Did you know that people who struggle with food tend to be exceptionally kind and nurturing, caring deeply about the needs and feelings of others? They often generously give grace without extending it to themselves, and hold themselves to very high standards with no room for mistakes, while giving others ample mercy.
Those of us who struggle in our relationship with food can tend to be on the passive end of the passive-assertive spectrum. We often let others have the floor while we stand back in silence – even though there is much we’d like to have the courage to say. This frustration can push us to turn to food for relief.
Passivity diminishes personal power. We find it easier to stuff down our thoughts with food rather than stepping up and saying what we mean.
Here’s the good news: No one has to stay stuck there. Assertiveness is a skill that can be mastered. Anyone can develop it; all it takes is practice.
CLARITY: Assertive is not the same thing as aggressive or passive-aggressive. It is the healthy, powerful balance-point between the two. You can act in your own best interest, stand up for yourself without undue anxiety, express your feelings honestly and comfortably, and do so while respecting the rights of others to do the same.
As you develop assertiveness:
- You get a clearer understanding of who you are and the value you bring.
- Relationships become more genuine and true, and unhealthy ones may become evident.
- You discover more wisdom for problem solving and solution finding.
- You become less anxious when unexpected or difficult things happen.
- You naturally step into your personal power and get more done (and have more fun doing it) because you have confidence that you can.
- Other people’s successes are not a threat. Assertiveness opens the door for us to respect and celebrate others as well as ourselves.
So, if saying what you mean makes you anxious, if you have a hard time saying no and then regret it later, if you feel overly timid when speaking to people in authority, if you tend to stay in conversations or on the phone much longer than you want to, or if you have difficulty expressing anger or other strong emotions – some work around becoming more assertive could be a life-changer.
If you’d like to read more, here are a few articles you may find interesting for starters: