I used to be of the mind that change was something undertaken as a last resort, when nothing else seemed to be working. I am glad to report I have a different point of view on this subject, now. Yes, I have changed my thinking on this whole matter of change. The change I am referring to is happening inside of me, to me, for me, and is aimed at releasing the “me” that has always been here. It has been the “me” that I have kept tightly sealed somewhere deep inside for a very long time.
As this “me” emerges there are, undoubtedly, going to be those around me who are caught off guard, bent a little out of shape, or simply decide they can’t possibly deal with it at all. I have carried a self-resentment for years because I felt the need to keep certain aspects of my personality in a lock-box. I tried hard to be accommodating to the point that people around me felt it was all right to take advantage of my good nature and seeming lack of assertiveness. This invariably sent me to a position of some degree of disadvantage and resultant anger, as people thought I was giving them an open invitation to use me as a doormat and impose their will and philosophy on me. When the anger boiled over, most folks were not comfortable and tended to run for the hills.
It turns out that I actually possess my own will and philosophy; my own thoughts and feelings; my own sense of right and wrong. It turns out that, with the help of a handful of very caring people, I have discovered where I had all this buried, and how to bring it all back to the surface from the depths. These folks have allowed me to discover and acknowledge how, where, and when I got my philosophy, my thoughts, my feelings, my sense of right and wrong, and my ability to weigh things fairly and equally. They allowed me to discover where all that was hidden and that it was all right to fetch it and bring it all to the surface once again. They allowed me to reach back and discover when I had enjoyed these personality attributes to their fullest, and allowed me to accept the idea that it was a good thing to let these attributes see the light of day once again.
With a lot of help and support, I have allowed myself the luxury of becoming clean and sober. I have allowed myself to become free of psychotropic drugs. These newfound freedoms have made it possible to finally assert myself and stand up for what I want and need. I have a new respect for the eighteen, or so, inches around me, which is all I have the ability and right to control. I have let go of the idea that what others think, feel, or do has anything to do with me, what I am able to control. People make their own decisions, and no one else has any real or perceived control over that. Therefore, what anyone may think about me, I have absolutely no control over. What I do have is control over the way I act, react, and conduct my own life, and I am learning that that alone can be a full-time job. With that in mind, I consider myself to be fully employed. I accept the premise that change is good.
some ways to demonstrate assertiveness:
- no more acceptance of rude, bigoted, politically ridiculous, factually inaccurate emails and/or statements to your face
- no saying yes simply for the reason of “making nice” with other people; if your real answer is no, say no
- immediate vocal disagreement with anything directed at you that you don’t like, or believe in.
- honesty, over trying to smooth over any situation; even if that honesty doesn’t sit well with others
- no expectations of anyone ever agreeing with you on anything; what matters most to you is what you think and feel, not what anyone else thinks, or feels about you.
- You only control your own space; make good use of it
- show empathy when needed; but, not to the point anyone perceives you as weak
- never fear stating who you are, what you think, and how you feel
- tone the anger and aggression down to an assertive level not to be mistaken as a personality flaw to be exploited, or abused