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:
A thorough look at the intrinsic rights we are all born with and how to protect them by creating boundaries.
Examines and explains advanced assertiveness techniques and breaks them down in a manageable and easy way.
Explains in depth how to overcome the people-pleasing trap and gives step by step instructions on how to use assertiveness to say no.
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: