BECOME A BETTER MAN – BE ASSERTIVE


Who is a nice guy? – A volcano waiting to erupt!

 Symptoms of a “Nice Guy”

  1. Nice guy take a passive approach to life and relationships.
  2. Instead of standing up for themselves, they let others walk all over them.
  3. They’re perennial “People Pleasers”.
  4. Nice Guy have a hard time saying no to requests — even unreasonable ones.
  5. When they want or need something, they’re afraid to ask for it because they don’t want to inconvenience others.
  6. They’d rather get alongthan get ahead.
  7. They appear generous, flexible, and extremely polite. But if you scratch beneath the surface, you’ll often find a helpless, anxious, and resentful core.
  8. Nice Guy are often filled with anxiety because their self-worth depends on the approval of others and getting everyone to like them.
  9. They don’t feel they can go after their true desires, because they’re locked into doing what others say they shoulddo because “go with the flow” is their default approach to life.
  10. Nice Guy have little control over their lives and consequently feel helpless, shiftless, and stuck.
  11. They’re also typically resentful and vindictive because their unspoken needs aren’t being met and they feel like others are always taking advantage of them – even though they’re the ones who allow it to happen.
  12. Nice Guy will feel guilty even when expressing dissatisfaction with something they’re paying for!

Outcome:

In worst-case scenarios, the Nice Guy’s pent-up resentment from being pushed around will result in unexpected outbursts of anger and violence.

In order to regain some control over his life and quit being such a pushover? Nice Guys think the solution is to swing to the other extreme and go from being passive to aggressive. Instead of meekly submitting, they feel like they have to dominate in every situation and they seek to get their way in everything, no matter what. However aggressiveness isn’t a very productive communication or behaviour style. In fact, using a persistent, aggressive communication style can often backfire by creating resentment and passive-aggressive behaviour in the very people you’re trying to control. So, instead of passivity and aggressiveness, the best approach lies somewhere between the two. The sweet spot for communication and behaviour is called assertiveness.

Assertiveness is an interpersonal skill in which you demonstrate healthy confidence and able to stand up for yourself and your rights, while respecting the rights of others.

When you’re assertive you are direct and honest with people and not expecting people to read your mind about what you want and if something is bothering you, you speak up and if you want or need something, you ask. You do all this while maintaining a calm and civil demeanour because you understand that while you can make a request or state an opinion, others are well within their right to say no or disagree. You don’t get upset or angry when that happens. You understand that you might not get what you want but you will learn that it not only doesn’t hurt to ask, but actually helps to ask as well.

How to Be More Assertive

  1. Set boundaries. 

The first step in becoming less of a pushover is establishing boundaries. Boundaries are rules and limits that a man creates for himself that guide and direct others as to what is permissible behaviour around him. Passive men typically have no boundaries and allow others to walk all over them.

  1. Take responsibility for your own problems

Nice Guys wait around for someone else to fix their problems. An assertive man understands that his problems are his responsibility. If you see something that needs changing in your life, take action. If you’re not happy with something in your life, start taking steps — however small — to change things.

  1. Don’t expect people to read your mind

Nice Guys expect others to recognise what they need and want without having to say a word. If you want something, say it; If something bothers you, speak up. Never assume that people know your every need or want.

  1. Understand you’re not in charge of how others feel or behave. 

Both passive and aggressive men share a similar problem: they both think they’re in charge of how others feel or behave — they just go about it differently.

An aggressive man assumes responsibility of others’ behaviour and emotions by exerting his will through physical, mental, and emotional force. On the other hand, passive man assumes responsibility of others’ behaviour by constantly submitting his will to the will of others. Passive men feel it’s their job to make sure everyone is happy, even if that means they themselves are miserable. But an assertive man recognises that it’s not his job to control or worry about others’ behaviour and that he’s only responsible for how he behaves and feels.

You won’t believe how much less stress and anxiety you’ll feel once you understand this. You’ll no longer spend wasted hours wringing your hands worrying about whether someone will be happy with your choice or opinion.

This isn’t to say that you should be an inconsiderate jerk and shouldn’t take into account the feelings/situations of others. It just means you don’t need to go overboard and be so overly considerate that you don’t make any requests or stand up for your values lest you upset or offend someone. 

