Walking the tightrope of assertiveness can be difficult, either in the workplace, with family or hanging out with friends
The challenge is to balance your behaviour between two extremes; presenting yourself as (doormat) too passive or being (bully) overly assertive or aggressive.
Using assertiveness with grandparents to be
Surely telling your parents and in laws that they are going to be grandparents is one of life’s most amazing moments?
Of course, I hear you say.
Well…as wonderful as it was, spare a thought for me. The grandparents (grandmothers especially) mentioned in my life are equally, if not more excited than myself it would seem as shown from the 25,542…no wait, make that 25,543…25,544…25,545…25,546 text messages my partner and I have both received daily, from the first day of them knowing.
They’re not just one liner’s either, we’re talking novel sized text messages here! Having to reject four FaceTime calls in a row when you’re at the cinema is surely an omen that things are really not going to slow down, any time soon.
Please don’t misunderstand me; both sets of parents are literally amazing and brilliant people. I genuinely wouldn’t change them for the world, even during the times when they make the bed when we are still in it or cry their eyes out when it’s time to go home. I couldn’t ask for better grandparents for our child.
Who can blame them for being excited?
It’s really an amazing thing. The first grandchild for both sets; the big question is: How do I deal with over excited grandparents? They’ll no doubt want to do everything for me in the weeks after the birth; I probably won’t see my child for about a month. The mad thoughts that have gone through my head recently included me not even telling them we were in labour.
Now their intentions are obviously good, so I’m going to have to be mindful of their feelings when mentioning the subject. Even as adults, our parents are still our parents, we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings but personally, I don’t like being smothered…I’m capable of doing things for myself.
Maybe I just need to learn how to be more assertive in how I approach them, laying down rules and things that I’m comfortable with.
The idea of being assertive is to ‘stand up’ for yourself and your rights whilst not violating the rights of others in the process. It’s the trait of being self-assured and displaying confident communication and interpersonal skills, without being aggressive.
This includes the right to have and express your own feelings and opinions; the right to be listened to and be taken seriously. You assert your own priorities and confidently say the word no without feeling guilty.
Using the RightTrack 3 Step assertiveness technique
Step 1 – Actively listen to what is being said, then show that you hear and understand their thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
I’ll need to explain that I understand the hysteria that’s going to surround the baby and that I’m aware that everyone will cry constantly.
Step 2 -Say what you know, think or feel, or explain the facts of the situation.
Next I’ll explain that whilst I would never stop anyone from visiting, we really don’t want to feel like we’re helpless.
Step 3 – Say what will happen, what will be done, or what you want to happen.
I’ll need to clarify our desire for set visiting times to ensure some consistency and healthy boundaries.
I’m excited to try out this new assertiveness technique…So let’s see how I can assert myself… I’ll fill you in on the progress!
By Sarah Moore | RightTrack’s Marketing & Social Coordinator