Tag Archives: assertiveness

Asserting myself…maybe

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I’m still avoiding the girl in the corner. Mostly, I think I know why.

It is very difficult for me to talk about it because I never have fully discussed it outside of my disclosure night in my last therapy group. That night, information and realizations came out of me that I had never admitted to myself. In fact, I blatantly ignored the information that I was aware of and denied there could be anything I had not fully recalled.

I buried that girl in denial and shame. And part of me would really like to leave her right there.

Sometimes, you come in contact with people in life and you just wonder what possible good they are offering the world and the people around them. You know the people I’m talking about, don’t you? People who are just mean for no good reason. People who are aggressive or manipulative, or both. People who just say or do awful things without even knowing what they are talking about or why they are doing whatever it is they are doing. This blows my mind.

I was not a nice teenager, and I’m certainly not going to justify any of my bad behavior, but you can excuse teenagers for acting out some or being mean to some degree because they just aren’t fully developed, functioning people.

Here’s what bugs me the most right now about wanting to face that girl in the corner: I am scared of what she will do and say.

I have exactly 2 very challenging people in my world right now. And when their behavior gets to a certain point, I allow myself to think and feel in ways that the girl in the corner controls. I don’t like it. I haven’t learned to control it.

So there it is. I feel like I can’t.

On the logical side of my current self is someone who is well-aware that speaking my full mind to these 2 folks would be all wasted breath because they are not ready or able to hear what I have to say. This logical side is intersecting with the person inside me who just wants to defend myself and explain some things and make them understand and yes, just plain hurt them in return for the things they have said or done that I have allowed to hurt me. But again, that is because the part of me that isn’t done with therapy still feels that sometimes I can control or own other people’s reactions or feelings.

I can’t. That’s a thing that really sucks sometimes about communication.

But now I have new information that is causing me to regret one situation where I did not speak my mind. One situation where I have learned that with self-control and compassion, I could have asserted myself and that would have been perfectly acceptable and would have been just what I needed. I am a couple of weeks into group and last week this realization hit me like a 2×4 across the face. I can BE successfully assertive EVEN IF the person reacts in a way I don’t like or that doesn’t give me an opportunity to feel better about the situation. I have still done what I needed to do to feel good about myself. I have asserted myself. Successfully. Because the reaction of that person isn’t what controls the success of my learning to be assertive.

Bam! I love that realization.

I wish I had that realization a few months ago, but I didn’t, so I didn’t assert myself with either of these 2 jerks. And with 1 of them, that really bugs me. Worse yet, I allowed myself to get talked out of asserting myself. You know why? I sure don’t. That’s not typically me.

Now, my group facilitator would say that I still have the right to assert myself now even though the actual moment has long passed. And I understand that she says that because, again, the reaction of the person is not the successful outcome/measurement to me asserting myself. So who cares if I am a few months late in asserting myself? Well, I did care, but now I am beginning to feel that I cared for the wrong reasons. I let shame and ick from the girl in the corner get in the way of what I need to be happy.

Today I was driving some distance and I do some of my best thinking in the car. And what I learned today is that in the spirit of letting that girl in the corner start to heal, I MUST assert myself. No matter what the reaction. Especially when not asserting myself is holding back my healing.

So look out world, I’m about to rediscover my assertive self.

KK