The Benefits of Assertiveness

  1. Your relationships will improve. 

In a marriage and other relationships, assertiveness is one of the key attributes that both partners need in order for a relationship to be strong and healthy. If one person feels they aren’t getting their needs met, resentment for their partner ensues even if it’s the person’s fault for not letting their needs to be known.

  1. When you are assertive, you’ll feel less stressed.

You say no to requests that would otherwise spread you too thin and lose the anxiety and worry that comes with being overly pre-occupied with what others will think of your choices, preferences, requests or opinions.

  1. When you’re assertive, you’ll gain confidence because

Your attitude and behaviour are governed by your own actions or decisions, not the actions and decisions of others and knowing that you can make changes to improve your own situation is a big-time confidence booster.

  1. You’ll become less resentful. 

As you become more assertive, your relationships will become more enjoyable because you’ll no longer have to swallow the bitter pill of resentment when you say yes to a request or decide to do a favour for someone. When you do something, you do it because you actually want to do it, or you’re okay with doing it as part of the natural give and take of relationships.

 

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BECOME A BETTER MAN – (MAN AND HIS FOOD) – PART 1


GOOD NUTRITION IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF LEADING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE.

A healthy habit is any behaviour that benefits your physical, mental, and emotional health and ultimately, you are what you eat. Your diet combined with physical activity can help you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer and promote your overall health. These habits improve your overall well-being and make you feel good. Healthy habits are hard to develop and often require changing your mindset but the impact can be far-reaching, regardless of your age, sex, or physical ability. You won’t change your mindset and behaviour overnight, so be patient and take it one day at a time.

These include:

  1. Balanced diet
  2. Regular exercise
  3. Good night sleep
  4. Regular medical check-up
  5. Lots of water intake

Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle

  1. CONTROLS WEIGHT

Eating right and exercising regularly can help you avoid excess weight gain and maintain a healthy weight. Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, regular exercise can improve cardiovascular health, boost your immune system, and increase your energy level.

Easy examples:

  1. Plan for moderate physical activity every week by adopting simple ways to increase activity throughout the day like walking instead of driving, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and pacing while you are talking on the phone.
  2. Eating a balanced, calorie managed diet can also help control weight like starting the day with a healthy breakfast would save you running to get fast food before lunch. In fact, skipping breakfast can raise your blood sugar, which increases fat storage.

2. IMPROVES MOOD

Doing right by your body pays off for your mind as well as physical activity stimulates the production of endorphins, the brain chemicals that leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. Eating a healthy diet as well as exercising can lead to a better physique which will boost your confidence and self-esteem, decrease stress and improved cognitive function.

Making social connections is another healthy habit that leads to better mental health. Don’t isolate yourself. Spend time with family or friends on a regular basis and if there is physical distance between you and loved ones, use technology to stay connected.

  1. COMBATS DISEASES

Healthy habits help prevent certain health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. If you take care of yourself, you can keep your cholesterol and blood pressure within a safe range. This keeps your blood flowing smoothly, decreasing your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Regular physical activity and proper diet can also prevent or help you manage a wide range of health problems, including:

  1. BOOSTS ENERGY

When you eat a balanced diet your body receives the fuel it needs to manage your energy level while regular physical exercise improves muscle strength and boosts endurance, giving you more energy and helps you fall asleep faster and get deeper sleep.

  1. IMPROVES LONGEVITY

When you practice healthy habits, you boost your chances of a longer life. The American Council on Exercise reported on an eight-year study of 13,000 people. The study showed that those who walked just 30 minutes each day significantly reduced their chances of dying prematurely.

THE BEST AND WORST FOOD A MAN CAN EAT

GROUP A – Eat as often as you like

Bananas – (Eat as often as you like)

Bananas help to restore the potassium that drunken, dehydrated cells need to fight a hangover. It is called the morning-after fruit.

Citrus – (Eat as often as you like)

Eat oranges and grapefruits, and someday your knees and elbows will thank you. Rich in Vitamin C and appear to lower the risk of some degenerative joint conditions.

High Fibre Cereals – (Eat as often as you like)

Studies show that guys who eat bran cereal frequently are happier, more alert, and have greater energy levels than guys who don’t. Oatmeal is just as powerful, drastically increasing the supply of fuel to working muscles.

