I have always been a submissive type of person. It’s not that I don’t have confidence, but I believe in respecting elders and those of a more senior position than myself. However, over the years I have changed my ways. I realised that just because I am younger, it does not mean that I cannot speak up and give a good opinion. In fact, I recognised that I may even have a better suggestion than someone who may have more experience than I do. Everyone can give their thoughts on a topic.
When I was submissive, I was a ‘yes’ man. But as I have changed over the years, I have learnt that it is okay to be equals with others in the workplace even though I am younger in age. I now know I have things to offer that others may not. Most recently, I have been working with a lady who is very aggressive. I could not understand why I could not get answers to my questions, but instead she would repeatedly tell me that she had already answered them. She would become frustrated at me for asking more questions because I still did not have an answer, and then I would get frustrated because she would become aggressive. It was as if we were going around in circles.
Finally, it occurred to me that she did not have the answer. In fact, she didn’t even understand my questions. She was being defensive as she felt challenged and threatened. That is why she was being aggressive. Aggression is “behavior which is intended to increase the social dominance of the organism relative to the dominance position of other organisms.” After I found this out, I looked around and noticed that many people are like this! I also noticed that such aggression doesn’t get them anywhere. In fact, it slows down the communication process because the aggression gets in the way and they do not end up getting what they want.