Monday, January 27, 2014

How to be more assertive part 1

Do you have challenges being assertive? I do, many times.  I think it come from the fact that in my culture, respect is king. And people in authority and older people are the top dogs, who must be respected. My father would get upset and borderline aggressive if one dared to articulate an opinion that was contrary to his. He still tries that sometimes, even now when I'm an adult married woman. I am more assertive towards him, but the very process robs me of my strength. I find that I struggle with assertiveness with people in positions of authority, and I also feel guilty and sometimes when I am assertive in other situations as I am afraid that people won't like me. I don't know if anyone can identify with me!
I don't think it's necessarily or always about lack of self confidence. Sometime, I just chose not to be assertive and rationalize that I won't waste my energy on people who won't get it, but then I get upset and can't explain why to myself.

I'm on a journey this year to increase my level of assertiveness. I will be sharing my plans and how successful I am or not. If you are having issues with assertiveness as well, please leave a comment below and let's learn from each other and support each other.

First and foremost, let's take a step back and find out what assertiveness is.

Assertiveness is the ability to stand up for ourselves and to say how we feel when we feel we need to. This includes, 




  • Expressing your own opinion and feelings.
  • Being able to say "no" without feeling guilty.
  • Setting your own priorities i.e. choosing how you spend your time.
  • Asking for what you want.
  • Being able to take reasonable risks.
  • Choosing not to assert yourself at times when you feel it would be better not to say anything.

Assertiveness  shows that we respect ourselves and other people, and place our own desires and needs where they should be. 

THE PROBLEM:
Lack of assertiveness can cause stress, depression and anxiety and lead to feelings of self blame.  People who do not assert themselves fail to get their due,and also tend to feel bad about themselves. 

Here are a few typical problems caused by lack of assertiveness.

  • Saying "yes" to requests for favours from friends and relatives, no matter how unfair the requests are.
  • Begin afraid to return damaged goods or point out poor service in shops and restaurants.
  • Difficulty expressing positive feelings i.e. giving compliments.

  • A fear of being criticised by others.
  • A fear of people in authority.
  • The first step to solving a problem is realizing you have a problem. Do you have a challenge with being assertive? Own the problem, and join me on this journey. 

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