Tomatoes – (Eat as often as like)

Tomatoes are one of the best vegetables you can eat. It comes with 35 calories and 40 percent of your daily vitamin C apiece plus loads of cancer-fighting lycopene in every bite

Chicken – (eat as often as you like)

Chicken is one of the best muscle foods on legs. At 27 g of protein per skin-and-boneless 3-oz breast,

Spinach – (Eat as often as you like)

The iron in spinach is spackle for your sinew, helping to rebuild the muscle tissue that strength training tears down.

Apples – (Eat as often as you like)

An apple a day could keep a hacking cough away. Studies show that apples help to counteract damage from inhaled cigarette smoke.

Turkey – (Eat as often as you like)

Turkey helps to recover lost zinc from weeing after a lot of alcoholic consumption. Loss of zinc causes testosterone levels to plunge.

Berries – (Eat as often as you like)

The compounds in fresh berries work like Drano, inhibiting the build-up of “bad” LDL cholesterol in your pipes.

Fish – (Eat as often as you like)

Make it your goal to eat broiled or baked fish at least once weekly. Compared to once-monthly fish eaters, you’ll be 28% less likely to suffer an irregular heartbeat.
Broccoli – (Eat as often as you like)
Every stalk of crunchy green broccoli contains hundreds of compounds called indoles and the isothiocyanates-the nutritional equivalent of Teflon against illness and disease.

Beans – (Eat as often as you like)

The “un-song hero” of food. Beans are the rich supplier of antioxidants that help to keep you from ageing. Although all beans are good, black beans are the most potent antioxidant source.

BECOME A BETTER MAN – 5 (FIND A MENTOR)


Figuring out what it means to be a man can be tough especially tougher for men today because,

  • Men are often more socially isolated; they don’t have as many friends.
  • Men don’t have strong relationships with their fathers and other male relatives.
  • The epidemic of fatherlessness or absentee fathers

Unfortunately, two generations of men went without mentors growing up. So, without good examples of men to emulate, young men often get a bit lost leading to poor perform in school or getting involved in crime. It’s therefore more important than ever for every man to seek out mentors to help him navigate the complicated waters of manliness and life. So having a mentor is quite important. The tricky part is, how do you find one? Here’s a suggested road map.

  1. Determine what sort of mentor you’re looking for. We all have different facets of our lives. Work, school, spirituality, family, etc. Ask yourself what area of your life needs improvement and could benefit from a mentor. Even if you’re just looking for a mentor to help you be an all-around better man.
  1. Draw up a list of three men that you’d like to mentor you. Think of all the men you know that you’ve always looked up to or admired and wish you had a better relationship with. If you’re looking for a mentor to help you be an overall better man, simply think of the men you know and admire. Also, don’t stick with men that are exactly like you. If two people are the same, one of them is irrelevant. One of the benefits of a mentor is that they can help expand your point of view.
  1. Write down how each mentor could help you grow as a man. Think of the traits each man has that you wish to learn. Do some research on them. Do they come from a similar background as you, have unique experiences that can broaden your conception and understanding of success in a particular area of your life, have they had any setbacks similar to yours? What is it exactly about this person that makes you want him to be your mentor?
  1. Figure out what you expect from the mentor relationship. Before you ask someone to be your mentor, you need to know what he should expect from the relationship. How often would you like to meet with him? How do you want the mentoring to take place? A discussion over lunch? Email? A monthly phone call? When you’re deciding this, take into account the men you’re asking to be your mentor and what will work for them.
  1. Ask the first man on your list. After you’ve done all your prep work, it’s time to ask. Call, email, or a write a letter to do the asking depending on each person. Tell your prospective mentor that you’re looking for a mentor in a specific area of your life and that you think he’d be a good one and tell him why. People love to be praised!
  1. Expect rejection. Don’t’ get discouraged and don’t take it personally if people say no. People are busy these days, and they just might not have time to be a mentor. If the first man says no, go on to the second.
  1. Say “thank you.” No matter if you get a no or a yes, be sure to thank the person. Mentoring is a privilege and not a right.

Become a Mentor too!

Just as you need man mentors, so too do other men. No one needs guidance in the art of manliness more than boys and young men, who are trying to figure how to become worthy men. Every man should make mentoring a part of his life.

Here are just a few ways to do that:

  1. Become a Scout leader. Boy Scout troops always need volunteers who are eager to make a difference in boys’ lives.

2. Become a Big Brother. A lot of young men out there are growing up without a positive father figure in their lives. Be the man these boys can turn to and emulate as they grow up.

3. Volunteer with your church’s youth group. Lucky is the young man can find a man who is both an older friend and a spiritual mentor.

