Whether they’re family or friends, manipulators are difficult to escape from. Give in to their demands and they’ll be happy enough, but if you develop a spine and start saying no, it will inevitably bring a fresh round of head games and emotional blackmail. You’ll notice that breaking free from someone else’s dominance will often result in them accusing you of being selfish. Yes, you’re selfish, because you’ve stopped doing what they want you to do for them. Wow. Can these people hear themselves?! ― Rosie Blythe
Assertiveness will also help you deal with the people who constantly put you down. Instead of dealing with a problem and coming up with a resolution, they opt to insult and hurt your feelings.
This could be friends and family who unwittingly belittle what you do, other business people who like to demonstrate how ‘good’ they are by knocking all around them or simply nasty people who prefer to live their life in a negative way, bringing all around them down through insults and mean behavior.
Jules Feiffer calls these situations as “little murders” as these are intended to insult, humiliate or embarrass others. These people attack your self-confidence and your self-esteem. In the process, they “murder” what you have worked on so hard. Most of us just put up with these humiliating put-downs, but that only encourages them. We learned earlier that we teach people how to treat us, so we need to teach them that these “little murders” are painful, humiliating, and need to be stopped. C. H. Spurgeon said, “Insults are like bad coins; we cannot help their being offered us, but we need not take them.”
Sometimes the only way to avoid these put-downs is to avoid those delivering them. Remove yourself from their presence. Assert yourself and tell them it is an unacceptable behavior, then leave. The barbs only work if you react and show them how upset you are.
Speak your mind, then leave. It leaves them with nothing; you have taken the wind from their sails. Eventually, they will learn that you cannot be drawn into their little insults any longer and they will lose interest in you.
You may also find that family and friends react badly to your new found assertiveness and try to ‘knock it out of you’ by being sarcastic or negative. In the example we spoke about earlier posts, if you asked your teenage sons to do some household chores so you have time to work on your business, they may well find that some gentle joshing about mom and her new little hobby or something equally unhelpful is said. So be it!
Don’t let others pull you down. Stay focussed on what you want to achieve.
Think of negative people and negative situations. How are you going to handle these?
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