Throughout life we come across a series of crossroads. Some roads lead us to carry on the path we are currently on. Some paths lead us to new pastures, but non go backwards. We are continuing to move forwards with every new day that we are blessed with.
At these crossroads we realise that there are people or situations in our lives that we no longer resonate with. These could include your job, hobbies, friends or even family members. To walk away from these people/situations, if they are harmful to your growth and wellbeing, is you being authentic to who you are. Sometimes these situations are healed over time, when you give space for healing to occur. Other times the situations or relationships are not reconciled, because you know that for your own healing and wellbeing you cannot allow the cycle to continue.
So here comes the question that many people struggle with; 'I am happy without this situation/person in my life, but they are sad, what can I do?'
This may feel like a hard pill to swallow, but if you are constantly worrying about hurting others' feelings instead of being truthful to yourself, you are living your life passively instead of assertively. Sometimes speaking your truth will upset somebody else. That's their problem not yours.
Now I'm not talking about being aggressive and hateful and upsetting people with your 'truth'. That type of confrontation is driven by fear and the ego.
I'm talking about assertiveness. Assertiveness is when you confidently and positively express your opinions, ideas and talents. Someone may say to you "Will you help me with (xxx) tomorrow?"
If you can and you want to, by all means say yes. But what is the harm in saying no? You are allowed to say no. But so many will say yes just because they don't want to upset anybody. Living our lives this way will ultimately wear us out!
When you have the belief that you are equal to everyone else (not better or worse) but equal, you can then communicate from a
place of equality. Saying no to someone's demands, walking away from situations you find uncomfortable and declining to go to an event for example is totally acceptable!
If someone is making you feel as though you are wrong, or that you have upset or let them down, just because your answer didn't fit in with their expectation....then this person is not a true supporter in your life.
Don't let the fear of hurting somebody's feelings hold you back from being your true self. We don't have to be aggressive expressing who we are, but at same time we don't have tip toe around a person in case we upset them. If you speak your wants and needs clearly and assertively without aggressive tones, if others have a problem with that you'll know where to start walking to and where to start walking away from.
Tips on how to be assertive;
1) Use the word I in certain situations. For example aggressive language would be "you always do this!" Assertive language would be "I feel disappointed when you change plans at the last minute" you can express your feelings without giving away your power, or trying to control someone else.
2) Maintaining eye contact. Ok we don't want to have a full on freakish staring competition, but not having any eye contact shows discomfort and indecisiveness.
3) Practice good body posture. There are some medical reasons why this is difficult but I'm not talking about those certain situations. If you are able, standing tall rather than slouching will allow you to feel more assertive in yourself.
4) Avoid being vague. Saying "you're always criticising me" may seem the right thing to say in frustration but being generalised and not specific actually can damage your ability to be assertive. Instead saying "This is the third time this week you have critiqued my decision" is more specific and therefore helps you to stand your ground more. When we speak facts instead of random thoughts we can be more assertive and create boundaries with others.
5) Speak facts, not judgements. Saying "he's so bad at his job" is not an assertive way of describing a person that you have a issue with. Saying "this is the second time he has misplaced important documents" however, is a fact not a judgement. When you are assertive there is no need to judge others. But you can still bring up issues that need to be talked about.
6) Silence is a great tool. Filling in silences that you find awkward is something that so many of us have done, but thinking your words through before you speak is fine. If someone asks you "can you pick me up from the airport tomorrow" there are 3 ways you can answer.
Passive language "erm, I think I can, yes, ok that's fine"
Aggressive language "Are you kidding me! How come I'm always the one doing you favours? Or "ok I'll do it but you best be on time"
Assertive langue (pause to think) you could say; "I'll have to think about that" or 'yes' or 'no' depending on whether you can or cannot. It's a simple answer to a simple question.
7) Be mindful of the tone of your voice. Sometimes we may think we are being assertive but mumbling shows passive language and high pitched tones or raised voices show aggressiveness. Practice being assertive with a voice that is neutral.
8) Express your emotions clearly. This one is quite straight forward. If you communicate how you feel, crossed wires with others can be avoided.
9) You are responsible for yourself. Your behaviour and your personality is your responsibility. (Unless again you have a medical condition which is out of your control) but on the most part it is you that decides whether to let a person or situation control you, or whether you instigate arguments and drama. Staying assertive in these situations won't compromise the way you feel about yourself, and the way you treat others. Boundaries are healthy.
Alyssa is a Doreen Virtue certified angel card reader & Charles Virtue Certified spiritual teacher. She is a Holistic life coach specialising in helping others to be their true authentic selves. For more information about Alyssa's services; Including Emailed readings you can visit her website at; www.loveholisticangels.co.uk
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