4. Get to know your kids’ friends. I guess some kids try to hide from adults, but if they’re game, it’s okay to hang out with them from time to time. Take your son and his friends fishing or hunting.

 

BECOME A BETTER MAN – 4 (The Art of Listening)


Listening is something we have to learn to do because it is a learned skill. There is a significant difference between hearing and listening.

Hearing is a biological function, and like breathing or blinking it happens whether you are consciously telling yourself to do it or not.  Listening, on the other hand, is a mental process.  It requires thought, effort, and practice.

Listening is the process of receiving, attending to, and assigning meaning to oral and visual stimuli.”

We’ve all had that moment where, after turning through several pages of a novel, we suddenly realize we haven’t the faintest idea of what we just supposedly read.  We saw the words on the pages, but we didn’t actually take the time to process them mentally.  In other words, there is a difference between seeing and reading.  Seeing happens as long as your eyes are open and you have a gift of vision.  It is a passive biological process.  But reading requires you to exert some brainpower.  It is an active process of making meaning.

Listening in Perspective.

Listening is the most frequently used and invaluable skill we could possibly have for our personal and professional lives. You might be surprised how much we are required to listen in the course of an average day.  Yet, unlike many of the other essential skills in our lives that we have learned through some combination of schooling and experience, very little time has been devoted to training us as listeners.

  • Most of us probably received a minimum of 12 years of instruction on how to write well, yet it is a skill that is only used in approximately 9% of the average person’s daily communication.
  • Reading often receives between six and eight years of formal instruction, yet it only accounts for 16% of our communication.
  • Speaking receives a paltry one year of attention, perhaps two years if we’re lucky, and it is only 30% of our communication.
  • Listening, however, often receives less than a half-year of formal training, yet it makes up 45% of our daily communication.

These statistics above highlight a grave oversight in our education that, with a little effort, can be improved and yield tremendous and immediate results for us. There are three levels of listening we have to choose from during any given interaction.  Defining each level is the first step in understanding how to improve our habits.

Level 1: Hearing Words

This is everybody’s default level – the misconception that we are listening! This level puts us in the uncomfortable position of misunderstanding a message where you jump to conclusions, or unable to recall the message within moments of it being said.

Sometimes we are vaguely aware that we are to blame, yet other times we try to pass the blame on to the speaker, claiming that he or she was not interesting or engaging.  The most alarming thing about this level of listening is that we are emotionally and mentally detached from the speaker.

Level 2: Listening in Spurts

In this category, we are listening but just!!! You are aware to some degree that you are listening poorly and you know that concentration on the message is important, so you may be able to tune in temporarily, but only hear in “spurts” because you lack the required training.  In this type of listening, you are always looking for  the next opportunity to jump in and speak rather than actually attending to the message of the other person.

Level 3: Empathetic Listening

This is the real deal. This is proper listening where you set aside internal and external distractions so as to listen without judgment or interruption where you are emotionally and mentally invested and provide verbal and nonverbal feedback to the speaker.  Empathetic communication is like a partnership, and both individuals must play their role.

 

“BECOME A BETTER MAN” – 3 (FIRST IMPRESSION MATTERS)


Each interaction with others people carries with it an Opportunity and a Possibility. Every person you meet is a potential new Friend, Lover, Client, soul for the Kingdom or Destiny Helper. Every day you’re making contact with people for the first time; it happens so often you may not even really register these encounters. Whether these possibilities turn into something often hinges on the first impression you make on them.

Have you ever heard the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover?” Many people have never thought about their first impression because they think changing it would mean acting fake, or that judging someone at a glance is superficial and inaccurate. The implication here is that people have already decided on what you’re like before you’ve said anything beyond your initial introduction.

 

Characteristics of First Impression

  1. First impressions are registered with lightning speed,
  2. First impression last a surprisingly long time.
  3. Because of what’s called the “primacy effect,” people tend to lend more weight to the things they learn initially about someone, rather than the information they take in later.
  4. First impression forms a filter or lens through which a new acquaintance will henceforth see you.
  5. Moving forward, people generally look for your behaviors that confirm their conclusion from their first impression.
  6. Largely people ignore things that contradict that first impression they had of you.
  7. Once you’ve made an initial impression on the clay of their mind, the rest of the relationship tends to follow its contours, affecting all their future thoughts about you.
  8. It can take up to six months of regular contact with someone to change their initial impression and alter the lens through which they see you.

