I recently listened to Doreen’s Virtue’s Assertiveness for Earth Angels free video series. I will share with you the major points.
- Anger – is our friend and tells us that something is wrong.
- Aggression – is stored up anger that eventually explodes like a volcano. This is where you see people pointing the finger to blame others
- Codependency – is an underlying agenda of manipulating the other person to be happy. It is trying to control the other person’s thoughts, feelings, actions.
- Passive Aggressive – This is when we talk “sideways” about our feelings instead of directly. This uses hinting, sarcasm and other ineffective means of expressing our anger
- Assertiveness – is the path of mental. emotional and physical health. This is where one shares their feelings honestly. For example saying, “I am feeling upset and this is why. You need to express your feelings and also let others know your boundaries. It is about expressing yourself honestly. The goal is not to change the other person. You can’t control them, you can only control yourself.
In listening to the above definitions, I thought to myself, I have been really good at the first 4 points! I was brought up with the saying, “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all.” But by adhering to this saying, one is not being authentic to themselves. In sharing this saying with my friend, Linda Kiernan, she gave me the greatest acronym for the word Nice as I have put on the picture to the left.
Doreen also stated that the word “No” is a complete sentence. You don’t need to go into long explanations of why you can’t do something. Instead just say No. In discussing this again with Linda, she said to be clear when you are saying “No” to something, that you are saying “Yes” to something else. I would love each of us to say “No” to what we do not feel aligned with and say “Yes” to our individual authenticity.
Doreen said that often we put others needs before our own, and then we end up resenting the person or situation. Boy, this statement also resonated for me. She went on to say that we need to ask for help and accept it when offered. That is a big one.
Doreen listed 5 ways that assertiveness helps to improve your health, career and relationships:
- Self care and focusing on what is essential to your health
- Helps to detox your stored up feelings
- Helps you share your feelings lovingly in relationship
- Helps you gain respect
- Helps you ask for what you need.
So here is to each of us shedding our “nice” cape, using the word “no” as a complete sentence and expressing our truth in a loving manner.