Is it possible to be assertive in a life and death situation? I don’t think so because assertive implies that the person you are talking to is not a homicidal death threat. People that experience PTSD lived in a life and death situation at some point in their life. Kind of a prerequisite symptom is the person with PTSD is a life threatening experience. I wrote more extensively on my other blog about Assertive vs. aggressive. http://weareone-ruth.blogspot.com/2015/03/assertive-or-aggressive.html
I feel that Mayo Clinic came the closest to describing how I view assertive behavior:
Being assertive is a core communication skill. Being assertive means that you express yourself effectively and stand up for your point of view, while also respecting the rights and beliefs of others.
I know about aggressive living…dog eat dog….last man standing….do or die and you will die any way. I know about dissociative living, which is a fancy way of saying I checked out, lights are on but nobody is home. But to stay connected and engaged sharing my opinion in a clear and concise manner while showing my respect for others….not so easy. However, this is one of my on going goals to become more assertive without becoming aggressive or passive aggressive.