This week’s episode is all about what assertiveness actually looks like, and most of that boils down to expressing ourselves in a mature, calm and thoughtful manner. It is the opposite of passive-aggressive or lashing out aggressive behavior. No snark and no slippery. Direct, calm and emotionally honest. Easy, right?
Well, as we have been talking about lately, it’s easier if you grew up in a healthy enough family where emotional honesty and directness were taught and modeled. If not, then there’s certainly a learning curve ahead. A doable curve, yet one that will take some thorough self-honesty and lots of practice. Here are a few things you can start focusing on to get you on the road (or back on track) to assertiveness.
- No Unresolved Yuk – Make sure you have worked through your feelings about the situation first, and have grieved to acceptance for the most part before you ask for what you need or set that boundary. Putting emotion out there for THEM to do something about your feelings can be manipulative, and probably bring on some unhealthy conflict full of lashing out and defensiveness. This solves nothing! Remember the phrase…
“If you’re not peaceful you’re not ready.”
- Validate Validate Validate – Remember how I talk about first validating yourself, so you don’t need to DO the above? Take you out and put another wonderful person in your place, what might they be feeling – and why?
“Of course” “No wonder” “Anyone would feel ________ because…”
This is so key because acting out is wanting others to validate our truth. If we do this for ourselves, which is what needs to happen anyways. We don’t need to leak out feelings. We can simply state them in a thoughtful way, and maybe even validate theirs! We can get it down to our bottom line without all the drama.
- Label the Fear First – So much fear goes into our struggle to just say what we mean, mean what we say “and don’t say it mean” as the saying goes. Fear of their reaction. Fear of not sounding right – of not doing it right. Real fear from past experiences where it went very wrong when you were vulnerable.
So remember, No snark. No innuendo. Just your emotionally honest truth that you have taken the time alone to figure out and create your bottom line. Keep the focus on you not them. Then let go. They are now in a place of choice, which is the healthiest place to be. Learning to let go of outcomes is everything when asserting ourselves. Have a listen for more…