroy are the ones who emerge into powerful, caring human beings. You are one of them…

    • Awww how adorable of you, my friend Aaron!!! Your uplifting compliment means the world to me! 🥰🥰🥰

      This being said, and when it comes to narcissists and all kinds of abusers, I like the fact that you know them really well! And specially because of what you’re describing in an articulate way, they are definitely not my target!

      I am aware the karma of those eternally tormented souls is build-in. That’s what therapists tell the victims when they express their very legitimate frustration about the perpetrators tendency to never being held accountable for all the horrific things they do to our world. It makes much sense to me given how empty they are and that nature does not like empty. Nothing is empty is nature and all that goes in the opposite direction of nature is suffering.

      More to the point, I don’t give a f*ck about the abusers. They’re not my problem anymore and will never be again. They used to be when I didn’t even break the first layer of my savior pattern (and innocence): ALL HUMAN BEINGS ARE INHERENTLY GOOD AND DESERVE A CHANCE TO BE GUIDED TO THE LIGHT! Now I laugh at myself when recalling it. There are two more layers but that’s a story for another time!

      My main goal of writing about them and the manifestation in all areas whether explicitly or implicitly is to educate the inherently good folks are are responsible for ENABLING them because of ignorance and the denial coping mechanism. They are who I care about because they can disable them and save other possible victims and contribute to reversing the whole system and prepare a better future for the generations unborn.

      This brings us to the who the victims are (I would not describe them as weak): unaware empaths & pleasers, rescuers, optimists, innocent folks believing every human being is inherently-good– you got the point! I used to be all of this mixture! The perfect victim!
      The common denominator between those victims is the fragile emotional boundaries because of all the limiting beliefs ingrained in the program and lack of self-respect. Result? They tend to doubt their feeling and their gut.

      One of the amazing outcomes of the real inner-work on the subconscious is the reconnection with the purest gut, given that the transformation destroys the life-time of conditioning filter and unleashes the principle-centered true self who knows (connected to the source). As a result and when it comes to narcissists, we become able to feel their energy without even having to listen to them talk. We can see them from miles. We can even recognize them from their facial expression on photos or “subtle inconsistencies” in their speeches fueled by limiting beliefs about the world that narcissists and psychopaths (the smartest ones who do not display antisocial traits) have been successful generation after generation for thousands years in vehiculating to the global subconscious program!

      It is possible because along with re-writing our chosen program in alignment with the “universal principles” original center (aka the source, conscience), our critical thinking skills have been awakened and developed to the highest levels (facial expressions). Also, because the mind that analyses the external data is the subconscious one. That’s how even the most subtle of the limiting beliefs those manipulators are using to deceit and exploit are automatically detected without any effort.

      It brings us to the first part of your adding, my friend: ” we all exhibit a wide range of personality traits on any given day. We all wear different masks for different people. We say things to please others, but inside we may not feel or identify exactly with their personal beliefs or statements.”

      Even if this is a reality, we don’t have to and we won’t when our subconscious program becomes our best friend! I have another article in the queue about diplomacy, btw! Hope you will be able to see it when published!

      Thanks for stopping by, my friend!!! 🙏💎🙏