Being Assertive

You go, Ned! You let out that misplaced anger!

When we’re children it’s all about

Look at me!

Mine, mine!

Gimme, gimme!

Listen to me, I’m most important!

Give it back,  you never asked if you could have it!

Then through life we’re taught to share, to respect others, to consider the world around us.

Now as an adult, I look around at that world and  think –  you’re right, my time isn’t more important that that persons, it’s less important.

When did this happen? I’m not talking about putting my kids first, or self-sacrifice, or helping family, a friend, a neighbour. I’m talking about when I’m unhappy with being unassertive, and I repress my anger until it manifests into unhealthy behaviours.

Assertiveness isn’t synonymous with aggressiveness and selfishness. To be assertive is to also respect the needs and beliefs of those around you while standing up for your personal rights.

Some people have an innate ability that allows them to relish putting others first. I’m not saying that’s unhealthy.  But I know I need to assert myself when my anger becomes misplaced. It’s when I snap at someone for breathing on me when I didn’t ask them to, or when I want something done a certain way – even though it doesn’t really matter how it’s done.

It’s when I try to take control of an unrelated situation because I feel I don’t have control anywhere else.

That’s when I have to recognise that I need to assert myself – that my time is just as important as someone elses.

If I don’t stand up and assert myself, no-one else will.

Not everyone is taught to consider others from childhood. There are people out there that will keep taking – without asking.



3 thoughts on “Being Assertive

  1. Oh boy! Assertiveness is so difficult but definitely necessary (at least for my sanity). Some people have no problem with being assertive, but it’s a struggle for me. I wasn’t even aware that I ought to have my own “boundaries” until a couple of years ago. I kind of just let people walk all over me, because that’s the nice thing to do, right? And of course, that leads to situations like Ned’s misplaced anger. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve argued with my husband about something trivial, but the real, underlying argument was about something else entirely, and I didn’t even realize it. At least, we’re learning, right?

    • Yep, you’re either a door mat or a door man/door person. You let them walk right over you, or they earn the right into your life. I still feel extremely guilty when I assert myself. But I think like alcoholism, identifying it is the first step. Now, wheres that wine..

      • You’re right that identifying it is the first step. Too bad that’s not the only step. 😛

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