Whether it’s your spouse, child, friend or boss, sometimes you have to hold back or risk leaving a flaming wreckage behind you that could take a lot of work to fix.
Or even worse, you could destroy an otherwise good relationship.
However, there are times when you should, when you must, stick up for yourself.
It’s not because you need to prove anything to anyone, rather it’s because not being assertive can make you more anxious than you already are.
Holding in emotions causes problems because it often leaves you with feelings of regret, anger, and frustration. But that’s not all.
Where do you suppose those unshared feelings go?
They go to your stomach, muscles, chest, or wherever, but they do go somewhere.
Regret, anger, and frustration, especially when they’re constantly absorbed, build up over time, and in the end, can leave you with physical symptoms like chest pain, heartburn, headache and so on.
The bottom-line is that physical symptoms like these cause a lot of anxiety and uncertainty.
Being more assertive can help you break this cycle by allowing you to stop the build up of negative emotions.
How to be Assertive
Being assertive isn’t a license to hurt people. The fact is, we can’t get away from the social rules we live under.
Instead, remember this: You can still be assertive in a constructive way.
For example, say someone is talking and talking and upsetting you with every word.
This might cause your back muscles to tense up, and you may even feel like you’re going to explode with anger, but then you swallow your feelings because you’re afraid to show how you really feel.
Thing is, you don’t have to swallow your emotions because it’s possible to share your feelings without being out of control.
Being assertive means being confident, direct, or bold. It doesn’t require aggression.
In this regard, it’s OK to show anger, as long as it’s controlled. That means not hurling personal insults, or talking about unrelated issues.
It also means expressing yourself effectively by talking only about the content of your conversation and not the approach someone uses to communicate their point.
When you stick to the facts it’s harder for people to escalate a situation.
So speak up for yourself, be calm, and be free from fear. This won’t guarantee that you’ll win every argument, or avoid all injustice, but it will go a long way toward allowing you to release the stress and anxiety that would have otherwise built up because of regret, anger, and frustration.
Do you have trouble being assertive?
Tell me about it in the comments below.