How To Halt Put-downs And Come Out On Top Part Four

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So now you know what to say it should be easy right? Well, you know what they say, when man makes plans, God laughs. Others may be resistant to the assertive changes within you so let’s discuss what we need to anticipate in those around us this week.

 

What To Expect When You Begin To Assertively Stand Up For Yourself

 

If you are new to assertively standing up for yourself, especially if you have resorted to being passive in the past, you need to anticipate a certain level of resistance from others who have previously taken for granted that they can put you down.

 

Although this makes the process of being assertive harder at first, stick with it – you will get stronger and more confident in asserting yourself if you persist. Remember, the perpetrator is expecting you to back down at the first hurdle and when you don’t you will send a very clear message that you are not going to tolerate being mistreated any longer.

 

It’s also worth bearing in mind that being assertive will be uncomfortable at first. Very uncomfortable even. You might feel anxious, afraid, angry or a mixture of all these emotions. Try your very best to remain calm externally. Your emotions will calm during assertive exchanges once you have more experience of asserting yourself. Be patient with the process, persist in asserting yourself consistently and have confidence that it will get easier.

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How To Halt Put-downs And Come Out On Top Part Three

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How To Halt Put-Downs The Assertive Way

 

Once time has passed and your emotions have cooled (at least a little) try to get the person in a neutral environment alone. If the person continues to put you down in front of others, maybe consider continuing to address the situation assertively – regardless of who is listening – as outlined below.

 

Most of all, remember to remain calm (at least on the outside) with a moderated tone of voice and open body language throughout the duration of the conversation, no matter what is being said. Remember, the moment you lose control and get angry or aggressive you give your power to the perpetrator which is exactly what they want.

 

Step One – Find Out The Intention Behind The Comment, Explain Your Thoughts And Feelings And Say What You Want

 

Repeat the put-down and then ask…

 

‘Can you say more about what you meant by that comment?’

 

The person may then reply by a further put-down such as ‘nothing, you’re overly sensitive’. Repeat the question and if they do not answer continue by saying…

 

‘I took the comment to mean (x, y, z). Is that what you meant by the comment?’

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How To Halt Put-downs And Come Out On Top Part Two

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Although being assertive is beneficial, many – including me at times – shy away from it out of fear. Fear of conflict, fear of failure, fear of humiliation or even fear of further put downs. One of my favorite books is called ‘Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway’ so when possible I try to push through my fears because I know what I resist, persists.

 

Trust me, if I can do this, you can too. Just take a look at what you stand to gain below. It’s worth it, I promise.

 

 The benefits of being assertive

 

Assertiveness is all about creating healthy boundaries for how you wish to be treated and should not be confused with aggression which violates others disrespectfully. When we assert ourselves we shift from a victim mentality to an empowered one. We reap the rewards of increased self-esteem when we communicate to others we deserve to be treated with respect because we communicate our inherent worth.

 

Whilst dealing with put-downs is quite a specific area of assertiveness, if you feel you would like to be more assertive in your day to day life, I would suggest reading my other assertiveness articles as featured below:

 

How To Free Yourself And Assert Your Rights

 

A thorough look at the intrinsic rights we are all born with and how to protect them by creating boundaries.

 

Assertiveness: A Journey Worth Taking

 

Examines and explains advanced assertiveness techniques and breaks them down in a manageable and easy way.

 

Sick Of Over-Extending Yourself? Learn How To Say No

 

Explains in depth how to overcome the people-pleasing trap and gives step by step instructions on how to use assertiveness to say no.

 

The criticism quandary; How to handle criticism and emerge bigger and better for it

 

Looks at how to handle criticism in a healthy, constructive and assertive way, enabling you to use it to propel you forward.

 

How To Halt Put-Downs – Immediate Responses

 

The best way to respond to put-downs – at least initially – is with humor. This disarms the perpetrator and fails to give them the reaction they want which is anger, you feeling ashamed or humiliated. A standard and very effective response to almost any put-down is:

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How To Halt Put-downs And Come Out On Top Part One

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‘I felt awful I missed the meeting this morning.’

‘At least you made it into work this time!’

‘Yea, I guess so…’

 

We’ve all experienced the bitter aftertaste of a put-down which caught us completely unawares. How do you typically respond? If you’re anything like me, you’ll think of the perfect response a day late, leaving you feeling frustrated and angry, both at yourself and at the person who delivered the sour remark.

