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...to ask for advice on how to be more assertive?

(12 Posts)
MsRhettButler Wed 17-Jun-15 15:57:19

Hello smile

I'm more of a lurker than a poster, but I need advice on..well, on standing up for myself, so who better to ask than you lovely MNers. grin

Without going into detail (because it's quite a trivial issue really), I'm getting sick of some people in my life expecting me to be permanently on call for whenever they feel like interacting with me. We do have a regular time to meet up to get something to eat, but I've been left hanging one too many times only for them to turn up an hour late and expect me to still be there waiting for them.

I want to make it clear that I'm not a doormat, that I'm not willing to accommodate them messing me around time-wise, but I'm not really a confrontational person. I also struggle very badly with social anxiety, and while I'm doing my best to overcome this I still struggle with confidence issues, and I don't really feel like I'm worthy of asserting myself. sad

I'm still a student, and I don't want my whole working life ahead of me to be defined by me not being able to stick up for myself when I need to. Yes this is trivial, but if I can sort this it'll be the first step towards being a lot more confident.

I'm sorry for the dull and quite trivial post. I'm happy to elaborate more if needed (I'm not being vague for any reason other than to not bore you!). Thanks. smile

MsRhettButler Wed 17-Jun-15 15:59:50

Sorry, I forgot to add - when I've stood up for myself in the past, I've often been met with an amused response from people who see me as very meek and quiet. How do I stop this from making me crawl even further back into my shell? sad

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 17-Jun-15 16:01:33

First, I would pick one person/thing to try it out on. You could even let them know, "I'm trying to be more assertive and communicate better. I'm going to try it out on you. Thanks.". So that people don't think you're being weird and they are way more likely to support you with this.

Then pick the 'hill you will die on'. Something you won't put up with. Set a boundary for yourself and stick to it. So, you will leave after 15 minutes if the other person doesn't turn up. See what happens. No excuses, apologising or explaining.

ginslinger Wed 17-Jun-15 16:09:11

I agree with MrsTerryP and would add that you shouldn't apologise or go in for lengthy explanations. if you leave after 15 mins for instance and are challenged simply say that you turned up, they didn't, you heard nothing so decided to go. Don't be unpleasant, stick to facts.

ginslinger Wed 17-Jun-15 16:10:09

I didn't read MrsTerry properly so I've basically copied what she said grin

MsRhettButler Wed 17-Jun-15 16:20:50

Thank you both! I was thinking of sticking to the 15 minute boundary, so I'm glad you've both encouraged that.

As nervous as I am, I'm quite excited to hopefully regain a bit of dignity. grin

ginslinger Wed 17-Jun-15 16:29:38

I hope it all works out for you - the first time is hard but you'll be great

Sijeunessesavait Wed 17-Jun-15 16:30:15

There's an excellent book by Anne Dickson called A Woman in Your Own Right which you might find helpful. It looks as though it may be out of print but available second hand www.amazon.co.uk/Woman-Your-Own-Right-Assertiveness/dp/0704334208

You are worthy of asserting yourself flowers

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 17-Jun-15 16:36:58

Trying really simple things first can work. Being assertive gets addictive after a while!

Good luck.

lilacblossomtime Wed 17-Jun-15 16:37:19

If you know someone assertive use them as a role model when deciding what to do in a situation. Remember you don't have to be confrontational and aggressive, be polite but firm.

Spell99 Wed 17-Jun-15 16:41:51

I would suggest not trying to be assertive, just be clear about telling people how you feel. Same words better tone and better result. If your honest the people who care will adjust behaviour. To those that don't you can then be clear about what you will and wont do. Its easier once you start he conversation.

You do have to find a method that works for you though.

MsRhettButler Wed 17-Jun-15 16:46:05

Thank you all for the brilliant advice, I'll report back with how it goes. You're all too lovely, I didn't expect this sort of response. smile

Sij, that book looks fantastic - I've just found a revised edition on Amazon which I've added to my list of things to buy. Thank you!

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