Assertiveness is the ability to express ones feelings and assert ones rights while respecting the feelings and rights of others. Assertive communication is appropriately direct, open and honest, and clarifies ones needs to the other person. Many people confuse assertiveness with aggressiveness
, in which ones feelings, needs and rights are expressed in a way that does not respect the feelings, needs and dignity of the other. In contrast, passivity is the inability to adequately express ones feelings, needs and rights. Passive individuals tend to feel victimized and experience greater levels of stress, due to not having their needs met in relationships. Aggressive people tend to victimize others, causing stress but also experiencing it, as their relationships tend to be conflicted as well. Those who act assertively are able to maintain healthier, less stressed relationships in which everyones needs are being better understood and met. Assertive individuals tend to experience more life satisfaction, as they are better able to make decisions and take actions in line with their ultimate life goals.