The most important distinction between aggression and assertion is its intent. During assertion, we move ourselves toward another; during aggression, we move ourselves against another. Assertion is vital within a relationship. Aggression is not.... The truth is, reports indicate that both men and women enjoy a partner who is assertive. Such a partner eliminates the need for second-guessing and mind-reading. Such a partner gives his or her mate implicit permission to be similarly assertive. Aggression, however, often evokes more aggression—thrusts, parries, and strategies for defense.