Being assertive is NOT being bossy or selfish. Being assertive is knowing what you need for self-care and being able to create effective boundaries. It is having the confidence to speak up in the face of injustice. The world needs the gentle and sensitive people to be assertive. I feel we need these voices now more than ever.
Traveling from passive to assertive is a journey. On that journey your relationships will change, they have to, because they are founded on you being passive. Being passive is biting your tongue, staying quiet to avoid the inevitable conflict and often becoming exhausted and being taken advantage of.
Know that the relationships that can tolerate you having and advocating for your needs will survive, and those that can’t may need to be re-evaluated. Your needs ARE valid. Advocating for your needs means that in the long run you will be coming from a cup full place rather than a cup empty place. You will have more energy for the really important things.
As I became more assertive, I found that my relationships actually improved. I was not left feeling resentful that I ‘had’ to do this or that. I would simply state that I didn’t want to and offer alternatives. At first the other people didn’t like it, but they soon got used to it and our relationships improved.
It can be frightening as we start on the journey into assertiveness.
Start slowly. Be courageous.