Do you repress their voice and bottling up distress?
I’ve written a lot about assertiveness and this is because it is such a big issue in our culture especially for women. There are so few of us that seem to be able to be effectively assertive in our relationships and this creates a lot of problems. Assertiveness is about being able to set boundaries, say no and talk through conflict in a healthy way. I hear a lot about from women about how they are struggling to speak up for themselves in life especially with a difficult person or bully, often a family member that cannot be dealt with through pure avoidance.
So why do we struggle with this as women?
Well there are a few reasons. One is how we have been socialised – to be peace keepers, to please everyone and to keep them happy. And if we don’t fulfil this role we are risked being shamed as a ‘bitch’.
The other reason I think may be due to our feminine nature which can communicate quite indirectly as opposed to masculine bluntness/directness. This means sometimes our communication can be too subtle for some people to recognise. So we need to learn in some situations (especially with men!) to communicate in a more blunt and direct way to get our point across.
However to be assertive we first need to understand what we want. This requires us to listen to our own needs, wants and emotions. Things we can often bury in busyness and looking after everyone else. It requires some time and quiet reflection and some self -acceptance of – yes I feel this or I want that, and that’s ok!!!
Being assertive will improve your inner strength and self-confidence (and health) because you make a conscious choice about how you are going to respond to a person or situation, either verbally or through actions, rather than being at the mercy of your own annoyance.
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Love Honor xx