It might seem unfair that people form such a firm assessment of you in such a short time, and think that these snap impressions are bound to be faulty. Yet dozens of studies have shown that first impressions are actually highly accurate in gauging a person’s true personality and abilities.

What makes good first impression?

Generally, people like other people who are:

  • Warm
  • Confident
  • Trustworthy
  • Credible
  • Kind
  • Attractive
  • Make them feel comfortable
  • Feel interesting
  • Feel valued.

Basically, people like people who seem like they’ll be a social benefit, rather than a social burden. People are attracted to people who have something to offer — not just monetary resources, but those of many different kinds. People are looking for those who come bearing 4 social gifts: Appreciation, Connection, Elevation, and Enlightenment

On the other hand, people tend to avoid “high maintenance people” – those who are boring, empty, self-absorbed, insecure, and needy; people who will inflict a cost; who will require a greater energy investment than they give. So if you’re serious about improving the impression you make externally, you have to start by shaping your inner values.

Mastering the mechanics of a positive first impression thus isn’t about hiding your true personality or trying to be someone you’re not. The goal of improving your conversational strategies and body language is simply to get these external behaviours to match and enhance, rather than contradict, your inner self. Doing so helps you reveal and showcase your best qualities, and gives others greater access to them. Such packaging may only be skin deep, but it draws people in and entices them to want to “unwrap” you further.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assertiveness – The Golden Mean Between Passivity and Aggression – 2


how_assertive_wordle__11578.1398275970.1280.1280How to Be More Assertive

  1. Creating the Assertive Mindset

In my experience, becoming more assertive first requires you to change your mindset. You need to get rid of any limiting or incorrect beliefs that are holding you back from being assertive. Here are a few suggestions to get your mindset in the right place.

  1. Set boundaries. 

The first step in becoming less of a pushover is establishing boundaries. Boundaries are rules and limits that a man creates for himself that guide and direct others as to what’s permissible behavior around him. Passive men typically have no boundaries and allow others to walk all over them.

Men’s counselor and author Wayne Levine calls boundaries N.U.Ts, or Non-negotiable,Unalterable Terms. Your N.U.Ts are the things you’re committed to: your family, your health, your faith, your hobbies, your psychological well-being, etc. According to Levine, “N.U.T.s are the boundaries that define you as man, those things which, if repeatedly compromised, will gradually—but assuredly—turn you into a resentful man.” If you don’t know what your N.U.Ts are, take some time to figure it out. Once you do, make a commitment from here on out that you’ll never compromise them.

  1. Take responsibility for your own problems. 

Nice Guys wait around for someone else to fix their problems. An assertive man understands that his problems are his responsibility.  If you see something that needs changing in your life, take action. If you’re not happy with something in your life, start taking steps — however small — to change things.

  1. Don’t expect people to read your mind. 

Nice Guys expect others to recognize what they need and want without having to say a word. Until a mass mutation occurs that allows telepathy or our brains become connected to the Borg, mind reading isn’t possible for the foreseeable future. If you want something, say it; if something bothers you, speak up. Never assume that people know your every need or want. It’s not as obvious as you may think.

  1. Understand you’re not in charge of how others feel or behave. 

Both passive and aggressive men share a similar problem: they both think they’re in charge of how others feel or behave — they just go about it differently. An aggressive man assumes responsibility of others’ behavior and emotions by exerting his will through physical, mental, and emotional force. A passive man assumes responsibility of others’ behavior by constantly submitting his will to the will of others.

Passive men feel it’s their job to make sure everyone is happy, even if that means they themselves are miserable. An assertive man recognizes that it’s not his job to control or worry about others’ behavior and that he’s only responsible for how he behaves and feels. You won’t believe how much less stress and anxiety you’ll feel once you understand this. You’ll no longer spend wasted hours wringing your hands worrying about whether someone will be happy with your choice or opinion. This isn’t to say that you should be an inconsiderate jerk and shouldn’t take into account the feelings/situations of others. It just means you don’t need to go overboard and be so overly considerate that you don’t make any requests or stand up for your values lest you upset or offend someone. Let them decide whether to be upset or offended. That’s their responsibility, not yours.

  1. You are responsible for the consequences of your assertive words/actions. 

Asserting yourself will likely ruffle feathers, and there might be unpleasant consequences. But part of being assertive is taking responsibility for those consequences, come what may. Dealing with those consequences is far better than dealing with those of living an anxious, thwarted life.

