Assertiveness VS Consideration
I don’t know whether this is a challenge for anyone but me. There’s a fine line between being assertive and being inconsiderate of others. That’s probably why some people have trouble asserting themselves, especially to people important to them.
Well, I have hands-on experience with assertiveness VS consideration to share.
Today I was shocked by the reaction of a friend. She was angry with me, shut down, and canceled our lunch plan. Her brief remark: “you are too much, too demanding, and you are not being considerate about how I feel.”
It took me by surprise. Of course, I apologized immediately. Unfortunately, my friend didn’t register my apology and hung up the phone.
Did my being assertive make me an inconsiderate person?
I was stunned by her reaction. It has never occurred to me that my authenticity and honesty would have disturbed others. I felt a strong vibration in my chest, and I was sorry. Then, I kept pondering over the event to find what I did that was inconsiderate of her.
Did I do or say something so terrible that triggered that strong reaction?
I realized I didn’t have any ill intentions at all. I was being honest and shared my need, concerns, and challenge.
I felt the urge to apologize to her in text. However, I held back and questioned my intention. Was it because I wanted her to feel better, to relieve her pain of being emotionally abused? Or was it for me to feel better about myself?
I found that my self-image as an empathetic person was disturbed.
Which of my beings cannot live?
After pondering it, I discovered that the incident crushed my being too. Well, I have a being of kindness, empathy, and consideration. When these beings couldn’t live, I was sad.
Can I still be assertive but not inconsiderate?
After the analysis, I recognized that I never regarded her from her perspective. On the contrary, I always presumed how she felt and was according to my judgment about her. I assumed I could be myself around her and never had to think much about how I asserted myself.
Considerate, humility, and empathy are the key to authentic assertiveness
It has just occurred to me that she needs consideration, understanding, and respect. She also has her challenges to cope with and her maze to solve.
I recognized how I had been honest with myself and was so self-centric that I didn’t think about others.
I discovered that when I allowed my authenticity to live without consideration for others, I hurt them. Consequently, I was unhappy as my kindness, empathy, and recognition couldn’t live either.
Being assertive in harmony with my being
I have decided that from now I will be more considerate of others. I will learn how to assert each of my beings in consideration of one another. Thus, I can live in harmony and align with my environment.
However, how can you live through your beings and stay in harmony with yourself and others? Check out my article about authentic assertiveness to find your inner peace.