Tag: calm

Interesting article on Assertiveness in psychcentral.com


What did you think of the article? I know that so many people worry that if they assertively state their needs they won’t be liked any more or will feel as if they are being selfish. But remember to treat yourself with the same respect you would treat others and you won’t go far wrong.

You’ll find many more tips in my book ‘How to be Assertive’, you’ll find it here.. http://goo.gl/bxQGxT

Strong Emotions Make You Stupid!

When I was training to be a hypnotherapist, I remember being told Strong Emotions make you stupid!

Now, there’s a thought. It took me a while to think about mistakes I’d made in my life and, sure enough, they’d all been linked to strong emotions (quite a few of them hormonal!). The amygdala, the bit of the brain that regulates our behaviour, gets highjacked by strong emotions. This means that our decisions may be flawed and we may not behave as sensibly or assertively as we would like.

Here’s an example. Tracey and Julie had been friends for many years. Both single, they’d always hoped for the right relationship, but neither had achieved what they wishes.  Still, they enjoyed being young and single and spending time together.

Unexpectedly, Tracey met Mr Right at a conference, and they soon become a couple. Julie was upset; let’s face it, her amygdala was overwhelmed and she became terribly jealous. Her friend was no longer available as readily as before, and Mr Right had to be taken into consideration with all planned get-togethers.

Instead of assertively discussing her fears, and finding a new way for the friendship to continue, Julie acted sulkily and became demanding. Tracey felt torn – her new partner was wonderful company, but she wanted to give Julie attention too. Increasingly, time with Julie was no longer fun. Her sulks and demands made her just hard work. Tracey tried for a long time, and several times tried to address the issue assertively with her friend.

Unfortunately, Julie was not responsive. Eventually, Tracey gave up and withdrew from the friendship. Julie’s lack of assertiveness caused a self-fulfilling prophesy to come true. She lost her good friend. Not because of Mr Right, but because of her own behaviour.

*** Try this***

If you have issues you need to discuss with someone, plan ahead for the conversation. Write yourself a script or practice with a friend or in front of the mirror. Use calming techniques if you need to. Choose a quiet time when you are both calm and unlikely to be interrupted. If you are not sure how to word things, you may well find ideas in my book How to be Assertive, available on kindle. You’ll also find some calming techniques there.

Five Tips for Surviving the Holiday

Surviving the holiday season


Christmas is coming fast, and while many people look forward to it, others face it with dread. Even one day spent in close proximity with family can seem like a year. Image

Here are five tips to get you through Christmas, allowing you to keep your cool and your assertive behaviour.

  1. Don’t make yourself broke buying everything.

I recently heard about someone who plans to cook an eight course meal for thirty family members. The meat bill alone is £750.00. This person is not well off. Crazy! Don’t get in debt just to impress your guests. Ask them to bring something towards food, drink or entertainment. Be specific so there is no duplication. You’ll be surprised how willing people are to contribute.

2.  Don’t wear yourself out cooking.

I learned years ago to cheat. Frozen roast potatoes (yum!), frozen yorkshire puddings, instant gravy, whatever. If you can’t bear to do that, get your guests to share the tasks. Again, be specific. ‘Tom, I’d like you to peel the potatoes, Mary, can you peel the sprouts and chop the cabbage.’

Share the work and you won’t be tired and tetchy before you’ve even started eating.

 3.  Plan how to respond to difficult people.

Okay, you know which relative is a pain in the neck. The one who winds you up each year with sarcastic comments or heavy sighs. Plan how you’ll respond. Here are some suggestions:

‘I’m sorry you need to comment on that.’

‘Thank you for your comment.’

‘I’ll keep that in mind.’

Get the idea? Just a quick phrase, calmly said. Then walk away and get on with something else. If they see they can’t irritate you, they’ll get bored with trying.

 4.  Ask for help with clearing up.

Don’t go all martyr-like. No-one likes a martyr, and they often get ignored so your efforts will probably go unnoticed. Make your requests straightforward, no insincere flattery. Keep your voice calm and clear:

‘I’d like some help now we’ve finished our meal. John, would you and Jane clear the table. Tom and Mary, would you load the dishwasher please? I’ll wipe all the worktops and put everything away.’

Better still, warn people ahead of time that you would like them to do some tasks.

 5.  Offer entertainment.

If your family like to slump in front of the TV, that’s fine. But do consider offering alternatives like boxed games or a walk. Ask for suggestions before the day.

 Planning ahead for how you will act assertively will make your day so much more relaxed. Give it a try, what have you got to lose?