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Thread: Assertiveness

  1. #1
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    Assertiveness

    Hello everyone!
    Do you have any tips on how to be more assertive? I have read several articles and found great advice out there, but Iíd also like to hear your story. Iím sure Iím not the only one working on my self-confidence and being brave in everyday situations. I think I have learned how to stand up for myself, but sometimes Iím too scared to set boundaries, and confronting someone makes me nervous. I am usually considered to be Ďthe nice oneí which is okay, but I donít want people to walk all over me either. I came out of my shell and I am less shy than I used to be, I also socialize a lot more, so now itís time to tackle my Ďnicenessí.
    How did you empower yourself and overcome your fears?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Assertiveness has nothing to do with aggression, being rude, or being confrontational with people.
    Assertiveness and boundaries are internal things, not external things.

    For example, you have a friend that always uses you as a ride to the airport, BUT never returns the favor. Once you notice that this is a one sided situation, you assert yourself by simply telling her "I'm really sorry, but I just can't take you to the airport." and then you simply stop being her taxi service. Confrontational would be if you went off on her how she is selfish and never returns the favor and you don't like her for that so you refuse to take her from now on. Assertiveness is simply deciding internally that you will not be her free taxi ride anymore and communicating a simple "no" without strife. If you find that this particular person in general is a user and you aren't happy with this friendship, then boundaries means that you distance yourself and drop this friend and find people who are more equal to you in terms of give and take in a friendship. Again, you don't confront, try to correct the person, etc, etc, etc. You simply make choices for yourself that are better for you and your life and happiness.

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    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    If you find that this particular person in general is a user and you aren't happy with this friendship, then boundaries means that you distance yourself and drop this friend and find people who are more equal to you in terms of give and take in a friendship. Again, you don't confront, try to correct the person, etc, etc, etc. You simply make choices for yourself that are better for you and your life and happiness.
    For whatever reason I feel guilty each time I distance myself from someone I don't want to be friends with anymore. I know I have the right to choose my friends but I feel like I've done something bad.

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    Dancingfool described it perfectly. And just realize it takes practice - to get your tone right for example. Practice with smaller things and work your way up to bigger things.

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kim42
    confronting someone makes me nervous.
    Confrontation makes anyone nervous, because it's aggressive, not 'assertive.' You can simply say 'no,' when you mean no, and your only reason for that can be kindly expressed as, "That doesn't work for me."

    Originally Posted by kim42
    so now itís time to tackle my Ďnicenessí.
    Don't confuse 'nice' with 'passive.' There's nothing 'nice' about passivity, because passivity breeds resentment. You can be perfectly 'nice' while asking for what you want or by saying no to what you don't want.

    Originally Posted by kim42
    How did you empower yourself and overcome your fears?
    Don't build up some hostile opposite of kindness as your model, and then you won't need to fear anything. Think of assertiveness as being kind to yourself, first. From there you can afford to be generous with others whenever it works for you, without a concern for being involuntarily walked on.

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    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    You don't need to confront people. You just need to know where you end and someone else begins. "No, sorry" or any decline of a request is not a confrontation. There is nothing wrong with being nice, polite, considerate, etc.

    However if insist that people must like you, you will be wasting a lot of time and energy. Healthy people do not like doormats, no less respect them. Only exploitative people see doormats as useful, but still do not like them or respect them.
    Originally Posted by kim42
    Iím too scared to set boundaries, and confronting someone makes me nervous. I donít want people to walk all over me either.

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    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    Don't build up some hostile opposite of kindness as your model, and then you won't need to fear anything. Think of assertiveness as being kind to yourself, first. From there you can afford to be generous with others whenever it works for you, without a concern for being involuntarily walked on.
    This sounds reasonable, I still want to be nice to others, I just need to learn to say 'no' without feeling guilty. I have a hard time saying 'no' to others, both at work and private life. I think I need more practice, as someone said, I need to start with small things and just be a little more firm.

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kim42
    This sounds reasonable, I still want to be nice to others, I just need to learn to say 'no' without feeling guilty. I have a hard time saying 'no' to others, both at work and private life. I think I need more practice, as someone said, I need to start with small things and just be a little more firm.
    Guilt is optional, not automatic. I like to think of guilt as a button that i can either put 'out there' for someone to press, or I can control it myself and put it away.

    It's also helpful to work backwards from what you believe that you 'owe' someone rather than from their request. If someone asks you for a favor, and you don't want to do the favor, and you don't 'owe' this person any favors that they've done for you, then it makes perfect sense to say no. Then nobody owes anybody anything, and there's nothing to feel guilty about.

  10. #9
    Hello
    Have been in your shoes before and realized there some people will always take advantage of you if you are the nice type and wouldnít like to even hurt a fly. If that is your nature, then you canít really change much from who you are, but you can take care of your interest and yourself first. No complaining but started ignoring and avoiding certain situations. I donít mind giving my all to a relationship but if I feel being taken advantage of or been used, then I go 50/50 commitment. I have an attitude of team work at my work place. I donít mind taken up others team members responsibilities as long as work is done at the end of the day. But when I realize someone is taken advantage of that I back off and do what is expected of me. I donít talk much so my silence, ignoring and backing off speaks volume for me when there is a slight change in attitude towards people around me. It may take a while to make a change so keep trying till you are at the desired goal. Keep exploring. Best wishes


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