There is a lot of confusion about what constitutes aggressive versus assertive behavior in our society. People tend to mistake aggressive behavior for assertive behavior. Yes, assertiveness means not passively letting people walk all over you, but it also means not being verbally or physically aggressive in your interactions. Being aggressive, rather than assertive, may provoke ill-will or retaliation from others. Unfortunately, this mistake can get you into arguments or possibly even get you killed if you provoke the wrong person.