May 31, 2018 By Nick
Do you take too much shit? Do you always put everybody else first? Are you the long-suffering husband, boyfriend, friend or member of staff who always gives in and does everything for someone else?
You need to be more assertive.
You could be stuck with people pleaser syndrome and you have to make a conscious choice to stop being everybody’s bitch.
If you don’t, you’re going to get used, abused and taken for a ride by everybody else on the other side of this fucked up coin. You will also be a magnet for narcissists, emotional bullies and some of the worst, most toxic human waste you will ever encounter.
Even worse, it just isn’t sexy. No woman likes a pushover.
If she can bully you then it means you can’t stand up for her if she needs it. That’s why women test you and if you end up being compliant, you’ll lose her in the end.
You need to be more assertive.
You also need a strategy if you’ve let it slide, not just assertiveness techniques.
If you always back down, then you’re going to need to build up to this one. It’s a process, not the flick of a switch.
So ask yourself:
- Do you look away when someone stares at you?
- Do you give in too easily?
- Do you find yourself doing too much for someone that doesn’t give it back?
- Do you take all the blame for issues at work or at home?
- Do you find yourself filling dead space with your own stammering words?
- Do you always back down first when things get tense?
Then mate, you have to learn to stand up for yourself and be more assertive.
I was like that. An overbearing mother and an overly compliant dad meant I just didn’t know any better. Even if you do, somewhere, on a mental level, it’s an ingrained pattern that is hard to break. I spent my life in the FOG.
FOG can be a cloud on your brain
That’s Fear, Obligation and Guilt in the psychology trade. It’s the Fear of losing someone if you say no, the Obligation of feeling you just have to help and the Guilt that hits when you don’t. It’s potentially crippling, it will screw up your life and users play it like a piano, but you can change.
I was always too keen to go the extra mile, to put somebody else’s feelings first, even at the expense of my own. I would shy away from an argument and give up ground if it meant keeping people happy. It probably would have carried on, too. Especially after the business failure, when I was at a low point.
A BPD girl lit a fire
But when I ran into my BPD girl and I got smashed, I had to face some home truths.
In her own spectacularly messed up way, she did me a favour. My story is not unique, Reddit’s The Red Pill is full of people like me, people that suddenly had to face up to the way they had become a doormat when it got too blatant to ignore.
The good news is it gets better, fast. You can decide to be assertive, right now, and it will start to happen instantly. You might have a few false dawns, but you’ll get there.
It’s a matter of months since I decided to drag myself out of this rut, like made an actual conscious decision to fight back. And whatever causes it, whatever form your own Falling Down moment takes, you’ll find it changes everything.
Once you are assertive, you apply it everywhere
It isn’t just with women, when you finally get this stuff you learn not to take shit anywhere in your life. You learn assertiveness techniques that stay with you for a lifetime.
This month I had a new ‘client’. He was a proper flake who asked for too much work, was generally a pain in the ass and then tried not to pay. I found myself saying things to him I just couldn’t have done a year ago.
I stood my ground, I cut off the work, I demanded payment and I didn’t take his shit. In the end I told him to go elsewhere, and I got my money.
It felt good and you can do it too. You can be assertive at work and at home.
You need to as well. Don’t kid yourself. You are not keeping the peace, you are not chasing an easy life. You are setting yourself up for a world of hurt.
If you become the office or workshop whipping boy then you’ll go nowhere. If you become a doormat at home and your woman loses respect for you, you have a failed relationship.
Assertiveness techniques will save your self-esteem
Either one will eat your self-esteem from the inside out. You know that. It’s why you’re here, reading this piece.
So make a change, right now. Don’t think you can’t. It might be scary, it might be a shock for the other person and you might have a big fight, but you have to do it.
They’ll either back off when they see you won’t or they will run for the hills and this relationship or this job is over. Either way, it will be a win for you in the long run.
Besides, if you bottle it all up then it can come out in a whiney tirade that makes you look weird and you end up apologising, which makes the whole thing worse.
