Are you passive? Do you let other people take advantage of you? Do you find that you keep your needs, opinions, and thoughts to yourself to avoid confrontation or avoid making people unhappy? Being passive generally leads to unhappiness. You’re not able to put your own wants and needs first. Eventually many passive people end up unhappy and unwell. So how do you overcome passiveness? Let’s take a look at the steps that can help you become a bit more assertive.
Step One: Assess the Reason
Chances are you’re only passive in certain situations or with certain people. You may have a sibling or a best friend whom you’re able to share all of your thoughts and ideas with. Take some time to assess why you’re passive in some areas and not in others.
What is the trigger? Do people or situations intimidate you? Did something happen in your past that has made you feel a bit gun shy? Did you have a confrontation with someone that caused you to feel hurt or angry? Learning why you’re passive can help you overcome it.
Step Two: Start Small
In situations where you feel moderately comfortable, start practicing asking for what you want and expressing your opinion. These are the two main areas where many people are passive rather than assertive. As you practice, you’ll gain some confidence in your ability to be a bit more assertive. You can take these new-found skills and confidence into your office place and your personal life.
Step Three: Say No
Another area of life where a passive nature may cause problems is in the inability to say no. Saying no makes many people feel guilty – like they’ve let the other person down. However, the ability to say no to others means saying yes to yourself. Your time, energy, money, and skills are valuable. Don’t give them away and don’t spend them on reasons or people that aren’t your priority.
Step Four: Be Patient
It can take time to overcome passivity. It has probably become a habit and a way of communicating for you. Realize that habits can change. With patience, persistence, and a commitment to create new habits, you can be more assertive. You’ll learn, grow, and adapt over time. Eventually, your passive self will be long forgotten and you’ll be able to ask for, and get, what you want.
Step Five: Journal
Journaling can help you be more assertive in a number of ways. First, it can help you identify your triggers and what makes you feel passive or assertive. Reading past journal entries will help you see patterns. Additionally, you can practice being assertive in your journal. That can then translate to conversations and interactions in the world.
Being more assertive will help you ask for and get what you want. People will stop taking advantage of you and you’ll be able to put yourself first for a change. It’s a wonderful way to live your life.