If you are reading this, chances are that you are one of the millions of people who struggle with asserting themselves. Not only have you become accustomed to withholding your feelings and desires, you do not let people see your true self because of your fear of rejection or abandonment. This fear stems from your belief that you will not be loved or accepted if you tell the people around you what you think and how you truly feel.
You might have poor boundaries with people and let people take advantage of you. You might fear confrontation and become unsure of yourself while dealing with strong personality types.
The problem with not knowing how to be self-assertive is that you will often attract emotionally abusive, manipulative or narcissistic people.
Assertiveness has always had the stigma of someone being bossy, bitchy or not nice. The truth is, being assertive is the most self-loving thing you can do for yourself. Why you ask? Because it allows you to communicate to others what your standards are in relationships.
We are consistently showing everyone in our lives how we want to be treated by what we will tolerate.
People do not repeatedly treat us poorly or disrespect us without our consent. That is the reality of life. This is where you must take responsibility for your life. If you do not like people taking advantage of you then you must stop allowing it to happen.
That does not mean that we can control what other people do or say to us. We can however control how we respond to them and how we engage with them going forward.
Remember a shark never goes after a big fish. It always preys on a smaller creature or a dead one. That is why when it smells blood it goes after the already dead or weak pray.
If you are bleeding, have internal wounds that are not healed or have no boundaries then you are prime target for abuse!
When you first start taking responsibility for your life and your happiness you learn that in order to love yourself you MUST learn how to communicate your standards with others.
- KNOW YOUR BOUNDARIES
You have to know what you will and will not tolerate. Once you know that then you can become mindful of when your boundaries have been violated.
If you have a pretty good sense of self, then you will FEEL when a boundary has been violated. Always go by how you feel.
- COMMUNICATE YOUR BOUNDARIES
When you assert yourself with anyone you must speak clearly and with no anger or negative emotion attached to what you are saying.
Slow down your speech. You never want to rush what you are saying as if you rehearsed it. By slowing down your speech you give yourself time to think and calmly articulate what it is that you would like to say.
Stand up tall when you speak. By pushing your shoulders back and standing taller you will speak with more confidence.
Remember, it is ok to say “NO.”
- GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD
What I mean by this is that you must find the story that you are telling yourself that is preventing you from wanting to assert yourself. There is a story attached to fearing confrontation and being assertive that holds you back from asserting yourself and standing up against mistreatment. You must get to the root of that story and parent yourself through it in order to find your inner BADASS to stand up for yourself.
A technique that I often give to my clients is to pretend that you have an alter ego. Beyoncé calls her alter ego Sasha Fierce. Name yours and give it life. This is the person that loves you, has your back and will always stand by your side.
The fears that you have are just that fears. They are not real. You are on this journey towards real self-love and healthy relationships, but in order to achieve both you must learn how to stand up for yourself in a healthy way. I promise you the more you do this the easier it gets. Look at each interaction as a test.