Sunday, July 30, 2006


"The basic difference between being assertive and being aggressive is how our words and behaviors affect the rights and well being of others."    ~Sharon Anthony Bower, author

"The difference between being assertive and aggressive is that if you don't handle it correctly people will abbreviate the word assertive and simple call you an ass."  ~Jill Anne Marie

Speak up and take back control!

Many people feel uncomfortable being assertive, which often leads others to take advantage of them. Do you ever feel like you shouldn't say something because you might hurt someone's feelings? Does your spouse shirk their responsibilities around the house and expect you to pick up the slack? While it is important to serve others often, being someone's lackey is unhealthy and it's up to you to break that cycle. Kindly address situations where you think someone is taking advantage of your meekness. Being aggressive is a negative quality that people respond to with hostility. Making your voice heard maturely and positively is a trait that will take you far and build respect among your peers.

That was another email message from Spark People that really struck a chord with me.  It is about being assertive.  This message is so very closely related to the previous one about people pleasing, so it is no wonder that it strikes so close to home for me. 

I tend to be one of those people that tries so hard to do for others and give in to all their requests, no matter whether I want to do it or not.  I go out of my way to do things for people, to try to make things special, or just help out in whatever way I can.  In the meantime, I end up feeling taken advantage of or unappreciated, or sometimes resentful because what I would like seems not to matter to anyone. 

Then I get to the point where something happens and I just blow up.  Whether it is someone verbally assaulting myself or someone I love, or just assuming they can do this or that because I always say "yes" anyway, whatever...and I finally lose it.  Some little "nothing" suddenly becomes the proverbial straw that broke the camels back and I become the biggest beotch in the whole freaking world, lol.  I hate it. 

I hate when I lose it, not because I don't have a point or a right to stand up for myself.  But because it is something so little or stupid that sets me off, and then I end up looking crazy for getting mad over something so trivial.  No one takes into consideration the crap that I had put up with for months on end.  I don't say anything about all the other little things that I did or just let go, so when I finally stand up for myself people are left wondering where the door mat went.

Whereas if I didn't set everyone up to always expect me to lie down and take whatever is thrown my way...well, maybe they wouldn't be surprised if I were to stand up for myself every once in a while.  Or if I were able to stand up for myself and say no every once in awhile, I wouldn't lose my temper over the small chit.

Oh, and B. Lynn I have no doubt this is going to strike a chord with you too.  I think it has a lot do with growing up in an alcoholic home.  The drive to people please, not to have to many needs of your own, wanting to never rock the boat, the desire to try to make someone love you.  Well, that is until I hit a very rebellious stage as a teenager.  That is where I developed the other side of my personality, oh heck for chits and grins lets call that side "Sybil", lol.  That is the one where I stand (almost) toe to toe with my dad and give him "the look".  He hated that look, I think he would have loved to just knock my head off when I did it, actually he usually threatened to when I gave the look. 

What was the "look"?  LMAO...I don't think I could possibly describe it well enough to give it full justice.  I've seen one or two people who come close to it, but not really.  It was a look of total disgust, contempt and well, a bit (actually, probably a lot) of hatred.  I think you could actually see the fire of hell in my eyes and my lip tended to curl up on one side. 

Not many people have seen it since my teen battles with my father, just one or two.  Unfortunately, they didn't have a clue and didn't know when to step away for their own good.  For God's sake, you don't poke an angry pit bull with a 6 inch stick...your gonna get bit fool!  LOL

Anyway, I just kind of thought the email message was though provoking.  Obviously, look how I rambled on and on.  If it gets you to thinking and you do an entry in your journal, please send me the link. 

Have a blessed Sunday.



herheadsnacloud said...

Jill Marie,
Before I even got to the part where you said that this would strike a chord with me, I was saying to myself" Man, this is like reading about me." I mean EVERYTHING you wrote is me...... to a tee. I gotta Thank- you though..because I forgot about the "Look"........that "Look" me beat so many was all I had.....the only thing about me... he could not take away....I struggle with the "Sybil" Thing...To this day.....I am glad I found an ACOA group here, where I is nice to find people like me there..and I am glad I found you here in JLAND as well. B. Lynne..Thanks so much for this post...hugs,B. Lynne  

pippa1116 said...

I have a sybil side too.  I think we all do. we all get fed up and have one of those moments when everyone is looking like deer caught in the headlights....I grew up in an alcoholic home too. this is a great entry. tina    

xomywayox said...

When I am assertive people call me a bitch and I am ok with that. I could really care less if others think this of me, cause with this assertivness I get crap done. So be it.

After reading this entry, I thought to myself. She is a closet time bomb. And I must remember not to piss her off! LoL

Good entry doll.


pookyluvsu said...

I used to be a huge people pleaser and still am to some extent, but I had to learn to put my foot down because there are too many people that take advantage of your kindness and interpet it as weakness and it's not at all. So I am now assertive and I have been labeled a bitch because of it and the fact that I tell it like it is, but oh well. I refuse to be walked on. Good entry

Hugs, Angela