Now, as most of you might know, Jodes is THE woman to go to for all things assertiveness based. But in this club, we’re a partnership, and we know that we can totally cover off each other’s specialist areas if we need to. And being assertive is something that I’m bloody good at – when I care about the “thing” in question.
Let me explain…..
If my darling husband asks what I want for tea tonight (he cooks – & I’m totally smug AF about that) and I’ve been dreaming of Mexican food all day then I’ll say so! Or it’s Two for Tuesdays at Domino’s and it’s been a rough week (FYI, it’s fine to say this, even when it’s only Tuesday) I’ll absolutely say that it’s pizza night for sure. Assertive, right?!
But – if I genuinely don’t give a flying fuck, and I’m still pumped from work/thinking about the kid’s schedules/wondering when I’ve got time to get my bits waxed then I’ll utter the words that the lovely man dreads….. “I don’t mind”. That leaves him in a mega quandary now as to whether he’ll “guess right” (his words)!
That’s a very regular example, but it applies across the board to things/times/situations that I just don’t care about! Or, more likely, that I’m just too busy to deal with. If Tom didn’t cook tea, I’d have a Mars Bar and be completely fine. I’d live. (But Tom works for Cadbury so DO NOT mention the Mars Bar!) The mental energy that it takes to actually care when I don’t is just too great at that moment!
But that’s super selfish. And ironically, the one thing that scares so many women is the false idea that assertiveness is selfish. We’ve got it all back to front I tell you!
In the above tea time situation, my husband is always mightily relieved when I actually express my opinion of what I’d like to eat. In my corporate days, my boss was always glad if I gave a realistic timescale for a project, or (gasp!) said that I don’t have the capacity to take it on right now. My family and friends ALWAYS like to have someone that will step forward with their ideas and feelings. So why would we think it’s selfish to share our opinions?
We think people will think we’re pushy
The biggest, scariest one – and totally not true. When Jodes and I have a day together I’m always thrilled that she suggests exactly where we meet. She knows Manchester better than me and it takes the stress away.
We don’t want to overrule others
Do you even have an example of this? We’re usually so nice with our assertiveness that we don’t even recognise it as assertiveness! & we would often be horrified to think of it like that with our friends and loved ones.
We think being assertive belongs at work
What even is this idea? Why do we have to be different people at work and at home? I never understood this point. I was as much a pain in the ass when I was in corporate as I am for my hubby! Women tend to feel that they have to morph into different roles, rather than being free to be exactly who they are!
All utter tosh.
Assertiveness is as simple as expressing your opinions, and if the time calls for it, standing by them. There will always be space for flexibility and seeing other peoples points and ideas. Assertiveness is not aggressiveness. It’s having confidence in yourself to ask for what you want, to say what you expect and to stand by decisions. So, recognise that stating your needs, capabilities, capacity at work, is exactly the same as deciding what you want for your tea. If you care and it matters to you then be free to express your thoughts.
Thinking about it that way, are you able to be more assertive than you thought before? It helps people out I promise you. So many people hate making decisions, so having someone that is willing to, goes a hell of a long way! I’d love your comments either below or in the free Facebook group on this!
If you’re not already a member of Ladies Life Lounge, you can find out more here. We have the whole topic of being Pretty Assertive covered for you.