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Katie Black
11-07-2011, 10:51 PM
Are you assertive?...I wish I was more assertive...I am so tired of coming home and telling myself what I should have said and then going over it all in my head until I'm exhausted...life is so much better if you can be assertive with people.. I know this is true and yet can't quite manage it somehow...I think its a real skill!

This may sound ridiculous but a non artist friend who really never ever stops talking invited herself to "help" me at an art exhibition I am actually doing with another artist at the end of the month and I couldnt think of how to dissuade her quickly enough, I actually found myself almost weeping at the thought of having her with me for two days.... Do you have this problem or are you the opposite?

bleu
11-07-2011, 11:54 PM
I've been in your shoes. What helps me now is to remember one thing: you do NOT have to give an answer immediately. First you say, Oh, how nice of you to offer. Then you say, We have some plans in the works and we think we can handle it. But it's nice to have a back up.
You can be even more precise if you know right away what your answer is but best is to be vague if you think you can't think of what to say. Then you call her up in a day or so and say thanks but no thanks with some kind of reason that works. Given time, anybody can come up with a reason.

vmrs
11-08-2011, 12:05 AM
I'm the opposite. I'm assertive but I'm not rude about it. I think many people who aren't assertive are often worried that they will be perceived as rude or insensitive if they stand up for themselves.
I don't think it's so much a skill as the ability to value yourself and your time.
The problem with not standing up and being assertive is that in the end you do get taken advantage of. Your friend who never stops talking sounds like she may (and it may be unconsciously) taking advantage of you. And the fact that's she's invited herself without being aware that you are upset about it shows that she's not much of a friend in the first place.
I think a good first step for you would be to call her and tell her politely that you don't want any company with you as you need to concentrate on the exhibition. Stay firm and get off the phone as soon as possible.
Don't beat yourself up though. It's not easy to learn to be assertive but once you master it, it's very liberating.
Hope that helps a bit and I hope you can get some sleep soon!
:grouphug:

La_
11-08-2011, 01:21 AM
i'm assertive enough i think, but i don't like confrontational situations/people - i kind of shut down around strong confrontations if it's directed right at me, or walk away. can be diff when it's directed at someone else - i kind of like defending the underdog, or helping them walk away.
my assertiveness is done with happy, witty, sarcastic, droll attitude - around people i'm at least a little bit familiar with. happy carries a lot of weight with most people.
and then there's some times that i can't seem to spit any sense out of my mouth! nerves do get in the way.
i'm very stage nervous, hate public speaking, am much better behind the scenes.
but, i have learned and can definitely stand up for myself, kindly and diplomatically - unless i'm dealing with a freak who i want nothing to do with, ever, and then i just walk away - haven't time for true freaks and mean people.

good luck katie, it is totally okay to gently turn someone down, thanks but no thanks is perfectly acceptable. i have found that most people do appreciate 'real' and it works again and again when there's a smile on your face.

truly diplomatic people can tell someone to go to he** in such a way as to have them actually look forward to the trip. lol, i'm still werkin' on that one!

= )

la

Bringer
11-08-2011, 02:29 PM
You could have gotten into a speach similar to: I'm so glad that you can help me. I will need you to do... and then you'd mention a couple of tasks really fast to make her dizzy, throwing ironing clothes in between the tasks (a sort of subliminal message).

Katie Black
11-08-2011, 05:34 PM
bleu....Thanks your right...I don't need to give an answer straight away..will try that in the future..I guess its just practice.
vmrs... The lady in question is abroad on business at the moment but is going to ring me when she gets back nr the end of the month...but I will definately have to put her off. Your right I know it is liberating when you can assertively tell people without being aggresive...thanks!
La...... "Happy carries a lot of weight with people" Good point..and its true..if you can pin a smile on your face you can be forgiven for most things..I don't even know how I got in this situation...I keep going back to the conversation and I don't remember ever agreeing it was a good idea LOL!, that happens with me though..my mind goes blank in tricky situations.
Bringer...Sounds great but thats way beyond me!

