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Be Assertive

Learn to be assertive. Non-assertiveness allows others to walk all over you. You surrender the control of the situation to others. Being assertive means standing up for your personal rights and expressing your thoughts, feelings and beliefs directly, honestly and spontaneously in ways that don’t infringe on the rights of others. Assertive people respect themselves and others. They take responsibility for their actions and choices. In case of failure, they will get disappointed; but their self-confidence remain intact. Expressing negative feelings at the appropriate time avoids the buildup of resentment. This will help you manage your stress more successfully.

An example will illustrate this point. An elderly patient, Karen, was very frustrated because she had no time to do anything for herself. It seemed, she was looking after for others all the time. After participating in the assertiveness training, Karen started analyzing what activities gave her the most happiness. She came to the conclusion that a Tuesday morning bridge game she played with her friends was one of them. One Tuesday, Karen was preparing to host the card game, when the telephone rang. It was her daughter. The daughter had a very important meeting to go to that morning; but her babysitter called in sick. She had no one to take care of her son. She wanted to know if she could bring her son to Karen’s home so that she can go to her meeting she could not miss?

Karen felt her pulse going up. She was expecting her friends at any moment. It was too late to cancel in the card game. Having the grandson around would prevent her from enjoying the game. It would also be distracting and annoying to the other members of the team. On the other hand, what kind of mom is she, if she were to refuse to help her daughter when she needed her? Then Karen thought of her assertiveness training.

Karen asked the daughter, "Why don’t you take your son to the day care center?" There is one very close to her home. The daughter replied that she was broke and did not have any money to pay for the daycare. Karen offered to loan her the money so that she could take her son to the day care center. The situation was resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.

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