“Assertiveness” is a word that can have some negative connotations. Some might equate being assertive with being pushy, bossy, or controlling. But in reality, assertiveness is a communication skill that can help us express our feelings and needs and ultimately grow closer in our relationships. The truth is that assertiveness is extremely important in having the life we want. Here are some strategies to help you be more assertive:
Have you ever gotten bad vibes from one of your children’s friends? Maybe you felt like he/she was a negative influence or was causing your son or daughter to be unhappy. It can be hard to know when you as a parent should get involved and when it’s better to just let things be.
As a licensed therapist and a mother of four children, I am certainly familiar with this scenario, and I recently sat down with LDS Living Magazine to offer my views on it. Here are a few strategies for what to do when you don’t like your kids’ friends:
No matter what great things we accomplish or how much confidence we build, the truth is that all of us have weaknesses and insecurities. And sometimes, unfortunately, they can get out of hand and interfere with our lives. Have you ever felt a strain on a relationship because of a nagging insecurity of yours? If so, you’re not alone. Studies have shown that the way we feel about ourselves, for good or for bad, is a critical factor in how happy we are in romantic relationships.
Q:I’ve come to realize for the last fifteen years that I have no self esteem, and I try to accomplish tasks that are far too difficult to make me feel slightly okay and keep myself non-suicidal. And when I fail, I feel so terrible; like I want to die.
I’m not a suicidal person. I’m not, I just have issues with my self-esteem. I have had problems with bullying for many, many years, and only have friends over the internet, not in real life. This has resulted in my low self-esteem, I think.
To make myself get through a day and feel half decent, I try to accomplish a task. However, when I fail at this task, I feel completely worthless. My family doesn’t care, and I don’t have anyone to turn to on this matter. Can you please help me?
A: I am so sorry to hear of your pain over the last 15 years. If you’ve been bullied for years it makes sense that your self-esteem would become very fragile. I suggest that you get into therapy, particularly group therapy, to start expanding your relationships and learn how to trust. Please take a few minutes to watch the rest of my response in the video below…
Take good care of yourself!
Julie Hanks, LCSW
We each have a long list of personal responsibilities: our finances, careers, bodies, families, etc. It’s critical to be aware of our lives and our needs. But when does self-awareness become self-obsession? Do we think about ourselves too much? Here’s how to determine if you’re self-aware or self-absorbed:
Are you usually the center of attention? Do you monopolize conversations? Are all your social media updates about yourself? If so, you may be self-absorbed. Try instead to balance the attention you give to yourself and to others. Remember that everyone needs to be recognized, celebrated, and validated.
Q: I saw my grandfather die when I was young, and it was very painful because he was like a dad to me. Ever since my grandfather’s death, I’ve been having trouble maintaining my relationship with others, whether it’s friends or family members. I try to distant myself away from them in fear of getting hurt again. I have trouble letting people in my life and tend to disassociate myself from being involved in a romantic relationship with anyone. As a result, I can’t truly love or care for anyone. Although thinking about my grandfather made me very feel sad and depressed at first, now I’m not as sad as I used to be, and I feel guilty for not being sad and I would force myself to think about his death over and over again and make myself feel bad and cry myself to sleep. I also feel pressured by my parents to do well in school and life, and it’s almost as if I’m letting them down and becoming that worthless and useless person I was when I stood there and watched my grandfather die. Whenever I feel useless and think I’m such a failure or that I might not live up to other’s expectations, I want to die. I have suicidal thoughts almost everyday and wish I were dead but never actually thought of committing a suicide. I also feel irritated very often recently and just want to be left alone. I gave up or got bored of things I used to love doing. This is ruining my life, and I think I seriously need help.
I have the pleasure to speak at the Uplift Families Parenting Conference on September 13th. Hosted by Utah First Lady Jeanette Herbert, this exciting event will feature several prominent presenters who will help us learn to develop and celebrate meaningful child-parent relationships. Come and be inspired as we discuss ways to uplift Utah families! Dinner is included.
My presentation will be focused on an area that parents (especially mothers) often neglect…yep, you guessed it! I’ll be tackling the topic of self-care for parents.
Download the 2014 Uplift Families Conference E-Poster
Get info about my book The Burnout Cure: An Emotional Survival Guide for Overwhelmed Women.
Hope to see you in a few weeks at the conference!
Chances are that you know a woman who has had a miscarriage. It can be difficult to know how to respond when a friend experiences such a tragedy.
I recently offered my professional insight on the topic to a Woman’s Day article entitled “9 Things Never to Say to a Woman Who’s Had a Miscarriage.” Here’s a quick review of what not to say in this situation: