60 posts tagged with assertiveness.
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How do I learn to assert myself more in romantic relationships?

Are there any mental strategies, books or just general advice you've found to be particularly useful on becoming more assertive and expressing needs, preferences and feelings clearly and confidently in romantic relationships? [more inside]
posted by armadillo1224 on Jan 3, 2017 - 20 answers

How do I avoid being excessively deferential and go after what I want?

I recently came to the conclusion that this is something I really need to work on. I’ve done ok in life — multiple degrees from top universities, a six-figure job and a seven-figure net worth in my 40s. But I’ve always been more cooperative, less willing to go after what I want, and looking back at this advanced age, it has hurt me. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 14, 2016 - 18 answers

Creative ways to practice assertiveness

I'm looking for ways to practice assertiveness that I can incorporate into daily life. I've noticed that in certain situations, especially with men, I don't say anything even when I'm uncomfortable, because I have a deeply ingrained fear that they will become violent if challenged. I want to get better about this. I can't really ask men to start saying and doing inappropriate things to me until I say something, but I can work on assertiveness in other ways. A while back I read about a guy whose fear of rejection was interfering in his life, so he made it a point to get rejected every day until the fear became less intense. [more inside]
posted by bunderful on Sep 25, 2016 - 12 answers

How well does CBT work for assertiveness issues?

I have come to realize that I have issues with assertiveness and am looking into therapy. How would I look into this? Would CBT be a good fit? [more inside]
posted by manderin on Aug 25, 2016 - 5 answers

Hello, severe social anxiety

Thinking about some soft skills I may be lacking in the workplace (listening, speaking up, confidence), and wondering how I can improve. [more inside]
posted by stoneandstar on Mar 29, 2016 - 8 answers

How do I best navigate being edged out of a professional opportunity?

Non-profit: I found a grant and brought in two colleagues in my department to choose what we would propose for the grant, to write it and implement it. One of these colleagues who previous to this I would have described as a friend also has completely taken it over and basically pushed me out of the process. How do I get involved again? Or should I just say hindsight is 20/20 and let go of it all? [more inside]
posted by abirdinthehand on Mar 25, 2016 - 8 answers

Refund for errors?

Given a bunch of new and confusing factors in 2015 (marriage, home buying, self-employment), we hired a tax preparer this year. She made a number of errors, ranging from typos of spelling etc to missing deductions resulting in a >$1000 difference in what we owe. My wife caught these errors right away and the preparer made the changes. (We will give this a full review before submitting, it’s possible there are more errors we haven’t found yet.) [more inside]
posted by latkes on Mar 1, 2016 - 8 answers

How to pay attention to people and not their status?

26+ years of high power distance in my home country are really affecting my relationships with people whom I perceive as having higher status. Having moved to Western Europe, I can see the negative influence even better, and I'm not happy. Please help. [more inside]
posted by Guelder on Jan 28, 2016 - 8 answers

I was bullied at the gym I go to. Best approaches and solutions?

I got in an argument that resulted in the other person expressing physical threats and intimidation. I feel unsafe; however, I feel okay towards resolving this issue seriously and systematically. But this is an unknown area for me. If there are best practices that I should consider, that would be incredibly useful. [more inside]
posted by polymodus on Jan 9, 2016 - 46 answers

How to practise self-compassion when I'm not assertive?

I want to start practicing more self-compassion when I'm not as assertive as I would like to be, how do I do this? [more inside]
posted by twill on Sep 20, 2015 - 8 answers

How can I stop being annoyed by my neighbors?

I recently moved into a new apartment that shares a property with a larger house—essentially a backyard cottage, except that the apartment is in front. The family that lives in the house drives me crazy in small ways. But everything that happens has been so small that I don't know when, or if, I should say anything to them. How can I stop feeling so annoyed by them? [more inside]
posted by three_red_balloons on Aug 8, 2015 - 32 answers

The art of not being taken advantage of?

I am the "nice guy": agreeable, non-confrontational, always trying to please everyone and deep down just wanting everyone to like me. I can't live like that anymore. How do I put my own needs/wants ahead of others? [more inside]
posted by Funky Claude on Jun 21, 2015 - 28 answers

Go through with this first date or not even bother...?

While dating online I am planning on meeting a man tomorrow for a first date. He proposes his city. At the same time I am trying actively to progress in making better choices in men, being assertive, trusting my gut, realistically doubting myself, and am afraid of being too negative ("cutting off my head because of a toothache", or an English equivalent). [more inside]
posted by Dutchmeisje on Jun 20, 2015 - 17 answers

Balancing care for yourself with mental health issues of a family member

Recently my sister came over from the UK to stay with us here in Sydney for 3 weeks, and it was tough. She was extremely critical of everything down to the smallest detail and often condescending and rude. This is not my first time being treated like shit by a guest in my own home and I'd really like advice on how to stop this/react in future. [more inside]
posted by everydayanewday on May 26, 2015 - 24 answers

You're making me justify all the things

My SO has a tendency to ask a lot of mundane questions that make me feel defensive. Please help be less bothered by this. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Sep 25, 2014 - 78 answers

Aw, bless.

People tend to think of me as cute, sweet, and other infantilising adjectives. I feel that this is a problem at work. How can I amend my behaviour and appearance to be less cute and more serious? [more inside]
posted by sockandawe on Jun 17, 2014 - 37 answers

How do I prepare myself to resolve this toxic situation with my boss?

My boss and I got along fairly well before I got promoted to a full-time position. She was clear about priorities but fairly hands-off, which I liked, and open to questions (of which I had many, since I'm just starting out). At the time of the promotion, I was given many, many additional responsibilities and started to run into a micromanaging side of her I hadn't seen before. And a weird, contradictory expectation. If I asked her things, she started to tell me to figure them out myself. She wanted me to take initiative. Great, I thought. I'm fine with that. Except that when I started taking initiative, she was then critical if I didn't do things in exactly the way she would have done them.... [more inside]
posted by iadacanavon on Mar 31, 2014 - 14 answers

How do I confront my therapist who is also essentially my boss?

I live in a mental health treatment center where my therapist is also my "program director". A program director here is basically someone who oversees your treatment and has say over things like when you can and cannot start working or volunteering. [more inside]
posted by tunestunes on Mar 26, 2014 - 23 answers

Learning how to set limits and follow through on them

I need help in learning how to firmly say no and in changing patterns that have been years in the making. I’m an empathetic and intuitive person and I’m very generous. It’s second nature to me to offer to help out or to support my friends. I come from a very ‘what’s mine is yours’ approach. I’ve given people places to stay, financial support, intensive emotional support and career assistance. I like being this way; it’s true to me and I’m not resenting or adding it up…but I feel I am training some people to exploit me or to assume they are always entitled to my help. I’m happy with these parts of myself, but recently I’ve started feeling that my kindness and sensitivity to others needs and boundaries is encouraging some people to treat me as if I have no boundaries or needs myself. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jan 4, 2014 - 35 answers

dealing with a roommate/ assertiveness 2.0

I like my roommate, but I don't like some of the things she does. I suck at being assertive. We've only been living together for a short while so I'd like to set some boundaries while it's still early. [more inside]
posted by DayTripper on Dec 4, 2013 - 10 answers

Boundaries with builders.

Hands up. I struggle with boundaries. I am pretty confident (some think 'uber' confident).. but give me a situation that could potentially spurn conflict and I will do anything to avoid it. This has caused me a phenomenal amount of other kinds of crap. So here s the deal - I have had a young'trainee' builder in doing some work - very pleasant and a good worker. We agreed a fee and I said I'd pay half that if he did half a day. He said he'd do the full day today and so I was shocked when he left at 3:30 (he started at 10). I said I would settle with him on his last day (this was because I wasn't sure what to pay and wanted to think about), though then he'll be with someone else so I'm probably going to find it harder. I can see now, I should have stated prior what I meant by a full day. 2 questions - Is a builder's day shorter than an office day? They seem a bit of a law unto themselves. If it should be an 8 hr day - how do I say I'd pay for 3/4's of a day whilst sounding reasonable and nice/assertive instead of aggressive or a tad, frankly, nervous. [more inside]
posted by tanktop on Nov 21, 2013 - 9 answers

Elvis can't figure out how to leave the building

Help me learn to exit conversations, interrupt people, and generally be more assertive with the big groups I'm in charge of. [more inside]
posted by hereticfig on Nov 10, 2013 - 13 answers

How can I become more assertive and avoid being an easy target?

