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How do I be assertive? Assertive/drama

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Jesus, I just can't win. There seems to be a fine line between being too passive and being too aggressive. The best way to be would be assertive but I can no longer discern between the two. If I voice my opinion I'm being aggressive or a drama queen, but if I say nothing then I'm being a doormat by not standing up for myself.


#1 For example: My boyfriend's friend hitting on me. I don't think this is petty, but I still think it's an awkward situation. I don't want to cause animosity between him and me, but I'd like to explain to his friend in a diplomatic way that his remarks are inappropriate. This situation completely blew up when I refused to give my boyfriend's friend a very affectionate hug at a party... A couple of days later my boyfriend brought it to my attention. I explained to him that his friend sometimes makes me feel uncomfortable; thereforeeee I did not want to embrace him tightly when I hugged him. He says that he was unaware of this, but then was upset that I didn't bring it to his attention or say something to his friend. I feel that I handled the situation by giving him a small hug and not an overly affectionate one.

I'm still unsure what would have been the best course of action in this scenario. I'd liked to have to told him, "Leave the F*** alone, you a*hole!" Ahem...


#2 example: Trying on a brand new, $5,000 coat, without the owners permission.

My boyfriend invited me to a Christmas dinner at the home of one of the most well known entertainment lawyers in Atlanta. It was a late dinner and also casual dress. Suzy and John, whom own the house, are very down to earth and nice. I walked in, and talked to the guests and my boyfriend for a moment. Then they started talking about what John bought Suzy for Christmas and pointed to a monstrous Gucci bag on the floor. I asked, "What was in the bag?" One of the guests proceeded to show me what was in the bag. He showed me about 3 Gucci purses, candles, and then escorted me to another room to show me a beautiful shearling coat. He held it up and said, "Here, try it on so that you can get the full effect of how gorgeous it is!" Hell, I agreed, put the coat on, and then took it off. We then went back into the kitchen with the rest of the guests. The next blunder I'm pretty embarrassed about. I hate to even say it here! While having dinner one of the guest said that he was still trying to figure out what to give his girlfriend for Christmas... I blurted out, like a 3 year old on crack, "Why don't you write her a letter?" ](*,) A couple of people followed with a condescending laugh, and remarked that his girlfriend would leave him if whatever he'd bought didn't say Gucci, Prada, or Louis Vuitton. The embarrassment on my boyfriend's face was priceless.. I was somewhat embarrassed, but still laughed with everyone else. I've learned that if you don't make a big deal about things, other people won't either.


My boyfriend's views on these sitution are, I basically don't know how to handle myself when we attend exclusive event, in other words, I wasn't very good at playing the political game. He said that Suzy could have walked in while I was trying on her coat, went into a fit of rage and banned me from her home. He said I shouldn't have tried it on without her consent, and the guy that asked me to try it on could have been setting me up so that he could tell Suzy what I did.

He says he needs someone that's confident and knows how to handle themselves when the stakes are high. Stakes are high you ask? My boyfriend is an entertainment lawyer. If he doesn't form positive relationships with people and potential clients then he won't have any clients, and won't have any income; the relationships that he forms are very important. Whatever I do or say is a reflection of him, since I am his girlfriend.


All and all, I do have a different perspective on our relationship since he explained it to me in layman’s terms. He says he wants me to give our "outings" the same respect I would give my job. Basically pretend like you're at work when we go out... I do want to be with him, and I actually would like to improve my communication skills.. heheheh..


But then, I felt like a little kid that had just been scorned by her father for misbehaving at his job! "How do you think that makes me look on my freakin' job?!" I never feel completely comfortable at these events. I am very articulate and professional, but I can say that sometimes I am at a lost for words while entertaining his pretentious friends. These people don't have anything to do with my livelihood. The celebrities we meet and the events we attend don't have any meaning to me. I go because he asked me to and I want to be with him. I've never been a groupie.


If you have read this entire thread, you might as well give your opinion... =)

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It takes time , trust me , tell your boyfriend to never worry about it again. You willhandle yourself just fine.

This , in my opinion, does not make you a doormat. It makes you a girlfriend who wants to make your boyfriend happy. He is not asking you to kiss anyone's feet - just wants you to watch the remarks.

BTW- You shouldnt of tried the coat on . My opinion only .

I am in the entertainment industry myself. Its been about 15 years now.

At first - i was horrible in situations like that too.

I laugh at what i said and did now.


What woke me up was when i basically gossiped about a well known star to a reporter. Oh God , i was mortified!!!!! My b/f at the time was the star's best friend. Thank god nothing was printed and she never found out. But boy did i get it . anyway - in time i learned a few manner's that have not only led me up the ladder but have taught me to be respected.


Drop worring about your b/f friend. Tell your b/f he creeps you out and leave it at that. As long as this guy doesnt stalk you or something just tell yourb/f and drop it. Not worth the drama.


You are creating allot of this drama too. Get over it. Respect yourself, respect your b/f and move on with your life.


Like i said the - it took me sometime to figure out mannerisms when i was at a social event with celebrities , but now I am paid HIGHLY . So see I learned and i was a wreck!!!!!!!!! OH god i have some funny stories of the stuff i said and did!!!!!!!!!


Think positive - you will be just fine.

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First, I can understand his point of view, simply because he views the outings as a job function. So, it would be good to think of them as that.


Second, I would, if in your shoes, show him I was willing to work on it. Pick up a book on what to do in such situations and read it, let him see you reading it, and try to improve at it. Will you be perfect, probably not, but oputting in the effort for him should be worth a lot to him. (It's a gift like the letter.) I might read a few and could give you some suggestions, if you would like.


With regard to the gift, I would have been theorectical and suggested that the best gifts are all about the person receiving them, not always the price. (FWIW, my gf got expensive Italian designer stuff though, this year. Last year, her better gifts from me were cheaper though.) For example, last year, I got her a t-shirt from her university's bowl game a few days before the game. These took some effort, as the univ. and game were on the other side of the country. It was not the costs, but that I thought about what was perfect for her. So, my advice would be more theory that would hopefully lead him to a better decision.


With regard to the bf's friend busting moves, I think you did well. You took care of it without making a scene. And afterward, he was told. What else could you do and be tactful? Sounds like the bf was just complaining.

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I agree with Monetlesa's observation. I have to admit, when I read your topic I had a problem with how he talked down to you. I imagine you are going to accept it because he is in a high-powered position. A very attractive boyfriend to have. If he was any run-of-the mill guy you would have a say...wouldn't you?


I think you should have a say regardless...


Sure you made a mistake in putting on that lady's coat, but the way he talked to you was a bit much. It was exactly like you said, he was scolding you like a child.


I recommend you be more assertive with your boyfriend too. He shouldn't get away with talking to you like this even if he was the president.


There are better ways to say things... with more respect and consideration. You are not around these people all the time, you don't know what the "rules" are yet...he should be more understanding.

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