January 17, 2010

Bulk view

Learning assertiveness

I’m the youngest of three sisters. Both of my older sisters are adventurous and outgoing. I’m quieter and more reflective. I’d rather curl up with pen and paper than go partying. As a result, I’ve received lots of teasing about being square, listened to lots of unsolicited advice, and had to deal with my own sister spiking my drink. (I didn’t get drunk, but we did argue about that.)

Moving halfway around the world turned out to be great for individuation. (Talking to specialists is a great way to find out what jargon to look for!) I know myself better, and I can stick up for myself.

It’s incredibly liberating to be able to say, “No, I’m not going to <insert activity here>.” Repeatedly, if necessary. I could hear my imaginary Get-It-Done Guy and E-Counsellor cheer me on. I figured that it was worth the experiment, and it was. =)

Assertion is a key life skill. You need to assert yourself in order to protect free time, establish boundaries, negotiate, and do many other things. I’m glad I have these opportunities to learn and practice assertiveness in a relatively safe environment. It’ll be interesting to see how else assertiveness will be useful in life!

Any thoughts or tips on assertiveness? =)