I feel that I am generally somebody who ends up being taken advantage of. What can I change about myself to avoid this? [more inside]
posted by gemutlichkeit on Oct 8, 2013 - 7 answers

Can you recommend good books on developing assertiveness?

I've spent nearly all my life people-pleasing and recently have become aware of some very serious consequences affecting nearly all my relationships. I have been discussing this with a therapist, and in short, I need to learn to stand up for myself at home and at work. My therapist said that there are a gazillion books on the subject, and I thought I'd consult MeFites for your recommendations. [more inside]
posted by angiep on Oct 2, 2013 - 12 answers

How do I become more direct with my communication?

I need to be more direct with my communication, and I just find it very difficult to do it. What are some ways I can get over the fears in my head and be more direct, as in, ask for what I need directly and stop being such a pushover? [more inside]
posted by greta_01 on Aug 16, 2013 - 11 answers

It'd be improper to tell him his joke made me suicidal, I guess.

I keep finding myself in a peculiar and incredibly disheartening group social dynamic. I need practical guidance on how to "fix" the latest one, and maybe some suggestions on how to head these things off before we get to Suicidal Ideation pass. [more inside]
posted by Fee Phi Faux Phumb I Smell t'Socks o' a Puppetman! on Jun 22, 2013 - 58 answers

Nice (girls) finish last

Help me be assertive/direct without being hostile/aggressive. Also, help me muddle through some other communication issues. Finally: can a person be nice to others without being taken advantage of? [more inside]
posted by DayTripper on May 23, 2013 - 23 answers

You serve coffee now, just deal with it already.

An adult woman who used to bully me in elementary school flaunted an ugly childhood memory in my face while serving my coffee today. How to tactfully deal? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 16, 2013 - 77 answers

Dealing with an employer with crappy boundaries, in a niche field?

I’m in a small and incestuous field. My current employer has boundary issues and doesn't respect my time - it's driving me up the wall. I have to be very careful about how I handle this, since he has fingers in most of the pies in town. How can I assert myself without jeopardising my chances of future work? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 26, 2013 - 16 answers

Help me put my foot down while still keeping my cool at work.

I need advice on calmly asserting that a new task that's been dumped on me is A) unsuitable for my skill set and B) unreasonable in terms of time and expectations. [more inside]
posted by andraste on Jan 15, 2013 - 24 answers

Resources for improving communication skills

Can anybody recommend a book that will teach me how to be assertive without sounding bitchy? Or, maybe it's a self-esteem issue that I'm dealing with. I'd like to communicate better. [more inside]
posted by little_dog_laughing on Jan 9, 2013 - 11 answers

Help Me Feel More Confident About This Super Long Presentation on Confidence (sorta)

A presentation on assertive negotiation and learning confidence: my time slot is twice as long as I expected! Can you help me brainstorm a group activity to break up the time while illustrating the concepts? Do you have any resources to share? [more inside]
posted by aabbbiee on Sep 13, 2012 - 8 answers

Not a doormat

How can I, a quiet, late-20's woman, be more assertive at work? [more inside]
posted by scribbler on Feb 14, 2012 - 16 answers


Work colleague accidentally cc'd me an email containing personal insults directed at me and now wants to meet to discuss the issue. How do I diplomatically and professionally say that I don't want to meet and would rather just ignore the email and keep working? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 6, 2012 - 61 answers

Of shoe shiners and assertiveness

Some random shoe shiner shined one of my boots while I was waiting in the subway, hoping to get some money. I honestly had no cash on me at the time. He left off without much fuss thankfully, but I'm worried about the products he used may ruin my boot, and how to deal with such ones in the future. [more inside]
posted by never nice on Jan 21, 2012 - 15 answers

How best to hollaback?

What is the most effective way for a woman to respond to street harassment by men? Obviously if I feel unsafe, I run like hell. But often it happens in public places where I'm easily able to stop, turn around and say something to the perpetrator. Ideally would like to a) Make the man feel embarrassed and ashamed, b) Make myself feel strong instead of victimised, c) Reduce the chances of him harassing again. I realise these may be contradictory goals, and I would like to better understand what goes on in the minds of men who harass women on the street. (In case it's at all relevant, the sleazebags in my area tend to be white and middle aged).
posted by embrangled on Dec 15, 2011 - 90 answers

Dealing with a harsh comment from a superior at work.

