How to Be Assertive – Even When You’re Constantly Talked Over by M. Welding
Unfortunately, a lot of women don’t learn the assertiveness skills this article is addressing, especially not women who were (as I was) raised under Christian gender complementarianism.
Complementarianism fosters codependency mindsets and behaviors in Christian girls and women, and unfortunately tells them such passive behaviors are godly, desirable, God’s design, good, right, and feminine.
These teachings actually handicap girls and women through their lives.
Such teachings convey the message to girls and women that they should be conflict avoidant, which does them no favor, because as you get older and go through life, there will be situations when you have no choice but to deal with rude, mean, or abusive bosses, co-workers, boyfriends, etc.
Complementarianism, and similar secular belief sets taught to girls, does not adequately prepare them for adulthood.
Notice, by the way, that the solutions presented in the article (a few of which I’ve copied to my blog below) do NOT rely on the “male headship” complementarian belief, where the man gets “final say so” in a dispute merely just due to the fact he has a penis (that he’s a man).
Two adults in a dispute can compromise with one another, or find another solution that does not involve one person automatically caving in to another based on biological sex.
How to Be Assertive – Even When You’re Constantly Talked Over – by M. Welding
Some snippets from that page:
Aggressive people are hostile, adopting the “my way or the highway” stance. Passive people give up their power and are easily taken advantage of, which creates a surefire recipe for burnout and resentment.
You want to be the happy medium—an assertive person.
Assertive people seek out win-win scenarios and make their desires and beliefs known. Confident and assured, they approach situations with a healthy dose of objectivity, and as a result, are able to communicate clearly and directly in a low-drama, self-respecting way.
Being assertive is effective. One Stanford study found that women who used confidence and assertiveness skills, combined with relationship-oriented traits like empathy, were promoted more often than women who used only relationship-oriented skills. They also advanced more quickly than men.
Unfortunately, women face barriers to projecting assertiveness at work. Messages from our families, schooling, and society urge women to be likable and agreeable, and this expectation helps create a double bind: If a woman speaks up, she risks being called ”bitchy” or mean.
However, if she stays quiet, then she may be overlooked for opportunities or cast as the office pushover.
…. Here are techniques for speaking up, pushing back, and getting your voice heard more often.
Shut down mansplaining with “the broken record” technique
Stick to one firm, clear message, and repeat it if you have to. This is sometimes referred to as the “broken record technique,” especially when you have to assert yourself against someone who isn’t listening or who is an antagonistic mansplainer.
You might say:
- No, I’m not able to do that.
- That’s not relevant to the conversation.
- I’m speaking.
- I’d be happy to talk about this later.
- What we can do is …
You may have to reiterate these message multiple times, but your persistence and consistency sends a strong message. Remember, even if someone else is shaming you, you don’t have to explain, justify, or defend your thoughts and feelings. Don’t apologize for doing your job.
Find a workable compromise
Offer a workable compromise, or an alternate proposal of your own.
For example, if you need to assertively protect your time from someone who keeps dropping by your desk, you might say: “I understand that you’d like to talk right now. I need to finish what I’m doing. What about meeting in half an hour?”
If you’re interviewing for a job and the employer says your salary request is too high, you can keep the conversation moving forward by saying: “My goal is find a number that works for both of us. How can we get there?”
You can visit the page to read the rest of the advice.
Women should already be taught these things from the time they are girls, but sadly, that is usually not the case – most women were taught to behave in the direct opposite way from the page’s advice, which makes articles like that one necessary.