Edited by Olivia, Eng, Maria
Fanny Brice, a popular American comedian during the 1960's once said: "Let the world know you as you are, not as you think you should be, because sooner or later, if you are posing, you will forget the pose, and then where are you?" Makes perfect sense, don't you think?
How many times have you said "yes" to someone just to conform? How many times have you agreed, when you should have said otherwise? How many times have you felt uncomfortable, yet you went on agreeing to someone's wishes? How difficult assertiveness can be?
To assert yourself is to show your willpower, to be decisive. It is not conforming to what others want. When you assert yourself, you are determined, you have a purpose and most of all, you are firm. But how hard can it be?
People You Cannot Say No To
Relatives Siblings, Brood, Parents
Indeed, It is quite difficult to deny your kids when they want a new pair of shoes to match that ridiculous outfit. As a brother or sister you simply cannot bring yourself to say no to your younger kin. This is most probably of a deeper connection or bond between you and your relatives or family, but there is a fine line between what you can and cannot do. Remember, you can only do so much.
A common issue with teenager, right? How many nights have you spend waiting for your kid to go home after telling you he cannot turn down a friend's invitation? You cannot blame him, you yourself have the same problem not long ago. Peer pressure, is something that you cannot grow old without passing. But like any other relationship, you have to define your boundaries and limitations. Real friends respect each other, you know.
Boss, Supervisor, and Authority
Now, how can you say no to the Boss? How can you even begin to say that it is your son's birthday that you cannot go with him to a boy's night out? It roots from that small fear that it might just be taken against you. How many sexual overtures have you forgo just because he is the boss?
All the above mentioned people in one way or another, know their power over you. You might have been known to be the person who goes with the flow, afraid to ruffle some feathers. But have you tried to sit down and think the consequences of your acquiescence?
What did you Lose?
While you did enjoy the Boss' company, you lost the opportunity to show your kid that you value his special day. While you complacently let the boss have his way with you, you are in a way, wasting time with a boss who does not respect you. Time is something that we cannot bring back. We cannot pay it with gifts or spending the whole day with them the next day, especially children. They grow very fast. It would not be long that he would not want to spend special occasions at home and would opt to be with friends.
You know deep inside that the shoes your kid's been bugging you about will cost you your 5 days worth of salary, yet you give in. As such, you have to look for ways on how to come up with that amount of money that should have paid for that computer set that your brood needs to have at home.
How to Assert Yourself
If someone asks you a favor, you can say that you will think it over. If they are persistent, you can say that if you do take time to decide and that if you decide now, it would probably be a no. And even after thinking, it's still a no, then call or send an SMS. This is especially applicable if you cannot deny the person's wishes when you are talking face-to-face. Well, if the decision is ordering food, you don't have to think it over, especially if its already lunch time!
If there is really no way for you to go or give in, then just go ahead and say no. If the person ask why, then honestly tell why. You would most probably have a logical reason to say no, so say it! And if there is no reason other than the fact that you don't want, you can always invent one. Do not limit yourself to hiding. There are many reasons out there. You just have to be creative.
You most probably have experienced being stood up or promised something that was not given, like a partner did not showed up at the last minute. Perhaps, you have had some experience with a room mate who sees you as the cleaner. Of course, you would not want to hurt the person's feelings. But you have to say what's on your mind or you would feel rotten everyday you do the chore. Start with stating that you do understand that she's too tired to really clean or his reason for not showing up as expected. Then state your reasons and the effort you did at your end. Simply end that you want them to deliver what they promise.
You are fuming and you really want this person to comply but he did not. This usually happens at work. Someone did not deliver his work on time or as expected and you end up rushing to beat the time. You may be a supervisor but you don't want your staff to fear you so you let them do their work at their own pace, as along as it is finished on time. This kind of assertion do not call for the kind supervisor. It calls for the upfront supervisor. So you can just simply say, that the next time he does not deliver, you will be forced to implement a sanction of some kind. Of course, you consult the company manual first before doing so.
Some people do not realize the harm they've done unless explained. They may not see it your way, that to explain what happened after their failure to do something is needed. This will help them realize their fault and shortcomings. They may not be entirely aware of what happened and if you don't react, they might think that it's okay - meaning, they can continue on failing to do whatever is expected of them.
There are varied ways to assert yourself. It is not entirely dependent on saying no. Some people easily understand when you say no. But with people who've known you your whole life may need a different tactic altogether. Whatever your response to their request is entirely up to you. Just make sure that whatever your decision, answer, request or message delivered to that person, you would feel better afterwards knowing you've stand up for what you want and believe in.