Reading Jussie’s 'Assertiveness Is Not A Dirty Word'
, I am forced to confront my lack of confidence and inability to effectively communicate my thoughts and feelings, particularly with those to whom I am, or should be, closest. These weaknesses of mine have, and continue to, challenge my ability to form and maintain meaningful connections with friends and family. They also often lead to feelings of anger and hopelessness, of frustration, fear and worthlessness.
As I continue reading Jussie’s work, I am forced to also confront the fact that I am often passive and censor myself for fear of other people’s responses. This passivity has the effect of reinforcing my negative self-concept and my inability to connect with others. At times, communion with others seems too difficult and I withdrawal as a consequence. This process is physically and emotionally taxing, and I recognise that it affects me and those around me. But, when reason rears its rational head, I also recognise that I deserve better and so do the people for whom I care. In order to form meaningful connections with others, in order to be emotionally available and have my opinions and feelings heard and respected, I must first listen to and respect my self. Perhaps, because I have censored myself for so long, I have forgotten the sound of my own voice. Perhaps, it is my inability to be open and honest with myself that prevents me from being open and honest with others.
Jussie affirms that “assertiveness is a very hard skill to master”. This brings me hope because, although it may take time and effort, the ability to be assertive can be learnt, it can be nurtured, and it can flourish. Like a muscle strengthens with physical exertion, assertiveness strengthens with honesty and openness – first with myself and then with others.
Being assertive requires practice and conscious effort. Here are some pointers for practicing assertiveness in our everyday lives:
252227 - 2023-07-18 07:32:54
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