Being assertive so that you have your needs met is an essential human right, so its important to know how-to because it’s an essential key in how to do life, if life were a verb. It affects your quality of life, your self-esteem, how you interact with others, your appreciation of others alongside your willingness to embrace any bravery that may be required of you.
I have a close younger relative who comes across as super-confident in herself, she speaks up and sometimes it gets her into scrapes. It’s wonderful to have it from the get-go and learn how to tweak it as you go, after all the world isn’t your family. As self-expression is right up there as one of the greatest presents a child can develop in themselves especially in finding their way in the world.
Make me confident
If we go about life wishing we’d done this and that and instead wind up to fitting in with others because of that thing called me think REM “that’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight” – Michael Stipe) not wanting to make a fuss or even be noticed, then we need to ask ourselves the question? Is that really living or merely existing.
Life is to be engaged with full on and by that we’re talking about being in your life, rather than existing on the periphery of it and just going through the motions. Some folk are raised to believe it’s rude to comment or assert yourself, because children should be seen and not heard, but people confuse assertion with aggression and bad manners.
How can being taught to hide possibly serve the same child when as a grown adult they have to make a way in the world, and to do so need to unlearn all this earlier stuff, or forever remain subservient?
This is when we force ourselves on others, and omit to take others feelings into account with many variations on the theme:
- Some people are passive-aggressive and spend their time complaining to others about something but when an opportunity arises to speak up, they won’t or become overly aggressive unintentionally
- Some people get their way in life by using manipulation or try to get others on side privately by seeming to confide while simultaneously having a different view when in company where you become the fall-guy
- Some people have to have a say in everything, control being their thing, they will often dismiss the suggestions of others preferring their ideas, because it feels safer
Families are prone to this through parental control, which understandably begins when children arrive, it’s such a delicate balance and of course there is no manual! But it’s increasingly being acknowledged that our words, deeds and actions do have an impact, so we owe it to ourselves to become the best of who we can be, and I think its safe to say that we’re always a work-in-progress.
This is when we have a voice and use it appropriately. For example when friends are making arrangements to meet, some speak up with suggestions, while others say they’re easy about it. And of course we can all be flexible when something isn’t that imperative to us.
But if the same friend is always easy about things, then it’s an indication they have not found their own voice, which in turn may suggest that other people and their events run their life, being pushed and pulled in different directions as the wind blows. And sometimes that same person may have to be quite decisive in other compartments of their life too.
About 18-mths ago Paul McKenna released his book on Instant Confidence and I got it for a friend, who has difficulty getting her head around the idea of digging deeper. She really enjoyed it and has noticed an improvement in her confidence, you might want to check it out and try it, maybe you prefer to use these sorts of tools in the comfort of your own home, although I offer a personalized MP3 hypnosis recording if that idea floats your boat.
Paul McKenna is one of the leading Hypnotherapists in the UK although he now resides in the USA due to the initial enticement of a television show on the Discovery Channel where he’d be allowed to hypnotise the audience directly into their own living rooms (as it were) which is against broadcasting rules here in the UK, unfortunately!
There are a number of reasons why people don’t speak up. Firstly, as we’ve shown it’s not necessarily taught growing up, some of us learned it by osmosis, some of us didn’t and had to get ourselves onto courses and what-not. As an adult we may be introverted and shy, not wanting to rock the boat, or draw attention, and of course there is a responsibility in voicing unpopular opinions within households (especially the family realm) where views may be deemed unacceptable anyway, so again we have to wait until we’re outside of that environment before we can.
However the biggest drawback is that it takes that much longer to learn about ourselves and what makes us tick. Knowing these important things allows us to make much better choices in life, including career, life partner, and from there stems a myriad of others. Everyone in the free world has a political and moral right to be heard, it’s part of the constitution.
Step up to the mark
PS – Directing your own destiny begins by arranging a quick 15-min chat which kick-starts having more energy to develop what you really, really want.