Being assertive means we’re able to say what we want or need, without allowing anyone else to dictate what they want or need. When we communicate in an appropriate, honest, but open way, we are being assertive.
We must never allow judgments that are not our own, to become more important than our own thinking. As children, we often have little choice over others’ choices, without so much of a thought as to whether those choices would have been our own.
As a pleasing child, my parents assumed I would fall into line with their wishes, which made their parenting of me a lot easier. But in doing so I denied myself a voice; a voice to speak out, a voice that allowed others to know my thoughts and opinions, which formed part of my own personal growth.
As we continue to please, we eventually come to realise that pleasing others, can’t please us. When we consciously begin to make those connections; and understand why being pleasing doesn’t always help us, we eventually learn to change. After a while it becomes easier to understand how we can go about making those subtle changes.
When we eventually stop being so pleasing, sadly it won’t always meet with others’ approval. But that’s fine, it’s not meant to.
The following tips may be useful:
- We have the right to express our feelings on what we want, even if those feelings don’t tie in with someone else;
- It’s important to voice your own opinions and to speak out when you need to;
- It’s important for you to make our own mistakes; you need to be allowed to make them;
- We all have a right to say no to taking on responsibility for someone else, if that someone else is capable of being responsible for themselves;
- We are entitled to have our own thoughts and opinions;
- We do have a right to say no if we don’t want to do what is being asked of us;
- We shouldn’t have to seek approval of others to live our lives.
Others will always have their opinions, but it’s up to us to have an opinion for ourselves and not allow others to dictate the way they see us. We have a right to be assertive, so that we get to lives, as others will have a right to live their lives for themselves.