Being….not doing, not trying, not putting off……just……..being. Learning assertiveness

Published April 19, 2011 by Crystal

I think a large part of the reason I don’t like to be alone with my thoughts at all is because of the dialogues I create in my head. I’ll think over a time when I was misunderstood, and I’ll create a whole discussion out of it. All the things I wish I’d said, or done. The moments when my passiveness caused upset at my expense. And I have many of these times to look back on. My passive tendancies then caused anger and resentment in me, causing me to then be aggressive, ruthless in my actions, because I was now like a volcano, dormant for so long, then bubbling, and now errupting, spewing all my frustration out in every direction.
I have always tried to be a people pleaser, from an early age. A child of divorce, chubby, bullied at school, a scenario played no doubt a million times by a million others. So I strived to be liked, thought that by letting people do what they wanted all the time, or at least most of the time, they’d want to be with me. But then came a point that I realised I didn’t want to be like this, I heard of assertiveness, and aimed for that, but kind of missed the mark, and alot of what I hoped was assertive behaviour came across as aggression. I’m not sorry for this though. I’ve learnt from these times, most definately. I can tell now the people who actually appreciated me for me, who valued being with me regardless of what we did and where we went. And I realised and realise the people who actually understood and understand the journey I am on.
I put on weight during the start of my intuitive eating journey, for many reasons. There were those who could see through this, and see the deep sadness I felt, and the longing to understand myself and heal my relationship with food. And then there were those who decided I’d simply given up, and couldn’t see past that belief of theirs.
On days like today, I find myself pondering over this situation, and similar situations, and waves of emotion come and go. But whereas in the past I’ve gotten upset, and then decided to stop myself, and distract myself, today I am letting those feelings flow, letting them run their course as they should have done at the time. And I’ve acquired a new set of tools now, which I am running through my head when I feel those emotions. I’m giving those feelings value, giving myself value, and in my head I’m explaining to those people why their actions upset me.

The tools are 5 words
“When you”
“I feel”
“Because”

So, “When you told me you’d told someone I couldn’t be bothered to diet anymore; I feel hurt and upset by it; Because I feel you never really understood the issues I was dealing with, and the sadness I felt in myself”.

This idea is from Anita Johnston’s book, and she goes on to say, that if we are hoping for a change in other peoples attitudes with these tools, we may be disappointed, but if we see the positive change in ourselves, then it’s done its job. It’s not passive, it explains our feelings. It’s not aggressive, it doesn’t place blame or name call. It is assertive and simple.

So this is my new way of being, letting the emotions roll, and minimising the dialogue to something concise and constructive.

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