La_
11-09-2011, 12:27 AM
hahaha, bringer! what if she said 'omg, SURE!'
katie would never be rid of her!

lol

la

catjoe
11-09-2011, 10:12 AM
As soon as I started reading I felt for you. This has happened to me, and usually it is the same type of personality guilty of it. To be honest, I've gotten a bit assertive, and if someone gets pushy I say gently, "You are beginning to cross a line with me." This is usually a good response when someone is giving me advice that I didn't ask for, didn't want, and surely don't need. I've also learned to just be honest and say, "I'd rather you let me do it myself." For instance when I cook...why do people plop themselves in a chair and "Help?" They ask questions, make constant conversation that needs answering, while I am trying to concentrate on the tasks at hand. I finally became assertive myself and have NO ONE in the kitchen helping me. The reason being: one big family dinner, in the midst of trying to talk, stir pots and peel potatoes, I sliced my finger badly. Gee...do you think you might have hit a nerve in me? Yes, I have had too many helpers, but I am getting better at telling them, "NO."

catjoe
11-09-2011, 10:16 AM
And also...and this is going to sound more jaded, I've often found that helpers sometimes have turnaround in mind and want your help, usually much more time and effort than they gave, in a future project of their own.

snoball
11-09-2011, 10:19 AM
As we get older, we finally get to the point that we realize we don't have to take crap off anyone.:D

alfreda
11-09-2011, 12:36 PM
Are you assertive?...I wish I was more assertive...I am so tired of coming home and telling myself what I should have said and then going over it all in my head until I'm exhausted...life is so much better if you can be assertive with people.. I know this is true and yet can't quite manage it somehow...I think its a real skill!

This may sound ridiculous but a non artist friend who really never ever stops talking invited herself to "help" me at an art exhibition I am actually doing with another artist at the end of the month and I couldnt think of how to dissuade her quickly enough, I actually found myself almost weeping at the thought of having her with me for two days.... Do you have this problem or are you the opposite?


Perhaps you need to practice with a trusted confidant how to assert yourself with a bit roll playing or rehearse in your mind ways to respond. There are diplomatic or humorous ways to get your message across and setting boundaries doesn't require being negative, harsh or confrontational. With your friend, would it have been so hard to say, "how lovely, I will call you if I need any help?"

Katie Black
11-09-2011, 10:30 PM
catjoe....Sounds like you've got it sussed!:lol:
snoball.. your right of course!
alfreda... "How lovely I will call you if I need any help"...I re-read this over and over...its polite, sounds honest and gives you a way out...and yet I couldnt manage it and and the simple answer I think is because I can't lie easily, and getting the "How lovely" bit out when I'm literally thinking "How awfull" is a huge stumbling block for me I think, although I realise it's perfectly normal to say things like this, people do it everyday..its just that I tend not to...but obviously I need to. As you can imagine I get myself into situations all the time where I can't speak up and I might ask my daughter to do a bit of roll play with me.:)

robertsloan2
11-10-2011, 05:05 AM
"Thank you for offering, but I'm doing okay with _____" (the other artist.) "We've had this planned for some time and an extra volunteer would just get in the way."

I'm assertive. I used to be aggressive. I came to it by the mellowing-out method. As a youth I had nothing to lose.

robertsloan2
11-10-2011, 05:08 AM
You could have gotten into a speach similar to: I'm so glad that you can help me. I will need you to do... and then you'd mention a couple of tasks really fast to make her dizzy, throwing ironing clothes in between the tasks (a sort of subliminal message).


THat's a great tactic. "Tote that bale, lift that barge, iron my clothes, get me a latte, you can start by cleaning out my car so I can stack all the art and stuff in it." The more scut work you load on her the less of a payoff it'll be if it's a mind game and the more help you'll get if it turns out it's not.

alfreda
11-10-2011, 09:22 AM
catjoe....Sounds like you've got it sussed!:lol:
snoball.. your right of course!
alfreda... "How lovely I will call you if I need any help"...I re-read this over and over...its polite, sounds honest and gives you a way out...and yet I couldnt manage it and and the simple answer I think is because I can't lie easily, and getting the "How lovely" bit out when I'm literally thinking "How awfull" is a huge stumbling block for me I think, although I realise it's perfectly normal to say things like this, people do it everyday..its just that I tend not to...but obviously I need to. As you can imagine I get myself into situations all the time where I can't speak up and I might ask my daughter to do a bit of roll play with me.:)


Well you could rephrase it to; " that is very nice of you to offer, I will call if I need any help". or "that is very nice of you to offer, but I think I have it covered, thanks".

Katie Black
11-11-2011, 09:54 AM
Thanks everyone...:)

ianuk
11-13-2011, 01:16 AM
Are you assertive?...I wish I was more assertive...I am so tired of coming home and telling myself what I should have said and then going over it all in my head until I'm exhausted...life is so much better if you can be assertive with people.. I know this is true and yet can't quite manage it somehow...I think its a real skill!