Though I can be broodish and moody at home at times, I keep it in check. People at my workplace find me enjoyable and fun to work with. They find me humorous. I have friends there. Today, one manager out of the blue from another department told me "You are the most negative person I know." I told her in an even tone "That is not too nice a thing to say, you know?" She just rolled her eyes and laughed and said "You're a downer…like Eeyore". Context: She sort of glides from department to department with this air of superiority and says edgy things to people in a joking-but-not-really way. Many don't find her funny. I let her get to me as it cut me deeply. Real deep. Before that I was in a zen mode all day and at peace. How do I deal with interactions with her in the future as I can't change her and I secretly think she likes taking jabs at people. (moderate sociopath?) She is higher in the chain and is liked even higher up as a hatchetwoman and I don't want to be rash with something I might say back. I wish I could buy Thick Skin on ebay or something. Thanks for your answers. (If it matters, I am a male.)
posted by snap_dragon on Aug 23, 2011 - 48 answers

Am I a pushover?

I suspect that I am becoming a pushover in my relationship—how can I reverse this trend? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 22, 2011 - 29 answers

Don't go away mad (but please go away! for a few minutes! so I can work!)

Is there a technique / piece of ancient wisdom / secret phrase that (a) will get overzealous office conversationalists to back off, and (b) won't leave them mortally offended (or that at least will help me avoid Things Getting Weird in the workplace or elsewhere I have to interact with the same people regularly)? [more inside]
posted by aecorwin on Jul 14, 2011 - 36 answers

How can I learn to be more assertive?

I want to be more assertive - to be able to express my needs, ask for and state things clearly without feeling guilty or being whiny. Please give me suggestions for how to learn and especially how to practice/build up to this so it becomes a habit. [more inside]
posted by needs more cowbell on Jul 8, 2011 - 20 answers

You Asshole!...Um, I'm sorry I called you an asshole.

Help me stop apologizing for my own assertiveness. [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos on Feb 26, 2011 - 26 answers

Movies in which wife is a doormat and then learns to stand up for herself?

Movies in which wife is a doormat and then learns to stand up for herself?
posted by markcmyers on Jan 20, 2011 - 49 answers

How can I learn to get along with my family again?

How can I find a way to get along with my family again? When I'm around my family for big family occasions like Christmas, everyone seems to fall into long-ago-established patterns of behaviour in which I'm treated like an awkward/over-sensitive/"difficult" twelve-year-old. Anything I do seems to reinforce that impression, and (although I try hard to prevent it) I'm pretty sure that the more they see me that way, the less calm and less inclined to make nice about everything I become, making the whole thing worse. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 26, 2010 - 37 answers

Speaking words of wisdom, let it be...

I would like to learn to behave more graciously. What everyday injustices and annoyances do healthy people deal with by simply "letting it go"? What does "letting it go" look like in practice - what do you do/say, and how do you feel afterwards? And can I identify those situations when I really should stand firm so as not to be taken advantage of? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Nov 4, 2010 - 35 answers

Help me put my foot down with others and choose better friends in the future

It has recently come to my attention that I have serious issues enforcing healthy boundaries with others. Because I do not effectively enforce boundaries, I end up caught in totally ridiculous situations that I am very resentful about. When I do enforce boundaries, the response is typically that I am being hypersensitive/petty/overreacting or being a "B****"; [more inside]
posted by neanderloid on Jul 7, 2010 - 19 answers

Assertiveness pracitce

Is there any way I can get more practice in being assertive? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 21, 2010 - 14 answers

Should I tattle?

I think I've been sexually harassed at work. I want to go to someone, but I'm worried this might have repercussions for me. My question is very long, so I apologize. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 7, 2010 - 40 answers

How do you criticize without appearing overcritical (when you're not)?

One of the problems I seem to have is coming across as overly critical, despite the fact that I am normally patient and tolerant with people. So I ask you all: How long do you tolerate an issue until you bring it up as a problem? And how do you communicate this so that the other person sees it as something to work on, without feeling "under the gun" all the time? [more inside]
posted by matticulate on Dec 13, 2009 - 33 answers

How do I be an ally to the conversationally overpowered?

How do I be an ally to the conversationally overpowered? [more inside]
posted by baxter_ilion on Aug 16, 2009 - 12 answers

Help me become assertive, please

People-pleaser wants to transform, seeking self-help books and inspirational books/movies [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 14, 2009 - 9 answers

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