Social relationships exert a huge influence on well-being. Every day, you interact with friends, family, bosses, co-workers, and strangers. All those interactions have an influence on your mood, which will depend on how well those interactions went. Asserting yourself before others is vital. However, some people find it extremely difficult to do. Those who can’t seem to do this may suffer damage to their self-esteem and obtain more suffering than gratification from their relationships.
Everyone should be respectful, empathetic, and kind to those around them. No person deserves to be looked down upon, ignored, or emotionally hurt. Nonetheless, there’s no doubt that your attitude influences the way others treat you, and that, therefore, it’s your responsibility to protect yourself from harmful comments or acts on behalf of others. Now, is it possible to defend those boundaries? How can you do this?
What not to do in this situation
We know that asserting yourself before others may be easier said than done. In fact, there are two typical attitudes that are often used to do this, and it’s safe to say that they don’t give the expected results. The first of these is to adopt an aggressive and hurtful attitude, confusing respect with fear. Treating other people this way may prevent them from taking advantage of you but it’ll ultimately cause conflict in relationships and discomfort for both parties.
On the other hand, some people try to increase their value in other people’s eyes by seeking to please all of their wishes and requests. While it’s true that altruistic and helpful people are valued positively, it’s vital to bear in mind that there’s a huge difference between giving voluntarily and giving to avoid being rejected. In the second case, the individual runs the risk that others won’t value them for who they are but for what they can offer.
Keys to asserting yourself before others
Now that you know that neither posture is right, you may be wondering how you can assert yourself before others. Well, here we bring you some useful guidelines.
Work on your self-confidence
Asserting yourself before others becomes a difficult task when you aren’t aware of your own worth. Low self-esteem and insecurity often lead to allowing abusive treatment or constantly trying to please others. An increase in self-confidence can allow you to be firm in your interactions with your surroundings; which you may also reflect in a more appropriate non-verbal language. For example, a more upright posture, a higher tone of voice, or better eye contact.
The ideal thing would be for everyone to be treated with respect and kindness. However, the reality is that you’re the one who will show others how they should treat you. For that reason, it’s essential to establish boundaries and ensure that you meet them.
For example, you may decide that it’s unacceptable for someone else to raise their voice or make hurtful comments about you. In that case, you have to assertively let them know this and withdraw from the relationship if it happens. Only by doing this will you not allow these behaviors to happen again. Remember that you’re in control.
Cheer on yourself
If you want other people to value and respect you, you have to do the same with yourself first. This implies prioritizing, taking care of yourself, and respecting yourself in your everyday life. For example, if you think you’re valuable and worthy of love and respect, you won’t waste time on disrespectful relationships. Instead, you’ll look for people who can give you what you deserve and be more demanding when it comes to who you share your energy with.
Others can tell when you’re your own first priority. Remember that your interpersonal relationships will always align with the concept you have of yourself. In that way, only those who treat you with the same respect and consideration that you offer yourself will remain in your life.
The relationship between asserting yourself and feeling good
At first, it may seem that the only way you can be happy and feel valuable is if other people recognize you. However, it’s the complete opposite. Value always comes from within. Therefore. it’s reflected externally, not the other way around. Keeping this in mind is key.
Therefore, the main thing is to start feeling good about yourself, empowering yourself, and strengthening your self-concept. What you think of yourself is the most important thing. In fact, it’s the only opinion that truly matters. You’ll see how your surroundings change and your relationships transform the moment you change how you think of yourself. You’re the most important person. Work on yourself and the rest will follow.
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