10 Ways to Be More Assertive: Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Tips

Written by Angela Atkinson

“To be passive is to let others decide for you. To be aggressive is to decide for others. To be assertive is to decide for yourself. And to trust that there is enough, that you are enough.” ― Edith Eva Eger

Going through a toxic relationship is hell, and one of the worst parts is that it tears us down, bit by bit. We lose our SELVES, and we lose track of our boundaries. We forget how to assert ourselves. We forget that we are allowed to do so – and we get into a very unhealthy pattern of letting life happen to us.

But if we’re going to fully heal and recover after a toxic relationship with a narcissist, we must learn and employ assertiveness in our lives. What do I mean by assertiveness?

Assertiveness is that fine line between being aggressive and passive. Aggressiveness and passiveness can be advantageous at times, but an attitude of assertiveness is most often the most effective position to take.

When you’re assertive, you’re willing to make your needs known and to take responsibility for your life. There are many advantages to being assertive.

Follow these strategies to learn to be more assertive and take control of your life:

  1. Understand what assertiveness really means. Some people are reluctant to be assertive because they consider it as similar to being aggressive. One definition of assertiveness is, “The ability to honestly express your opinions, feelings, attitudes, and rights, without undue anxiety, in a way that doesn’t infringe on the rights of others.”
  2. Assess yourself. Some people would benefit by being more assertive in every part of their lives. Others are assertive in some areas but lacking in others. In what part of your life are you either too passive or too aggressive?
  3. Decide how you can be more assertive in those situations. Suppose you’re not assertive in your romantic relationships. Think of ways you can be more assertive. Have a plan and start working on it.
  4. Take responsibility for the challenges in your life. Passive people hope that someone else or fate will solve their challenges. Assertive people take care of their own messes. Passive people blame fate. Aggressive people blame others. Put yourself in the position where you can take credit for your ups and downs.
  5. Avoid feeling responsibility for the behavior and feelings of others. If you’re constantly submitting to the wishes of others, you feel some responsibility for their feelings. Worry about your own behavior and feelings. Others can do the same.
  6. Give your opinion when asked. When someone asks you where you want to go to dinner, or what movie you want to see, give them an answer. You’re not being nice by responding, “I don’t care. Where do you want to eat?” If someone asks your opinion, give it.
  7. Start saying “no” more often. The ability to say no is the sign of a healthy relationship. It’s okay to tell people no when saying yes would be too inconvenient for you. You don’t gain anything by making yourself miserable. Be willing to say “no” when necessary.
  8. Practice. Some situations are just psychologically easier to manage when you’re learning to be assertive. You might speak up and give your opinion in a meeting or tell your teenager what you expect from them regarding the cleanliness of their room. Choose a few situations in which to practice.
  9. Pay attention to your body language. Assertiveness isn’t only demonstrated through your words. You broadcast your level of assertiveness with your body language. Work on your posture and eye contact for starters. Practice in front of a mirror and with your friends.
  10. Build your social skills. If you’re not comfortable socially, you’re likely to either be passive or aggressive, but not assertive. Social skills can be developed and provide a foundation for assertiveness. Work with a friend that has excellent social skills or get your hands on a few good books on the topic.

Assertiveness has several advantages. Assertive people suffer from less stress and anxiety. Assertiveness also provides a feeling of control over your life.

It’s not easy to move from passivity or aggressiveness to assertiveness, but the advantages are considerable. Be patient with yourself and begin your journey to taking more responsibility for your life, emotions, and challenges.

Read More: Get back your personal power

(Visited 1,292 times, 1 visits today)

Get Guided Help with Your Narcissistic Abuse Recovery

Subscribe and get a special email series from Angie – packed with free gifts to help you heal and evolve!

Where are you in your recovery?

 

Subscribe

We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.

Powered By ConvertKit

Disclosure – Click to Read

advertisement

Award for Angie’s YouTube Channel

You're not alone.

We have been there and we can help you heal.

Related Articles

What You Need To Know About The Narcissist’s False Self

What You Need To Know About The Narcissist’s False Self

If you've ever been in a relationship with a narcissist or a toxic person of any sort, you might have some experience with seeing the narcissist's false self - and with being aware that there is a difference between the person the narcissist shows to the world at...

The #1 Thing a Narcissist Will Never Do

The #1 Thing a Narcissist Will Never Do

What is the #1 Thing a Narcissist Will Never Do? Validate You. Watch Video. One of the most difficult parts of dealing with a narcissist for me was the constant invalidation of my feelings, my thoughts, and my emotions. Since my first narcissist was a parent, I would...

Narcissists and the Karpman Drama Triangle

Narcissists and the Karpman Drama Triangle

How narcissists fit in with the Karpman Drama Triangle and use it to manipulate and control you. Plus: how you can overcome this kind of manipulation and heal yourself of codependency in the process

Get Guided Help with Your Recovery & Stay Up to Date With The Latest News & Updates

Join the SPANily! Start with our free newsletter.

Subscribe and get a special email series from Angie - packed with free gifts to help you heal and evolve!

    Where are you in your recovery?
    We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.
    Powered By ConvertKit

    Pin It on Pinterest

    Share This

    Share this post with your friends!