But how do you change?
Just start with baby steps and pretty soon you’ll find you can be much more assertive. It gains its own momentum and soon you’ll be a different person. It really is that simple.
Don’t overcomplicate shit.
So here are some basic assertiveness techniques that will help you change your ways. Don’t be gutted if it doesn’t happen first time, just keep working on these.
The worst thing you can do is rush into a response if you’re feeling flustered and you’ll do the same as you’ve always done: cave in.
So take a breath, don’t answer right away. Hold it in just for a second and consider your response. This is the simplest tactic you can employ, so start with it.
In business the person who speaks first loses, in a confrontation it doesn’t always work like that. But if you take a moment to think, you reduce the chances of saying something dumb by like 1000%
It’s your first tiny step towards becoming assertive.
2. Learn to trust your gut
If you are naturally a people pleaser then you can minimise what’s happening. It’s easy to dismiss a harsh word, outright rudeness or someone just trying to take the piss.
You think you’re overreacting, especially if they’re the type that follows an insult up with a laugh and the claim that they’re joking. You can even end up apologising for something that, later, you know wasn’t your fault.
You need to listen to yourself more.
If you have the gut feeling you are being disrespected, you probably are. The time to deal with it is when it’s minor, when it’s a small challenge. Things only get out of hand because you let them push the boundaries. These are the small incidents that lead to the big ones. But you can only put your foot down now if you trust your instincts.
So really start to get in tune with yourself and listen to your own feelings. Believe in them, they’re normally right.
3. Be aware of your reactions
Don’t just follow the same routine and be shocked and annoyed with yourself afterwards. Understand what is going on, actually observe the dynamic at work. If you really shy away from confrontation, you’ll find your eyes sink to the floor, your chest goes down and you physically shrink when your better half or a random stranger gives you shit.
If you then speak in a wavering, uncertain voice, you’re fucked. That right there? That is not assertive.
That is a green light for them to steamroll you into the ground. Confrontational people love an easy victim. They’re not tough, they’re bitches. So show them any sign of weakness and they’ll be on it in a heartbeat, they live for moments like this.
Don’t give them that and you’ll ruin their fun. That’s a landmark moment for you. It’s the moment where everything changes. But first you have to understand exactly what is going on.
4. Change your body language
Think of them like a dog that’s growling at you. Make yourself big, stand up straight, puff your chest up, look them straight in the eye. Even if you’re screaming in pain inside then do it, even if this feels like the most unnatural thing on Earth.
Watch the difference in their reaction, especially if it is someone who is used to backing you down.
You’ll throw them right off their guard.
Most of your communication is non-verbal, so take this attitude, don’t get fazed and there’s a good chance you’ll cut this situation off without a word. If it’s a girl then don’t get all intimidating and invade her space, but don’t shrink, don’t back down. Maintain eye contact and show you’re not impressed with the craziness.
If it’s a guy then don’t think of it like a dog, think of them like a monkey beating their chest and trying to back you down. That’s precisely what it is.
This is the essence of who we are, instinctive, animal responses. We like to think we’ve evolved beyond that, but we haven’t.
Just as we revert to childhood models in times of stress, we also revert to animal instinct. You can learn a lot about people by studying apes and monkeys. Seriously. I’ll be using animal psychology a lot in this site, because it’s a stripped down version of us. It’s an uncomplicated look at who we are. It’s psychology for dummies.
So when a guy is mouthing off and making a show, especially in front of a crowd, then he’s trying to assert dominance. It is one step away from flinging poo at you. It is also one step away from getting physical, but truthfully when it’s at this stage your best chance to avoid the fight is to show you’re not afraid of it.
5. When you can, stay calm
The whole point of being assertive is that it comes from a place of being totally centred. You’re not flustered, you’re not frustrated, you’re right in your zone, always. That is true confidence, when even your girl or a nutcase in the street flying in to your face and screaming at you can’t throw you off your game.
