I was a people pleaser. I used to go out of my way to please everyone as a child. I know it was the reason behind my search for acceptance, but in hindsight it didn’t do me any favours.
But what started as a kind gesture on my part, became a habit to everyone else. What’s more, it seemed contagious because it didn’t stop with one person. I wasn’t assertive enough.
Just because someone isn’t good at saying no, it doesn’t mean others should take advantage of those people. It doesn’t put those others, in a good light.
As soon as we decide to change our perceptions, our attitude will change. As we begin to become assertive, things can begin to change. It is our attitude that sets the tone on how things will go.
The more positive and assertive we are, the less likely others will take advantage, and the more we will stand up for ourselves. And although confidence plays its part too, a permanent change of attitude may be necessary.
As I began to reflect on my circumstances and the bigger picture, I began to perceive my experiences differently. Issues began to feel easier and I began to feel more in control. My spiritual beliefs had a lot to do with the process, also. We must challenge ourselves to work through our own set of circumstances.
The following suggestions may be useful to those who struggle with being assertive:
- Express your feelings, even if your feelings don’t concur with someone else’s;
- Say what you feel when you need to;
- If others are capable of being responsible for themselves, you have a right to say ‘no’ to taking on responsibility for them;
- You are entitled to have your own thoughts and opinions;
- You have a right to say ‘no’ if what you’re being asked isn’t something you want to do;
- You don’t need to seek approval from others;
- It’s okay to have your own opinions and not allow others to dictate the way they see you.
We all have a right to be assertive, in the same way others may choose to be assertive for themselves.