If I could only use one word to describe myself, assertive would not be that word. Whenever an issue arises in our home, I have a really hard time making my needs known. Usually, I'm extremely passive and not confident at all. I may initially think or feel one way, but completely change my viewpoint based on how my husband tells me he feels or how he perceives a situation. The problem with this is that it makes it hard for my husband to know what I need and help make our home a harmonious one. I usually worry that being anything but passive will create unwanted conflict when in reality, if I made my needs known in a firm and loving manner, there still wouldn't be conflict, just resolution. My husband is constantly asking me to be more assertive so we can solve anything that comes up. Being too passive means that nothing truly gets resolved, just bandaged over, and so the same issues keep presenting themselves in our relationship instead of being able to truly move forward. I want our marriage, and in turn our home, to be as strong as it can be. Having someone to encourage me to work on it is great because changing a trait about myself isn't going to happen overnight and it can be discouraging when you're ready to see results right away.
My kids are another big reason why I am working on becoming more assertive. I have a nineteen-month-old son and a little girl due this fall. My hope is that they will grow up to be confident human beings who are able to exemplify assertiveness. And how do our children learn best? By watching us. I want them to see that how they feel and what they need matter and that there is a good way to let others know. The best way for them to know and learn that is to see it play out in their parents' lives.
Like I mentioned earlier, changing something about yourself doesn't just happen overnight. In order to become more assertive, I have to examine myself and see what I need to modify in order to make the change happen. The biggest thing I need to change is that I am extremely passive. I put the other person's thoughts and feelings before my own. In order to become assertive, I need to remind myself that my thoughts and feelings are just as important as the other person's. My default mode is going to want to kick in so my plan of action moving forward is going to be to take a breath and a step back. When I take a step back, I will ask myself three questions.
Am I being too passive?
What do I need or how do I feel about this?
How can I say this in a loving manner?
By stepping back and asking myself these questions, I will be on my way to becoming assertive and actively working to make our home better. Whether my husband or my kids come to me with something that needs to be addressed or I need to go to them, we will be able to work together to make our home and our family better. If you're like me and being assertive is something you need and want to work on, I hope knowing you're not alone and maybe even asking yourself these three questions helps you on your journey.