We all want to raise emotionally strong daughters, but sometimes we have to pause and do a little work on ourselves. If you are raising or mentoring a young woman, it’s important for you yourself to identify and own your insecurities, any past issues, and acknowledge any relationship hang-ups you might have. For example, maybe you don’t feel good about your body because of comments your mother made to you when you were a teenager.
In order to understand what assertiveness is, I find that it’s helpful to first identify what it isn’t, as there are many misconceptions about it: it’s not being pushy, aggressive, or demanding. It also doesn’t just mean speaking your mind or telling people what you think. Instead, assertiveness refers to reflecting on your emotional history, understanding and managing your feeling, then expressing yourself in a way that will strengthen your relationships. It’s a way of articulating what you believe while also allowing room for differences. Overall, assertiveness is a way of being your true self while also becoming closer to others.
I recently sat down with Lindsay Aerts of KSL’s “The Mom Show” to discuss some ideas from my book “The Assertiveness Guide for Women,” specifically assertiveness in parenting. We talked about how difficult it is can be to express ourselves to our children is ways that are effective and firm but still kind; no one wants to be a nag, a “momster,” but sometimes it’s a real challenge to keep our patience.
There are three stances we can take when communicating in difficult circumstances. The lantern is the goal for all communication. A lantern values her own feelings and thoughts but is also mindful of and sensitive toward those of others. Individuals with a doormat stance often allow their own needs and feelings to be trampled on. Those with a sword stance are perhaps too vocal, even pushy, about their views, as they express them in ways that are harsh and alienating to others.
I’ve done a lot of interviews over the past decade, but honestly, this is one of my favorites! Sometimes things just flow. How to be heard without being harsh in parenting. They talk about her book, The Assertiveness Guide for Women, how to practice a Gottman technique called the soft start, and how to recognize and tame a “Mom-ster” moment. If you want some tips for more peaceful mothering…this is your episode!
Thank you for the invitation to share my work on your podcast Lauri’s Lemonade Stand Positivity Podcast with host Lauri Mackey. We break down a real-life situation from Lauri’s life and apply assertiveness skills.
- How to hold up the lantern in difficult conversation
- How to get past intense reactions
- Ask them what they think, feel, want, and need?
I was pleased to have the recent opportunity to speak with Emma Bell of “The Inside Shift” podcast about my latest book, “The Assertiveness Guide For Women: How To Communicate Your Needs, Set Healthy Boundaries, and Transform Your Relationships.” Although we talked about many different facets of and ideas found within the book, I was especially excited to share my personal experience with developing and practicing assertiveness, which has largely guided my career, my relationships, and of course, my journey in crafting this creative work. Here are some highlights from my discussion with Emma:
Healthy communication is the key to long-lasting relationships. It can be bliss to have warm feelings toward our children, our friends, and our spouses, but what happens when a problem arises that necessitates communicating about difficult things? Some individuals may brush their feelings aside in the hopes of avoiding “stirring the pot,” while others may become so overwhelmed with frustration, anger, or sadness that they lose control and have an emotional outburst. The truth is that neither of these approaches are effective in addressing or solving concerns in relationships. Read more
How is differentiation of self related to assertiveness? When a woman asserts herself, she is differentiating her needs, thoughts, feelings, or wants from another person. She is essentially saying, “I’m think something different than you. I have other feelings than you do. I’m not you.” True assertiveness, as I define it, means that this is done in a way that’s not alienating or rude but still clearly makes those differences known.
Grab a friend and join me for this rare one-day workshop for LDS women in Salt Lake City this summer. Don’t wait! Early-bird tickets on sale (Save $50). Seating is limited. Purchase tickets and get details below: