As survivors of narcissistic abuse, many of us find it hard to be assertive. Passivity is often viewed as a form of politeness. We’re raised to make others happy, even at our own expense.
The other end of the spectrum has its own unique set of challenges. Aggression isn’t pleasing to others. Others are likely to give up too much when faced with aggression. This creates negative feelings and damages emotions.
Assertiveness is an attractive option and provides multiple benefits to you and those around you.
Learn to be assertive rather than passive or aggressive and enjoy these perks:
1. Boost your self-esteem. What could be better for your self-esteem than speaking up for yourself and taking action to influence the world around you, Depression is often caused by feeling a lack of control. Assertiveness is a form of taking control and responsibility.
2. Strengthen your self-confidence. When you’re assertive, things start to go your way. As your results get better, your confidence in yourself will increase, too.
3. Increase your communication. Part of being assertive is speaking up for what you want and being open with your desires. If you think about the least assertive people you know, you don’t know them very well. They keep everything to themselves. Assertive people have an openness to them that non-assertive people do not.
4. Accomplish more. When you’re open with your opinions and wants, and you’re taking action to make them happen, you’ll be shocked by how much more effective you can be.
5. Others assume you are confident. There are multiple benefits to being perceived as confident. People will assume you’re more capable, intelligent, and have better leadership skills than someone that is less confident. It’s also attractive to others.
6. Get what you want more often. Imagine you’re in a group of people, and the subject of choosing a restaurant for dinner comes up. The person that offers a suggestion usually “wins.”Most people are too passive to offer an opinion. This tendency can be found in all facets of life. Those that are too passive sacrifice too much in making others happy. This might seem noble, but it’s a frustrating way to live. The belief is that you’ll eventually receive what you want if you let others have everything they want. This rarely works in real life.
7. Get in touch with your feelings. When you suppress your emotions and desires, you lose touch with yourself. By consistently pursuing that which you desire, you’ll gain a much better understanding of yourself.
8. Win-win situations become the norm. When you’re too passive, the other person gets things their way. When you’re too aggressive, you might have things go your way more often, but the other person is resentful. The best opportunity for both of you to be satisfied with the outcome is to be assertive.
9. Enhance your decision-making skills. Passive people often base decisions on the least confrontational solution. Aggressive people are biased in the opposite direction. Those that are assertive have a more neutral stance. Their passivity and aggressiveness don’t taint their perspective. Decisions are less emotion-based.
Assertiveness is a combination of honesty and respect for others and yourself. When you’re assertive, you’re honest about your intentions, wants, and desires. You aren’t forcing them on others, but you’re willing to express them and own them. You’re also being respectful by not hiding your intentions.
Passivity and aggressiveness aren’t pleasing to others and are less effective than assertiveness. Allow others to respect you by being more assertive in all your interactions. You’ll enjoy the results!
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.