Think about it, what’s scarier? Someone getting all defensive, angry and reacting, or someone smiling at you and speaking in slow, measured tones? That is the unruffled one. Be that guy, be measured.
6. If you can go further, be funny
This won’t always work if it’s a confrontation in the street. In fact if someone is giving you their best flexing and you cut them down verbally then it can be the spark that sends the whole thing up in flames.
But if a girl is going nuts and you can calmly laugh it off and show she hasn’t got to you, then chances are it’s the end of the argument.
This is Zen master assertiveness by the way. It might take a while to get to this point, but keep practicing and it will come.
I had one ex from Brazil, in fact I have five exes from Brazil, but that’s another story for another day. This one in particular would come home and run through a list of things she hoped I’d done. But she wasn’t looking for that, she was looking for something I hadn’t done.
She wanted a fight, so I just laughed at her and offered her an argument. If you want a fight, let’s just have a fight, that’s fine. It took the wind right out of her sails every time and we ended up having awesome sex. Maybe there’s a lesson in that, maybe I’m just fondly reminiscing, and bragging a little…
7. Don’t say yes or no
It’s not all about arguing, People Pleasers have trouble saying no, too. It’s something that will come with practice, so start off small. Just don’t say yes or no. If somebody asks you for something that you don’t want to do, just buy some time. Say you’ll get back to them, you have to think about it or you have to check if you can first.
This gives you the time to walk away, contemplate it, decide if it’s reasonable or if you were right first time round. If you were right, then you’re not on the spot anymore and you can move to the next stage.
8. Learn to love the word ‘no’
I used to have a real hard time saying no and I agreed to so much shit that cost me money, caused me problems and wasted my time. Once you’ve committed to something then it’s the same framework inside that stops you going back on your word.
But fuck these people, they shouldn’t have asked in the first place.
You know it, they know it. You become the go-to schmuck to do all the favours and you need to stop that. The absolute peak of this is the friend-zoned male or henpecked husband who dutifully caters to a piss-taking woman for a reason even he has forgotten. It just becomes routine.
Tell her no, tell them no, even if it’s your family that keep coming back for favours and never offer anything in return. You’ll hate yourself if you keep taking their shit, and don’t think it’s anything else.
Start small, just refuse a favour, then get bigger. Be prepared for a fight, in the end it will come. It’s a fight you need to have. By the time it happens, you should be ready for it.
9. Say what you want
It’s not a crime to want things, to need things. Being assertive doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s not your job just to give to everybody else either.
You’re not fucking Santa Claus.
You’re allowed to say what you want, and if your needs aren’t met then stop giving. You need to let them know that your needs matter and that you are an assertive man who attaches some fucking value to yourself.
If you aren’t your biggest advocate, don’t expect anybody else to be either.
You are the only one that can speak up for what you want. In a beautiful, ideal world then everybody would give you everything. It doesn’t happen that way. You have to say what you want, if it doesn’t happen then make yourself crystal fucking clear. If you still don’t get it, it’s time to consider the exit door. That is being truly assertive.
10. Put yourself first
This is kind of the end result of everything here. It’s the final step in the journey to assertiveness. If you were brought up in the wrong kind of house then you just don’t know it’s OK. You always had to suppress your own wants and needs in favour of someone else’s fragile ego.
That is a bullshit way to live.
It’s not selfish to put your own needs first. An assertive position is a start point. From there you can compromise, you can look at whose needs are greater and you can choose to make sacrifices. Just don’t make it your default option because otherwise nobody will respect you, it becomes the norm and you won’t get any fucking appreciation for it.
This is the start, just some of the things I have learned. But you have to learn to stand up for yourself, your beliefs and your wants and needs. If you don’t, you won’t be true to yourself and you simply won’t fulfil anything close to your potential.
Don’t change for yourself for anybody and don’t sacrifice yourself for anybody. Believe in yourself more, stand up for what you want and you’ll attract the kind of people that respect that.