Thursday, September 15, 2016

STRESS FREE LIFE: Learning to be Assertive



Do you often find yourself doing what others want you to do? Or do you put the needs of others first? Being assertive is sometimes the hardest thing for women to achieve. We are nurturers by nature; and we hate to disappoint people or make others unhappy. We don’t feel comfortable saying “no.” Many times we rush through life doing a host of activities we don’t even like to do.

I can truly admit that I really didn’t become assertive until I started to work and joined the 70 percent of women who worked outside the home. My children were little and my time was valuable. And there were only so many hours in the day. Learning to be assertive was not easy, especially when it meant doing or saying things that others may not have viewed favorably. 

Learning to stand up for your rights by learning to say “no” to activities you don’t want to do—whether it’s volunteering for a project, working overtime, or baking ten dozen cookies for a bake sale—is the only way to learn how to express your true feelings. When you think about it, being assertive is a way of protecting yourself and your health, and allowing yourself to be the master of your own life. 

Assertive people don’t let others take advantage of them and aren’t afraid to let go of the nagging feeling that “they have let someone down.” They have overcome the guilt and belief that people will think unkind thoughts if they don’t cave in to the pressures and demands asked of them

And once you’ve taken the first step—once you said the first no, it’s a liberating feeling that makes the second “no” even easier. Doesn’t everyone deserve a more stress free, healthy life?

2 comments:

  1. It took me well into my 40s before I started to assert myself and my own desires. I sometimes still find it difficult. Once in a while it's just that I don't FEEL like doing such-in-such, but others try to guilt me into it. Or a group wants to walk inside at lunch instead of outside when it's a glorious fall day (I pick walking outside, alone if I have to). There are other things too...going to events I have no interest in (I say 'no thank you') and other simple things. You can do all this without being mean. If people don't respect your choice or decision, then perhaps it would be best to leave them behind.

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  2. Great insight, Karen. I agree that sometimes you do have to "walk away" and leave people behind. The older I get, the more assertive I've become. I guess age had its advantages!

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