Wednesday, December 17, 2008

So after Monday's birthday meltdown, I've been thinking that I really need to learn to be more assertive. Not aggressive. Not cranky. Not passive until I have a melt down. Just more assertive so that people don't have to try to guess what I'm thinking as if a crystal ball were standard workplace equipment.

I had wheelchair clinic today and I made the observation that a lot of parents of disabled children have a tendency to come on awfully strong. Awfully aggressive. I'm guessing its from years of being brushed aside and having be pushy to get their needs met. Generally, once they figure out that we are here to LISTEN (they are the expert on their kids, after all. And even though I have that adaptive technology certification and all, they have WAY more day to day experience with wheelchairs than me) Anyway, it was an interesting observation that when we don't feel like we are heard, we feel we need to get pushy. Or have a melt down.

The folks at the wheelchair clinic, of course, have a much greater excuse for expressing themselves in an aggressive way. I really don't have as much as an excuse.

Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to do, is after the much needed venting yesterday, is to accept my part of the blame. Maybe that should be on my list of goals for next year...become more assertive.

The big question is: HOW, exactly, do I do that?


Anonymous said...

I am only assertive with certain people. Most of the time I don't have the balls to set someone straight or even stand up for myself. Heck, I was only half assertive when I tracked down the litterers and returned the trash they threw in my yard. I should've dumped it all over their hood, but I only put it on their wheel. I am a wuss. When you find out the secret, let me know.

the gazelle said...

I think that, especially for women, finding the balance between assertive & aggressive is hard for us. We worry too much about being bitchy, when I don't think men worry nearly as much about their tone when they're going after what they want. I wish I knew how to do that. If you figure it out, let me know!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure either. But I do know that half the time I'm not assertive right away because I'm not in touch with exactly how I'm feeling -- I ignore the growing lump of discomfort or fail to read it for what it is. I guess I need to listen to myself more. And if you find out other tips, please share.