Dear Filly: ‘I’m tired of people walking all over me…’

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Dear Filly,

     I’m tired of people walking all over me. The worst part is, I let them. I guess it’s not in my nature to be assertive with others. I envy those who can simply speak their minds freely, not caring who they upset, as long as they get their point across. While some may argue those kinds of people are often disliked jerks, the thing is, they don’t care what others think.

   I am so busy trying to please everyone that I put my own needs and comments to the side. If someone continues to say something I don’t like, I am not one to let it be known that I don’t like what they’re saying. I don’t stand up for myself unless it is necessary. I give into people’s requests when I don’t want to, and I find myself caught up in twisted situations that could have totally been avoided had I been direct in the first place!

    My question Filly is how do I work on being more assertive? Do I need to work on it? Am I fine just the way I am, or should I fix this about myself? I know I am strong inside, but I want to be able to show it on the outside too.

Sincerely,

Anonymous

 

Dear Anonymous,

    Right off the bat: You can be assertive without being a jerk everyone dislikes. I promise. It’s about balance. It’s one thing to speak your mind and not let people walk all over you, it’s another thing to just be rude and uncaring. One is an attractive quality that helps you avoid tricky situations that you don’t want to be in, the other makes everyone hate you.

    Should you work on being more assertive? Of course! You don’t have to be someone you’re not, but you can grow into someone who isn’t afraid to speak their mind. A good place to begin is by answering honestly when someone asks you a question. If you’re asked to do something that you’d rather not get caught up in, start saying so. If a friend asks you how you liked a movie, a food or a song, it’s okay to be honest if you absolutely hated it. Yeah, it can be scary, but start speaking up when someone is saying or doing something that you have a problem with. It is impossible to please everyone, and trying to make everyone happy will only make you miserable.

    You are an individual with thoughts, feelings, desires and a life to live, and you need to focus on yourself rather than on pleasing everyone. The people that matter will respect you for being assertive, and you’ll be able to grow even more as a person. Good luck.

Sincerely,

Filly

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