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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Working hard to be Assertive....still.....

I love it when people contact me after they have read my blog, it helps me convince myself that I am just not writing into the big black hole of the Internet.

The most popular blog it seems have been those on topics such as dealing with an abusive partner and feeling like prey. For this I am eternally grateful, as after spending 5 years with an abusive toad, I am keen to get the message out that we really need to learn to love ourselves first. I would like to first of all, send a big hug to those who are suffering from any type of abusive behaviour, and let you know that you are worth more. Really you are, and you are a fabulous, amazing person. Don’t just nod your head and receive it, believe it!

It's been a good week for me so far, but one of the things I try hard to do in my life is be assertive. For me, it is not something which comes naturally, but over the years, I am learning that the cost of NOT being assertive and building on my self esteem, hurts me more. Particularly when I build up resentment inside and have rather vindictive thoughts about what I would do to the often unsuspecting person who has ruffled my feathers. See my blog regarding “Swallowing Poison”.

So today, I thought I would share with you a few of my favourite concepts, which help me on my assertive path and put appropriate boundaries in place when dealing with poor behaviour from other people.
On the whole, most of us attempt to be kind and loving people, treating people the way we ourselves want to be treated.

However, being a nice person does not guarantee that other people will treat you the same. It is often a difficult lesson to learn that some people will bully, manipulate and take advantage if you if they can. I often hear clients complaining that they are treated like a doormat – to this I reply ‘People will only treat you like a doormat if you let them’.

As previously mentioned, having once held myself prisoner in a toxic relationship of emotional abuse and verbal abuse, for over 5 years, I know how important it is for each and every one of us to never allow another person to walk all over us. However, at this time in my life, I wasn’t clear on how I DID want others to treat me, nor was I clear on what was NOT acceptable behaviour to me. This is where writing my own personal bill of rights came in. I started by writing down a few basic guidelines such as:

1) I will not allow anyone to yell at me

2) I will not allow someone to continually put me down

3) I will not allow anyone to verbally abuse me

4) I will not allow someone to continually take their anger out on me

5) I will not allow other people to ignore my feelings or belittle my beliefs

I also included in my list what I have the right to!

1) I have the right to express my opinions and beliefs

2) I have the right to say Yes or No for myself

3) I have the right to say ‘I don’t understand’

4) I have to right simply to be myself without having to act for other people’s benefit

5) I have the right to decline responsibility for other people’s problems

When we become clear on what is NOT acceptable to us, we can teach people how to treat us – as it is really up to YOU not to allow yourself to be on the receiving end of poor treatment.

The fact is:

• Some people are toxic and there is nothing you can do to change them

• It is OK to release people from your life who are not supportive and kind

• It is acceptable to walk away from someone if they continually make you unhappy

• Some people are simply not good for you and you need to protect yourself

Raising your self esteem and having clear boundaries in place to teach people how to treat you, really is a self loving act and although it can be very scary or uncomfortable at first, the benefits far outweigh the discomfort.

Good luck!

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