11 Feb I’d like to be more assertive…if that’s ok with you
When it comes to assertiveness I’m one of life’s fannies.
I learned this week that assertiveness lies smack bang in the middle of being passive and being aggressive. It is the mental middle ground you want to be in in a fight or flight situation where you don’t sit back and allow something you’re not happy with, nor do you confront it aggressively or unreasonably, losing all control of the situation.
That’s the science bit folks.
Why was i researching this (and not illness or armageddon) I hear you ask?
I realised after 34 years that I’m horribly passive.
Over time, for the sake of an easy life I have found myself bending to suit everyone and everything thinking this will make me happy. It didn’t and it doesn’t.
Let me give you some examples.
High school……8 years ago (?). I had had the same best friend from nursery school. We were peas in a pod. As time went on though, she made a larger group of friends and rightly so because she was vivacious and a wonderful person and she exuded confidence. I was a small circle of trust and I just didn’t fit in with this large gaggle of big personalities. I just kinda let her go.
Tesco today, baby sleeping in my car. I went towards the mother and baby bays only for the car in front to pull in the last one and for the driver to hop out and walk off with her invisible triplets, I drove up beside her and put down my window only to choke on the angry words. What if she had a really good reason for needing it? I don’t want to ruin her day. I could have kicked myself later. She might have just been visited my Aunt Flo and been in a tampon shopping emergency.
I’m the master of the retrospective diss. Oh I ruined her with my vicious internal tongue.
I’ve found I’m the same in every area of life except with my kids. I’d think nothing of marching into school to tear any bullies a metaphoric new one.
In business I thrive on the customer service aspect, perhaps for this very reason. I like making sure everyone is happy. If they’re happy I’m happy.
In my private life I’m a people pleaser. I will agree to nights out knowing full well I won’t go because I’d rather suffer a short burst of a friend’s disappointment that 3 weeks of a simmering undertone of resentment. I’m the ultimate let down. I hate that about myself.
Now as you will already know if you have read my blogs I’m fine to admit that I’ve sought help for anxiety issues previously. I’m currently having CBT as a result of everything that happened with Esmé and to help me to understand what it is that is making me feel anxious still.
The lady I’m seeing had my cards marked on our first meeting.
By the end of our hour she had noted that my self esteem was causing me massive issues. I had lost confidence in myself since walking away from the impressive job titles and focusing on the baby for months and I had become passive to situations I found myself in. I was letting things wash over me instead of dealing with them and I needed to learn how to be able to speak my mind without fear of repercussions or being over mindful of others feelings.
I’m gonna have to work on this. I fear others reactions from my honesty and there are very few friends I can be me with. I also think there is a fine line between being assertive be rude and I’m not comfortable with walking that tightrope. I’ve never felt the need to be a bitch to get ahead in business.
Ironically being so agreeable is making me bloody miserable. I fear I may have a psychotic episode one day as a result of truth constipation. I guess some may find it weird that I can blog very honestly but it seems different somehow. Maybe this is all that lies between me and a naked mental breakdown at the school gates.
So I’m gonna give this assertiveness a go on the basis that life is far too short to spend it frustrated with unspoken words.
**As this is an archive blog, time has moved on a little and I too have changed. Yes i’m still at my happiest when pleasing others but my reluctance to stand up for myself had a huge impact on our lives.
These days I take pleasure from spending time with the brutally honest rather than those spouting sugar coated bullshit.
I’ve never had that much of a sweet tooth anyway.