I know that set backs during my journey to beating anxiety are inevitable, I’m prepared for that and I’m ready to find ways through the set backs when the occur. I feel like I’ve just met my first one and it’s dealing with being more assertive with other people.
For such a long tkme I have allowed people to do and say what they like and never really challenged them. I’ve never expressed what I truly think, even at home with my own family, never mind with poeple I don’t know well. This has even been the case when I’ve been really hurt by something or someone has really upset me, I don’t express it, I squash it all squashed in with everything else, something else to ruminate over later.
Clearly, this has a negitive effect on myself and my own mental health. Keeping things bottle up and not dealing with issues is a sure fire way to have a negitive affect on yourself. My issues is parly down to a fear of confrontation. This is a fear I have always had since being a child, I never stood up for myself even back then. It seems to stem from another fear, one I’m already working on, I can’t bare the thought of poeple thinking bad of me. Now, in reality they probably don’t most of the time, also even if they do I know that’s their right and it shouldn’t affect me. Both these things my rational mind understands full well, but turning those ideas into heart felt beliefs is going to be the challangeing part. I’m hoping that building my own self confidence and self esteem will go a long way to addressing this.
Yes, this is part of my journey to self discovery and self improvement, but there is another reason this has been brought to the front of my mind at this time. I read a blog post recently on this subject, and the things that it pointed out to me really struck home. The main one being, ‘by not being assertive and expressing my self, my thoughts, beliefs, feelings etc. I am actually damaging others around me.’ Now, that is something I can’t bare the thought of, to be causing harm to my husband, my children? No, this needs to be addressed.
Thinking about this more I notice just home much I do this. I dont challenge things my husband says that I don’t like for fear of confrontation, I let my children get away with certain things so they don’t get upset, I don’t express myself clearly to anyone outside this small circle either, even other close family.
The thinking behind what the author of the blog was saying made a lot of sense to me. They said that if you truly care about and value another person, then you want the best for them, you want them to grow and better themselves as a person. Therefore, if you never point out something they are doing is upsetting you or causing harm to someone or something else then how will they ever be able to improve or stop that behaviour? By letting them continue without saying anything (in a caring and gentle way obviously) I am doing them a disservice. So, it is my duty to challenge others where necessary for their benefit instead of avoiding the situation for my own benefit. I now see that this was a selfish view point that I was taking.
This doesn’t mean I will never hurt their feelings in the very short term, but it is the bigger picture that is important here. If you truely care for someone, your child, partner, friend or family member, and you truely want what is best for them, it will sometimes mean saying things that are difficult. But this will only serve to make the other person a better human being and ultimately strengthen your relationship through honest, respectful communication.
Thank you for reading.