This may sound ridiculous but a non artist friend who really never ever stops talking invited herself to "help" me at an art exhibition I am actually doing with another artist at the end of the month and I couldnt think of how to dissuade her quickly enough, I actually found myself almost weeping at the thought of having her with me for two days.... Do you have this problem or are you the opposite?

The truth of the matter here as I see it is. A friend never makes one feel like weeping. A friend makes another feel good about themselves and will accept any answer given to any question asked. I never had a friend like that, well not for long anyway :wink2:

AllisonR
11-13-2011, 08:11 AM
The truth of the matter here as I see it is. A friend never makes one feel like weeping. A friend makes another feel good about themselves and will accept any answer given to any question asked. I never had a friend like that, well not for long anyway :wink2:

This. This is not a friend worth having.

Though I understand your predicament. You can't say "thanks so much for offering, we have it covered" because it is a lie. It is phony. And you can't lie. But you can't tell the truth because that is "gad, what a pain in the arse you would be in my way all the time", and that is mean. So you can't be mean, and you can't lie. I would say you need to find some grey areas in between these two extremes. The roleplaying suggestion was a good one. Let us know if it helps. FWIW, I can relate because my husband can not lie, at all, ever. He's on that extreme. And is a handicap to some degree. Anything on the end of the spectrum tends to be a crutch.

BenjaminJames
11-13-2011, 09:49 AM
The posts above are great. There's a lot of wisdom here.

I was once very unassertive. Whatever the crowd wanted was pretty much okay with me. Then I got a job where I had to take a leadership stance. That was the hard way to learn. That job almost killed me. I lost 80 pounds within a few months time. I couldn't eat I was so depressed.

As we all know, the world is mean. It's definitely not "please and thank you" out there. There are a lot of nice people too but most of them are unassertive and therefore they lack influence. For the most part the assertive run the show. And unfortunately, many of the assertive are nasty and two-faced. Thus our poor work environments in many situations (that is, what jobs we have left).

Now I think art almost 24/7 and there too one can't be truly passive. Many thought Warhol was non-assertive but the exact opposite was true. He had a public act but on the job he was velvet steel.

Jackson Pollock was nature. People today are looking for strength, not low self-esteem. We sell art by respect, not sympathy.

Just believe in yourself and never put yourself down. Every day remind yourself that you're great and you are the world's best artist. You'll be wrong of course because I'm the world's best artist.

Benjamin James Sr.

snoball
11-13-2011, 10:56 AM
Every day remind yourself that you're great and you are the world's best artist. You'll be wrong of course because I'm the world's best artist.

Benjamin James Sr.

Sir, you err. I assert that I have that distinction!

Lens&Needles
11-20-2011, 11:53 AM
I don't like confrontational people either! I hate control freaks, they drive me nuts!
Definitely for sticking up for myself, but sometimes it gets so stressed dealing with over assertive menancing people.
There's lots of folks in that mind set too, unfortunately in our area... Our town and the surrounding area has sort of gone downhill a lot in recent years, and it's attracted a lot of unpleasant people to the area honestly.
I do stick up for the underdog too. Seeing as I how I myself was often the underdog, I can well relate! :smug:
But you gotta stick up for yourself though. If you don't, who will?
i'm assertive enough i think, but i don't like confrontational situations/people - i kind of shut down around strong confrontations if it's directed right at me, or walk away. can be diff when it's directed at someone else - i kind of like defending the underdog, or helping them walk away.
my assertiveness is done with happy, witty, sarcastic, droll attitude - around people i'm at least a little bit familiar with. happy carries a lot of weight with most people.
and then there's some times that i can't seem to spit any sense out of my mouth! nerves do get in the way.
i'm very stage nervous, hate public speaking, am much better behind the scenes.
but, i have learned and can definitely stand up for myself, kindly and diplomatically - unless i'm dealing with a freak who i want nothing to do with, ever, and then i just walk away - haven't time for true freaks and mean people.

good luck katie, it is totally okay to gently turn someone down, thanks but no thanks is perfectly acceptable. i have found that most people do appreciate 'real' and it works again and again when there's a smile on your face.

truly diplomatic people can tell someone to go to he** in such a way as to have them actually look forward to the trip. lol, i'm still werkin' on that one!

= )

la

ATR
11-25-2011, 01:03 AM
I used to be assertive,now, I'm not so sure.:D.Whenever my wife is being assertive I console myself with some retail therapy of the artistic kind.Usually a new brush.However,after 27 years of marraige,I'm starting to run out of places to put the damn things.:D
It'll all come good in the end.;)