Post # 1
Random post, but I have realised lately that I am unhappy a lot of the time due to my lack of assertiveness and that I am a people pleaser! I often find myself apologising for things that aren’t my fault and saying yes when I mean no, which leads to exhaustion and frustration.
Any tips? I find that if I say no I worry that I have upset somebody or that they are annoyed at me and then the pressure of that worry becomes greater than the annoyance of just doing what they wanted. Like I can’t sit comfortably with the possibility I have annoyed somebody.
I am having particular problems with my MIL who I am scared of as she has a bullying personality.
Thank you x
Post # 3
@Mrsluckywife: I’m mostly commenting to follow. I’m a pretty big people pleaser too and know exactly what you mean when you say you find yourself frustrated and exhausted. I think I’ve gotten a bit better over the years from a combination of increasing my confidence and honestly, I find in work situations especially, I just don’t have the time to be passive. I think assertiveness is like any other skill… practice makes perfect. It may feel uncomfortable the first few times, but eventually you’ll get more used to it.
Post # 4
@futuremrs1986: Yes I am trying to start with small steps and build it up. It’s funny because in some situations/with some people I can be assertive, and other times I find it so difficult.
Post # 5
Here are three articles that might help:
In the comments for the article from the third link (A Life on Your Terms), there is a comment from a user called “Guido” that makes some very good points and has some very helpful information. I suggest reading that comment, even if you don’t read all, or any, of the main post.
You could also Google or search “how to stop being a people pleaser”, or something to that effect, to find more articles and tips.
Post # 6
- Wedding: June 2014 - British Columbia
@Mrsluckywife: Aw, if more people were like you, the world would be a much more compassionate place!
Stop apologizing. That’s a good start. If you’re struggling with this part, turn your apologies into something constructive, such as: “I’m sorry you feel this way” then explain why you disagree. State the behaviour; don’t make it subjective about the person.
Be honest when it comes to dealing with your MIL.
When you WANT TO disagree, say something like, “I like that idea, BUT …”
Validate that others are smart and intelligent, but persuade and influence others so that they buy into your ideas. I hope that makes sense?
Post # 7
@Mrsluckywife: I believe that society in general has a huge misconception and misunderstanding of the differences between Aggression and Assertion. The latter is so often mistaken for the former. Begin becoming an assertive and straightforward person, and your life will truly change!
start small. Make statements instead of asking questions. “I’d like a Venti mocha frappe” instead of “hi can I have a Venti mocha frappe…” Practice this WHEREVER you go!
“Please and thank you, excuse me, I respectfully disagree”….are all simple statements that go A LONG WAY and need no explanations.
Practice apologizing ONLY when and if it is necessary. Before the words escape your mouth, ask yourself “am I responsible for….”
A mindset that “I am JUST as important as anyone else” is healthy. Not, “I am MORE important…” What can I offer those around me? What am I justifiably and reasonably entitled to? What tone is being set by those I’m speaking and interacting with? If it’s negative or if I’m being intimidated, how can I turn that around? Positive IIIIIII statements, that’s how.
And one of my favorite reminders to myself…”what makes me think I am special enough to over come
(fill in the blank)” chances are I’m not a special exception to anything. But I CAN and Will stay in control of myself, and my reactions and what comes out of my mouth.
If every move you make in life is driven by a healthy and balanced self-esteem, which we all struggle with in certain situations and around certain individuals, then your interactions will be smoother and much more enjoyable.
point is, try incorporating all of these mindsets into your daily life and begin practicing them. Soon you’ll find that you’re gaining respect and accomplishing the things you want in life a little more effortlesy, and without any GUILT.
Post # 8
@Rhopalocera: Super helpful ideas – thanks!
@Cynderbug: Aah thank you , and that definitely makes sense!
@Sweetjennygirl: Love those tips, especially the one about stating something as opposed to asking. I have noticed with myself that if I don’t act assertively enough I get so frustrated inside that it can turn into aggresion.