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Topic: Social anxiety - struggling with assertiveness training

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. Carwash
    Carwash avatar
    1 posts
    12 January 2020

    Hey guys, I'm having a lot of trouble with assertiveness training recently.

    Here's the short version: I'm having trouble making it a consistent habit since the situations that require assertiveness for me often happen days/weeks apart and I find it easy to slip into old habits because I'm not practicing daily. Also, the situations that require me to be assertive most often need me to jump into the deep end, which causes so much anxiety and is really hard for me.

    Here's the long version: I've been "sharing" a car with my sister for a few months now (read: she uses it most of the time, usually without asking). The last few months it was ok because I was studying and didn't need it as much - but now that I've graduated I really need a car so I can see friends, exercise more often, apply for jobs, etc. She's started looking but she really isn't that committed, she usually goes out to see her friends/boyfriend instead. Every time I try to tell her things need to change I need to jump straight into the deep end with being assertive and it causes so much anxiety. I want to work up to that level slowly... but I'm struggling to make progress to begin with because most of the time I don't feel like I need to be assertive... and so it's hard for me to make assertiveness a habit if I don't encounter these kinds of situations every day. How do I make it a habit so I can actually progress?

  2. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    7932 posts
    13 January 2020 in reply to Carwash

    Hi, welcome

    I'm finding it difficult to understand your post. Perhaps the word assertiveness is confusing me somewhat.

    However, I gather (guess) you are having problems maintaining any positivity you have on a consistent basis. Having positivity present is a major bonus in life as it is and good for you that you have such periods.

    I'm 63yo but at the youngish age of 26yo I attended a motivation speech that changed my life. You can read it here

    Google-- Beyondblue topic 30 minutes can change your life

    From that moment on I was motivated except for a few short periods of depression due to, at the time, unknown mental illness.

    Fast forward to around 1999 and I was commencing my own investigation business. I had to rise early often 3-4am and get motivated. So I developed a plan. I knew having a hot shower tended to wake me up as did at least a muesli bar on the way to work some 2-3 hours away depending on location. Once at work I'd go for a brisk walk. Then I was fully awake for the days events. This ritual was also set in stone because I knew if I slept in I didnt get paid for the day and bad habits are hard to shift.

    But there is more to such a routine. Adjustments must be made like knocking off work early and/or an afternoon nap etc otherwise you fall in a heap eventually and that occured for me in 2013 and I havent worked since, sadly.

    Your issue with your car needs to be resolved. The matter is annoying you and causing you untold frustration. You could give her time say one week to resolve the matter because your freedom of leaving the house to do whatever you need to do is essential. She might need to attend a bank like others do in order to secure her own wheels.

    BTW, I used to have two alarm clocks, one beside my bed and one in the hallway. If I snoozed the close one the other would drive me nuts until I got out of bed. I hope that helps.


  3. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    2564 posts
    28 January 2020 in reply to Carwash

    Hi Carwash,

    Welcome to the forums and thank you for being here. I'm glad that you're here and deciding to work on this; assertiveness really isn't an easy thing and I think it's worth being proud of that you're wanting to change the way you act.

    I can see that TonyWK has already given you a warm welcome. For me though I interpreted your post as not about positivity so much as finding ways to stand up for yourself.

    While the car situation makes sense, that feels like a thing that shouldn't become a habit. This might be more of one difficult conversation; about what you need and why; it is your car after all!

    I struggle with assertiveness at times too, and making it a 'habit' for me is about becoming really conscious of the times where I might not be assertive on a day to day basis. While you may not have opportunities to be assertive every day, you can however work to choose assertiveness at the times so that it does become the new norm. Can you think about where else in your life you'd like to be more assertive? Maybe that could be calling it out when someone pushes in front at the line, or situations in the workplace, or even when talking with your friends/family.

    I hope this helps. I imagine that you probably do encounter a lot more situations then you realise where you have the opportunity to be assertive; it's just that you might not even be aware of it.


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