  1. Assertiveness takes time.

Don’t think you’ll magically become assertive simply by reading this article. Assertiveness takes time and practice. You’ll have good days and bad days. Just be persistent with your efforts; it will pay off.

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Assertiveness in Action

Once you have the mindset, here’s how to actually start being assertive.

  1. Start small. 

If the thought of standing up for yourself makes you downright nauseous, start with low-risk situations. For example, if you order a burger, and the waiter brings you a grilled cheese, let him know the mistake and send it back. If you’re out running errands on the weekend with your wife and are trying to decide on a place to eat, don’t just automatically defer, but chime in as to where you’d like to go. Once you feel comfortable in these low-risk situations, start upping the ante little by little.

  1. Say no. 

In your quest to become more assertive, “no” is your best friend. Start saying no more often. Does a request conflict with a personal boundary? Say no. Schedule already full? Say “No, gracias.” You don’t have to be a jerk when you do it. It’s possible to be firm and resolute with your no while being considerate. At first, saying no may make you very anxious, but eventually it will come to feel good, and actually quite freeing. Will some people be disappointed when you turn them down? Probably. But remember that as long as you express your needs in a considerate way, you’re not responsible for their reaction. No need to feel guilty for treating yourself like their equal.

  1. Be simple and direct. 

When you’re asserting yourself, less is more. Keep your requests and preferences simple and direct. No need for elaborate explanations or meandering wind-ups. Just politely say your piece.

  1. Use “I” statements. 

When making a request or expressing disapproval use “I” statements. Instead of saying, “You‘re so inconsiderate. You have no idea how hard my day at the office was. Why would you ask me to do all these chores?” say, “I’m exhausted today. I understand you want these things done, but I’m not going to be able to get to them until tomorrow.” Other examples of “I” statements:

  • “You’re so needy and controlling.” “I feel frustrated when you make me feel guilty for hanging out with my friends.”
  • “You always humiliate me when we visit your parents.” “I feel embarrassed when you insult me in front of your folks.”
  • “Your demands are unreasonable!” “I’d prefer that you give me at least three days’ notice before asking me to come in on the weekend.”

When crafting your “I” statements, be careful not to embed accusations or try to interpret the person’s behavior. That will just make them defensive and cause them to shut down. Examples:

  • “I feel like you’re purposely being a jagweed just to get on my nerves.”
  • “I think you’re trying to pick a fight.”
  1. Don’t apologize or feel guilty for expressing a need/want/right. 

Unless you’re asking for something that’s patently unreasonable, there’s no reason to feel guilty or ashamed for expressing a need or want. So quit apologizing when you make a request. Just politely ask for it and wait to see how the other person responds. Nice Guys will feel guilty even when expressing dissatisfaction with something they’re paying for! If a contractor hasn’t done the work he agreed to do, it’s your right to ask that it be fixed. It has nothing to do with being polite or not hurting his feelings – it’s just business and that’s how it works.

  1. Use confident body language and tone. 

Look confident when making a request or stating a preference. Stand up straight, lean in a bit, smile or keep a neutral facial expression, and look the person in the eye. Also be sure to speak clearly and loudly enough to make your point. Passive folks will tend to whisper and mumble when making their opinions or needs known; that will only serve to frustrate the other person.

 

Courtesy of: http://www.artofmanliness.com

Assertiveness – The Golden Mean Between Passivity and Aggression – 1


 

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Scenarios:

a. Your boss consistently asks you at the last minute to come into work on the weekend. You say “yes” every time even though you have family plans. You stew with resentment as you pore over TPS reports on a Saturday.

b. You order an expensive steak at a restaurant, but when the waiter brings it to you it’s way over-cooked. When he asks, “How is everything?” you respond, “Fine,” while you glumly saw your charred hunk of meat. 

c. You want to take a jiu-jitsu class, but you don’t think your wife will be too happy with you spending an hour or two every week away from your family, so don’t you even mention the idea to her.

d. Your neighbor lets his dogs bark all night, and it’s keeping you from sleep. Instead of talking to him about it, you bad-mouth him to your friends on Facebook.

