Learning to be Assertive Can be a Fun Life Adventure
After the police urged me to run away from my husband he got custody of our children and I was ordered to undergo counseling.
When I arrived for my first session, nervous and afraid I would be labeled as insane, I received the gift of guidance. At the end of my first session, the counselor told me I was doing well and said she had a handout for me. I nervously took the sheet of paper and then laughed after I saw the title.
It was titled, “Ten Things To Do To Be More Assertive”. I laughed because I knew I let others walk all over me and because I was relieved that she didn’t think I had a mental illness.
Reading the suggestions on that sheet of paper made me cry. I resisted that it was healthy for me to stand up for myself. I fought the idea that being assertive would make me manipulative or pushy. I dreaded the day I would have to speak up for myself.
Now that I am three years out from that time I can honestly say becoming more assertive has been a blessing to me and my children. I have learned to stand up for myself and others while remaining kind and loving. I still have a lot to learn and will always face the challenge to be true to myself.
Recently, I recorded a podcast on this topic which I will share below. I hope you find it useful if being assertive is something you struggle with. I read the handout my therapist gave me and share my thoughts and examples of how to be more assertive.
Here is a list of “rights” that were included in my handout.
You have the right to ask for what You want.
You have the right to say no to requests or demands you can’t meet.
You have the right to express your feelings, positive or negative.
You have the right to change your mind.
You have the right to make mistakes and not have to be perfect.
You have the right to determine your own priorities.
You have the right not to be responsible for others’ behavior, actions, feelings, or problems.