Now, I totally acknowledge that for some, being assertive is scary and difficult. However, I do want to share with you some actions to increase your awareness and confidence, about stepping into assertiveness.
Let’s begin by looking at a few of the disadvantages to being unassertive. These include:
• Being treated like a doormat
• Not respecting yourself when people do not treat you with respect
• Resenting other people for asking you to do things for them
• Not spending time on your own self-care as you are too busy looking after everyone else’s needs
However, here are a few Advantages to being Assertive.
My own Assertiveness story
Saying NO used to be one of my greatest weaknesses, I just felt so mean or uncomfortable if I didn’t agree to do what others wanted me to do. Sometimes I would get all strong and actually say NO - only to feel so uncomfortable that I would change my mind a few hours later. Most of the time I just said Yes to doing something even if my whole body was telling me not to - Now I realise by not speaking up and saying how I feel, I have been walked all over, violated and abused.
Let’s also take a look at what being assertive IS NOT.
IT IS NOT BEING PASSIVE
Being passive is a very common behavior. We often learn to be passive in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
A passive person basically allows other people to take control of their lives and make decisions for them Not standing up for yourself or failing to express your own feelings and opinions is also passive behavior. Ever apologized for something that wasn’t your fault? Yep, you’ve guessed it – that is also passive!
IT IS NOT BEING AGGRESSIVE
Aggressive Behavior includes hostile behavior such as yelling, violence and overt anger. Aggressive people often behave like this to disrespect others and help them feel superior.
Interestingly, aggressive people often believe they have more rights than other people.
So what is Assertive Behavior?
It is a clear and straightforward communication method. Learning assertive techniques means learning to communicate more clearly and directly with others. It is learning that saying NO is OK and that we deserve to look after our own needs and wants. Seriously, it is not good for you to continue to say yes or agree to things at your own expense. You are not being kind or loving to yourself if you do.
An interesting point is that when you act in an assertive way it actually builds on your self-esteem and confidence (and the self-esteem of others).
Steps to Assertiveness:
When choosing to act assertively, the following steps are a useful guideline:
Lisa appears regularly in the Media, on TV, Radio and Print.