If any of these situations hits close to home, then you’re likely one of the legions of men who suffer from “Nice Guy Syndrome”  Nice Guys take a passive approach to life and relationships. Instead of standing up for themselves, they let others walk all over them. They’re pushovers and perennial People Pleasers. Nice Guys have a hard time saying no to requests — even unreasonable ones. They’re considerate to a fault. When they want or need something, they’re afraid to ask for it because they don’t want to inconvenience others. Nice Guys also avoid conflict like the plague. They’d rather get along than get ahead.

 

At first blush, Nice Guys seem like saints. They appear generous, flexible, and extremely polite. But if you scratch beneath the surface, you’ll often find a helpless, anxious, and resentful core. Nice Guys are often filled with anxiety because their self-worth depends on the approval of others and getting everyone to like them. They waste a lot of time trying to figure out how to say no to people and even then, often end up still saying yes, because they can’t go through with it. They don’t feel they can go after their true desires, because they’re locked into doing what others say they should do because “go with the flow” is their default approach to life, Nice Guys have little control over their lives and consequently feel helpless, shiftless, and stuck. They’re also typically resentful and vindictive because their unspoken needs aren’t being met and they feel like others are always taking advantage of them – even though they’re the ones who allow it to happen.

In worst-case scenarios, the Nice Guy’s pent-up resentment from being pushed around will result in unexpected outbursts of anger and violence. He’s a volcano waiting to erupt.

So what’s a Nice Guy to do? How can he regain some control over his life and quit being such a pushover?

Some Nice Guys think the solution is to swing to the other extreme and go from being passive to aggressive. Instead of meekly submitting, they feel like they have to dominate in every situation. Aggressiveness, while definitely appropriate in some instances, particularly those involving out-and-out competition, isn’t a very productive communication or behavior style in most cases. In fact, using a persistent, aggressive communication style can often backfire by creating resentment and passive-aggressive behavior in the very people you’re trying to control.

Instead of passivity and aggressiveness, the best approach lies somewhere between the two. The sweet spot for communication and behavior is called assertiveness.

Control and assertveness

You might associate the term “assertiveness” with training courses that women take to learn to be more confident in traditionally masculine workplaces. But in the past few decades, as men have been taught to smooth over their rough edges — to be less pushy, more sensitive, and more collaborative — a lot of guys have gotten confused as to where to draw the line between aggression and passivity. Anxious to not come off as overbearing, and even sexist, they tend to err on the side of the latter. They’ve lost the ability to navigate between those two rocky shoals, and as a result, many men need to learn, or re-learn, how to be assertive.

What does it mean to be assertive?

Assertiveness is an interpersonal skill in which you demonstrate healthy confidence and are able to stand up for yourself and your rights, while respecting the rights of others. When you’re assertive, you are direct and honest with people. You don’t beat around the bush or expect people to read your mind about what you want. If something is bothering you, you speak up; if you want or need something, you ask. You do all this while maintaining a calm and civil demeanor.

Assertiveness also requires an understanding that while you can make a request or state an opinion, others are well within their right to say no or disagree. You don’t get upset or angry when that happens. You stay in control and work to come to some sort of compromise. When you’re assertive, you understand that you might not get what you want but you will learn that it not only doesn’t hurt to ask, but actually helps to ask as well.

The Benefits of Assertiveness

  1. Your relationships will improve. 

Researchers who study marriage and relationships have found that assertiveness is one of the key attributes that both partners need in order for a relationship to be strong and healthy. If one person feels they aren’t getting their needs met, resentment for their partner ensues (even if it’s the person’s fault for not letting their needs to be known).

  1. You’ll feel less stressed.

When you’re assertive, you say no to requests that would otherwise spread you too thin. You also lose the anxiety and worry that comes with being overly pre-occupied with what others will think of your choices, preferences, requests or opinions. You feel in control of your life. Studies have shown that individuals who undergo assertiveness training experience less stress than individuals who don’t.

  1. You’ll gain confidence. 

When you’re assertive, you have an internal locus of control. Your attitude and behavior are governed by your own actions or decisions, not the actions and decisions of others. Knowing that you can make changes to improve your own situation is a big-time confidence booster.

  1. You’ll become less resentful. 

As you become more assertive, your relationships will become more enjoyable. You’ll no longer have to swallow the bitter pill of resentment when you say yes to a request or decide to do a favor for someone. When you do something, you do it because you actually want to do it, or you’re okay with doing it as part of the natural give and take of relationships.

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Courtesy of: http://www.artofmanliness.com