Perhaps like many other people, you think that assertiveness means being stroppy, aggressive, awkward or bossy.
If you're a withdrawn or shy person, and too accommodating to other people's needs, then the thought of being more visible and vocal might feel strange and even frightening to you.
Assertiveness is not about being either aggressive or passive.
It's about -
Feeling OK in your own skin and knowing that you have the right and responsibility to determine your own path in life, and to be treated with respect by others.
Stating your perception, thoughts, feelings, wants and needs in a clear and concise way.
Sharing your perspective and clarifying your boundaries about what is OK with you and what isn't.
Deciding what is best for you and expressing that without having to justify it to anyone.
Asking for more information, clarity and help when you need it.
It also includes changing your mind, asking for more time to complete a project, and asking for what you know you rightly deserve.
The process of assertiveness is:
A situation or event
Your inner self-talk about it
Your feelings and body sensations which accompany that self-talk
Your chosen response and behaviour
A basic framework for behaving assertively includes:
Start with the word 'I', and speak from your own point of view - such as I wonder, I'm curious, I'm confused.
Stating what you see and hear (your perceptions)
Sharing what you're thinking and feeling about that
Adding what you're imagining this all means (this is VERY important!)
How this then makes you feel
Clearly stating what you want and prefer to happen instead
The power of this structure is that no-one can deny what you are perceiving, thinking, imagining, feeling or preferring. Nor can they say that you're wrong.
You are simply stating your own truth and perspective.
You are saying 'this is what's going on for me and I'm sharing that with you'.
Assertiveness is very empowering, and a way of speaking up for the rights of the adult you are now, as well as the young child inside you who perhaps couldn't be assertive in the past.
Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy) MIND HEALER & MENTOR
www.maxineharley.com – Helping women to make peace with the past and to stop allowing an unhappy or abusive childhood from influencing their present and future. There's a page of FREE RESOURCES, self-help guides/courses, and Recovery From Toxic Parents coaching programmes.
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www.the-ripple-effect.co.uk -10 online self-help workshops of Psycho-Emotional-Education - to help you to understand and manage different aspects of you life
www.qpp.uk.com - A new paradigm in therapy - to review and revise your sub-conscious belief system and S.C.R.I.P.T.(c) ... Sub-Conscious-Rules-Influencing-Present-Time