has anyone ever gone from being "soft as shit" to being confident and tougher? If so how did you do it?
I'm like a door mouse constantly worried about offending, upsetting, annoying etc - I talk so quietly people can't hear me. I get walked over right left and centre. Abusive men in particular see me coming a mile off.
I dream of being strong, assertive and confident. How do I do it??!
An assertiveness course? Or some CBT? There's probably a good book or two out there too.
Feminism made me toughen up a lot as I realised how I'd always felt intimidated by men and took on a 'fuck you' attitude. I had an issue of 'taking up space' so I forced myself to take up space and hold my head up high. It got easier the more I did it.
I did. My mother brought me up to be subservient to men in particular. Led to horrible times in early adulthood,
Having kids was what shifted things for me. I didn't want my kids - and DD in particular to get walked on. Finding my strength came though my kids. I became a lioness standing up for them. And that assertiveness has stayed with me.
Go to your GP and explain about being “constantly worried” - it’s a form of social anxiety, so you should be able to get referred for some CBT via your local IAPT service (in fact you can probably self refer - google IAPT). CBT for anxiety management can then include work on assertiveness. Good luck OP!
I think a large part of it is about self belief, believing that your opinion is equally as valid as everyone else's and it has a right to be heard. I became A LOT more assertive through a job I've had. It is uncomfortable at first, but I believe it can be done.
I've found Boundaries After a Pathological Relationship by Adelyn Birch to be immensely helpful. My ex was abusive and I needed to find out what it was about me that enabled him to treat me that way. I keep reading it - it only takes a half hour or so (bad memory!) and it makes me feel so much stronger.