“Staying silent is like slow-growing cancer to the soul and the trait of a true coward. There’s nothing intelligent about not standing up for yourself. You may not win every battle. However, everyone will know what you stood up for – YOU!”Shannon. L. Alder
At the epicenter – Rajiv Shetty – AGM, Open-Cast Mines, India’s second-largest Coal Mining Company.
Program Attended – Assertiveness Training and Communication Mastery – October 2014, Hyderabad.
Breakdown – “I often fail to open up or speak out, even when I know I am on the correct side.” “When someone steps on my shoes, I end up saying, ‘I am sorry’ only to realize moments later that it was the other person who should have apologized.” I guess I am battling with this low self-image for long now. My subordinates think I am soft enough to be taken advantage of and my bosses, they don’t just think; they take!
The big obstacle is that I am unable to convey what I am feeling inside most of the time, Rajiv snapped whiningly.
E.g., the other day, a pickup truck crashed into my relatively new car from the rear. The impact was so high that my sedan turned into a hatchback! …
Maybe it has got to do something with my schooling, my upbringing, or this government job that I am in, wherein everyone tries to please their higher-ups at the cost of their own happiness!…
“If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re probably on the menu!”Elizabeth Warren
I just don’t get it, and I feel people around me have the remote control to my life! Rajiv lamentingly remarked.
The Untold Story – Rajiv, the only son of his traditional, conservative, and semi- orthodox parents, was schooled in an All-Boys school by his well-intentioned parents who guaranteed he stays away off from any potential hazard from the fairer sex. At school, he was a first bencher, not due to his outstanding grades but his under height, creating an ineptitude complex within.
And today, to ensure that his work world takes him seriously, he is extremely conscious of his public demeanor and guards it fiercely. Every word he expresses is carefully measured before it is spoken. Furthermore, to avoid an unpleasant confrontation with people or situations, he is often seen wearing premium eyeglasses on the bridge of his nose, pretending to be a wise old owl! One can easily spot him from a block away, as he is regularly found in formal dressing to appear professional and respected.
Uncomplicate: Rajiv, have you heard of ‘Assertiveness’; can you explain it to me in case you know what it means? I asked inoffensively.
Oh. That’s easy. It means to think positively, Rajiv replied confidently.
I beg to differ Rajiv, and I am not sure where this definition has crept in from; for many believe it to be correct – I said, not wanting to sound very obnoxious.
But Assertiveness is nothing more than, “Saying what you mean, meaning what you say, without being mean!”, I said much to his dismay.
Another simple way of stating it is, “It’s your ability to talk openly, directly, honestly, appropriately, politely to anybody, without feeling guilty about what you just said, as long as you don’t hurt the other person.”
But how do you develop that kind of mental resilience? I know many who are like me, Rajiv questioned, but sincerely?
You are right, Rajiv. Unfortunately, we are not groomed like the Americans are. They are encouraged to speak, what they think, and vice versa. Their society at large; parents, teachers, and the environment fosters it. Right from their tender years, they model adults around them who are assertive. Later in their lives, status, title, position, and self-esteem does not play a role when it comes to being assertive. Creativity and Innovation are supported all through by others. Unfortunately, though we are ahead in terms of preserving our values and culture, on this front, we severely lag.
And what is the price you pay for not being Assertive? Rajiv asked, intentionally portraying to be obtuse.
“If you cannot refuse the requests and demands of others around you, you might be forced to live your life based on other people’s priories rather than your own. …I stated deeply.
Rajiv looked confounded, but knew I was speaking the truth.
“If there is one trait that all Indians should possess without an iota of doubt, its Assertiveness; principally our younger generation.”, I recapitulated.
But then why are we not assertive enough? Who’s to blame? Rajiv contended but, in a courteous tone.
The answer is manifold Rajiv, and our identities get created long before we realize they do. The seeds leading to lack of Assertiveness are sown in the early years, and the damage is done.
Parents, Teachers, and the society we live in have conspired to produce a nation of timid souls, many a time though not intentionally! I said regretfully,
But how can they be labeled for this? Rajiv riposted back.
And not to forget, there are little eyes that are watching you and waiting to grow up like you one day; your kids. When your spouse and kids see you falsely edify and over submit to others but, see you showing your anger and machismo only on them, they lose respect for you.
Have humility, treat others with respect, but be yourself first, stand on firm ground, and set an example of a reputable behavior to your family.
Humility is a virtue; timidity is a disease!
But, there’s one more thing. I find it tough to handle criticism, Rajiv complained…
Breakthrough Moment: Rajiv today, precisely five years since our first meeting, is candid in projecting his assertive side, whenever the occasion demands. However,… Read the rest in the book ‘UNCOMPLICATE’
The above blog is a short snippet from the No. 1 Amazon Bestseller Book ‘UNCOMPLICATE’.
“You teach people how to treat you, by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce”-Tony Gaskins.
The life-changing book contains monumental breakthroughs’ real participants have accomplished in over two decades in our workshops.
Legends used in the Blog are described here for the easy comprehension of the reader.
At the Epicenter– Being at a point, directly above the true center of disturbance in life.
Breakdown – Current challenge in life confronted with, with no end in sight.
The Untold Story – The story behind the story that their world around isn’t aware of.
UNCOMPLICATE – Powerful distinctions provided by the coach, resulting in an immediate shift in behavior or action.
Breakthrough – The present triumphant moment of the person who had a breakdown.