 

Whilst living in shared accommodation in London I had the unfortunate pleasure of sharing with a man who by all means was the king of put-downs. I honestly think he lived his life in a state of constant anger and frustration and the only way he knew how to alleviate his pain was to put others down. Needless to say he was a very unpleasant character.

 

At the time I knew nothing about assertiveness and so had no idea how to reply, leaving me constantly bewildered and feeling attacked. I can see now that my ‘perfect responses’ were actually just put-downs themselves, and would have left me entering into a competition on passive aggression, which he would obviously win.

 

The reality of put-downs is that they are almost always indirect and so virtually impossible to address at the time without resorting to demeaning remarks back. Thankfully, after learning more about assertiveness, I am now better able to defend myself against put downs, but it still takes a great deal of courage to tackle them in a direct way and there have been times when I’ve fallen short of being assertive. Having said that, when I do respond assertively, I feel incredibly empowered, having said I find the behavior unacceptable.

 

Throughout this month’s series we will address how to respond to put-downs in such a way that you too feel empowered; standing up for yourself whilst maintaining your integrity by being respectful, diplomatic and firm.

 

What Is A Put-Down Exactly?

 

Dictionary.com defines a put-down as:

 

“A disparaging, belittling, or snubbing remark. A remark or act intended to humiliate or embarrass

someone.”

 

The Psychological Reasons People Give Put-Downs

 

Often those who use put-downs towards others are very insecure and hide behind them, feeling it the only way they can safely communicate their anger or elevate themselves socially.

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The Rough Seas of the Roles We Inhabit and How to Calm the Waters Part Five

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Life role certificates; a fun keepsake

 

Once you have agreed on the expectations between you and the person in relation to your life role, you can then write it up, framing it for a fun and sentimental keepsake to keep in the kitchen or around the house.

 

Be as creative with it as you want, print it on weathered card for effect, experiment with fonts and even put a wax seal on it if that takes your fancy.

 

This serves as a reminder of how you can work together, finding compromise in a respectful way and will act as a template reminding you how to get the most out of your life role in such a way that it not only serves and supports you but others too.

 

How to successfully juggle life roles

 

This is where your core identity really comes into its own. Juggling life roles is never easy but it gets increasingly stressful and difficult if you are either wearing masks for each role and have no clear core identity. Your core identity will allow you to remain quintessentially yourself even though you may be switching between roles out of necessity.

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A Message Just For You…

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In the lead up to the re-launch I have examined my writing and I have to say I cringed at some of it. I think part of being a writer is critiquing your own work and as you progress on your journey you learn new things. Looking back I feel like I’ve dropped the ball a bit. As some of you know I also work a nine to five and – if I’m really honest – in order to keep up with the volume of work I need to put out there I feel I’ve let the quality of my writing slide a bit. At times I’ve written almost on autopilot, sharing my knowledge on areas but in a way that, when I re-read it, seemed slightly dry and impersonal.

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What’s more I felt that in some of my writing the tone has been hinting that I know it all and obviously have it all figured out – which couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m on a journey the same as everyone and the reason why I started this blog was because I genuinely wanted to share what has helped me along the way, in the hope it could help others.

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So I wanted to apologize if you ever felt my tone was off key – this was never my intention and I want you to know I have a huge amount of respect for each and every one of you. Looking to foster more self awareness and growth in your life is a very courageous thing to do and you should be extremely proud of yourself for taking that step.

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As of the 17th June I am taking six months off work to study, meaning I will have more time to dedicate to Accessible Psychology and my writing. I aim to use this time wisely to refocus my efforts and, as of August, there will be daily postings again and the site will be in full swing.

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Please do let me know what you think of the new site and all of the social media channels; after all you are the heart and soul of Accessible Psychology and the only reason why I continue to do what I do.

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Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead,

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With much love and respect,

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x X x Jenny x X x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rough Seas of the Roles We Inhabit and How to Calm the Waters Part Four

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Life roles; how to have them serve and support you by bringing the subconscious or unspoken into the conscious and communicated

 

So how do you begin to shape your life roles so they serve and support you? The biggest way is to bring what is usually the subconscious or unspoken into the conscious and communicated. There are many approaches you could use to do this, but as it is an emotionally charged  topic it needs to be handled in a delicate and sensitive way using assertiveness, otherwise it could do more damage than good.

 

Remember, assertiveness is not about winning or getting your own way – it is about working together to find a mutually agreeable solution in such a way that it respects not only your rights but the rights of others.

 

Our rights

 

For a recap on our inherent rights take a look below:

 

“I have the right to state my own needs and set my own priorities as a person, independent from any roles that I may assume in my life.” This right recognizes our existence beyond the roles we inhabit (whether they be that of a husband, wife, mother or father) and accepts we have priorities beyond the realms of those roles. We are all, at our core, individuals and this right highlights we should be treated as such. In truth, to have priorities for ourselves outside of the roles we inhabit is healthy as it promotes a sense of autonomy and individuality.

 

“I have the right to be treated with respect as an intelligent, capable and equal human being.” This is one of our most basic rights and yet one that is violated all too often. Absolutely all of us deserve to be treated with respect.

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Coming Soon… The New And Improved Accessible Psychology

The countdown is now officially on for the brand new Accessible Psychology. The new design will have a magazine style look and feel, letting you browse easily for whatever takes your fancy – from cultivating patience to boosting your productivity.

 

The new design will be launched early July but there will still be works taking place in the background whilst I add pictures to all of the 300+ articles I’ve written over the years. Full posting will be back up and running at the beginning of August and this is when all social media will be re-launched too. I’m just so excited to share with you the plans I have in store!

 

There will be monthly film and book reviews on character based, psychologically driven stories with a few self improvement books thrown in too, social media competitions to win the books featured in the reviews (so if you haven’t joined my Twitter or Facebook page, now is a great time) and even Twitter polls where you get to decide what content I share.

 

Do you have any features you would like me to add to the new and improved site? Please do get in touch by either clicking and commenting on this post or using my contact form and share your thoughts, I’d love to hear from you.

The Rough Seas of the Roles We Inhabit and How to Calm the Waters Part Three

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Life role expectations; how to avoid destruction and incompatibility

 

Your own subconscious expectations

 

One of the most subtle but debilitating ways our life roles can destroy us is by the subconscious emotional baggage that each of us carry, suddenly exposed when we take on new roles. I encountered this when in my previous marriage, but only recognized it as such in retrospect.

 

Has anyone ever told you that marriage changes everything? Well, this is what they are referring to, even though they may not be consciously aware of it. In truth, if you are an agnostic or atheist, marriage is just a piece of paper. However, beneath the surface often lies a psychological battle waiting to manifest itself once you sign on the dotted line. The good news? Once you are consciously aware of it, this battle loses all of its power over you, rendering it redundant.

 

The psychological battle and emotional baggage I am referring to? The subconscious expectations you place on yourself for each life role. Naturally you will have conscious expectations as to how the new role will play out however what I am speaking of goes much, much deeper.

 

In the case of marriage it originates from what your notion of a ‘good wife’ or ‘good husband’ is but it doesn’t stop there – the subconscious notions of what constitutes a good wife or husband stem from your parents, from how they modeled this role, to how happy their marriage was and even to how they spoke about it.

 

Indeed, the ways your parents modeled these roles to you have provided you with things you subconsciously believe to be a good wife or husband, or may have given you the belief that in order to be a good wife or husband you must avoid certain behaviors.  If neither of your parents were married, this might have subconsciously modeled indirect messages of what it means to be married, impacting how you see marriage itself.

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The Rough Seas of the Roles We Inhabit and How to Calm the Waters Part Two

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Identity and life roles; how to avoid isolation and devastation

 

Throughout life there will be roles we inhabit which we identify strongly with, like being a parent or professional. Although it is healthy to identify with these roles, the old adage that too much of a good thing is bad for you can be quite true. The danger in identifying with any one role too greatly is, should the role dynamic change or even cease to be, it can devastate us. Have you ever heard of the ’empty nest’ syndrome? This is how it happens.

 

For me it happened when I identified too strongly with being a model, as soon as I no longer was one, I was depressed, as if part of me had ceased to exist. I soon found other roles to latch onto, which I now know only perpetuated the problem, rather than eradicating it by choosing to focus on my core identity instead.

 

On reflection the issues I had surrounding my identity were compounded by the fact I often hid behind different masks for the life roles I inhabited, never quite being authentic and revealing my core self. During those years it was a very lonely existence. It was as if the rough seas of my life roles had thrown me overboard and I was trying to swim against the tide, with my fear of intimacy battling against my authentic self so that I would remain masked and stay hidden.

 

Of course it is natural each life role you inhabit will draw on different elements to your character, but your core self should always be the captain of the ship, steering you on a calm course throughout each life role, letting your genuine character and authenticity shine.

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