Assertiveness diary: ongoing.

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Re: Assertiveness diary: ongoing.

Postby manuel_moe_g » July 16th, 2017, 12:53 pm

Oak wrote:When I saw her I knew I was going to invite her out because of this forum thread.

Outstanding. I am proud to call you my friend. You are the epitome of living with intention and agency.
~~~~~~
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Re: Assertiveness diary: ongoing.

Postby HowDidIGetHere » July 16th, 2017, 3:48 pm

High five, oak. On all counts.
'The field “Issues” is too long, a maximum of 80 characters is allowed.' Wow. Totally outed by a message board.

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Re: Assertiveness diary: ongoing.

Postby oak » July 17th, 2017, 2:27 pm

Thanks fellas!

I used my words and invited someone else out for dinner/drinks tonight. She agreed, then didn't show up.

Things will go better next time. I am still glad I tried.
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Re: Assertiveness diary: ongoing.

Postby HowDidIGetHere » July 18th, 2017, 3:30 pm

People are so weird with the not showing up. Totally don't grasp that.
'The field “Issues” is too long, a maximum of 80 characters is allowed.' Wow. Totally outed by a message board.

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Re: Assertiveness diary: ongoing.

Postby brownblob » July 18th, 2017, 5:39 pm

You are awesome Oak.
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Re: Assertiveness diary: ongoing.

Postby oak » July 19th, 2017, 10:33 am

Thanks HDIGH and BB!

Today I asserted myself by asking the doctor all the questions I had.

Later, I invited yet another woman out, and she declined. (I hasten to stress that the women I've invited out because of the inspiration of this thread, have all been extremely kind, thoughtful, and generous when they gently decline my offer.) What I am learning about this, is that I don't have to wonder what-could-have-been: she declined my offer of a date graciously, I accepted it graciously, and we both went about our day a little better, I hope.

I also asserted myself, kindly I hope, with my friendly neighbor: she works in the dental industry, and I walked closer to her, opened my mouth, and asked if she had any snap judgments about suggestions. She suggested more diligent flossing. I am grateful.

I am going to assert myself tomorrow by calling to cancel my dentist appointment and to set up a professional photography session (I am dipping my toe in online dating starting next month).

More anon!
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Re: Assertiveness diary: ongoing.

Postby oak » July 20th, 2017, 6:47 am

Quick bookending: Growing up a stutterer, I am mostly fluent. Phones are a challenge I want to face.

I'm calling to cancel my current dentist, get a new one, and call for pricing for professional photographer session.

Update to follow.
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Re: Assertiveness diary: ongoing.

Postby oak » July 20th, 2017, 7:37 am

They all went fine!

Edit:

I also realize it is time to confront my sister. She has condescended me long enough. She ordered me around yesterday like a lackey. I am nobody's flunky: even my boss says "please" when ordering me to do something. I expect no less from my family. "Family" is no excuse for treating me worse than coworkers or strangers. I don't treat others like that, and I won't tolerate it from others. If they don't like it they can pound salt.

I was working poor for years, yes, but any scraping and groveling I've done is done.

I don't tolerate that sort of tone from anyone else, so I am done taking it from my family.

When told my parents this, they didn't ask, in a caring way, why I felt this way. They didn't care about my experience. They tried to explain my sister's rudeness away, invalidating my experience.

Of course I am violating the unwritten "sacred" family roles: this person is the depressed/helpless person, this other person is the selfless self-sacrificer, the third is the tell-it-like-it-is person, and I played the role of the "broke" person: I was unemployed, then under-employed, then the person good enough for employment but nothing else.

That role doesn't suit me anymore.

I am tired of carrying others' burdens. Let's talk about these implicit things. Stories that served us in 1985, 1994, and 2007 are not serving us anymore. What's with the secrets? Let's make the subtext into text. Let's get it all out.

Edit 2:

I've since had that conversation with my parents!

Like every other "difficult" conversation I've had lately it followed this script:

Me: I know things have been (variable) "a" for a long time. I can't accept "a" anymore. My new standard is "b". This is my decision, and I'm standing by it.

Them: What! For years "a" has been sacred!

blah blah blah about "a"

Eventually, every time, it gets to the actual issue, call it "x", which was the elephant in the room.

When people realize I won't abide "a" anymore they generally accept it, since it is difficult to disagree with someone who doesn't care about protecting the unstated status quo, and is perfectly willing to live with the consequences of this new reality.

Of course, having been influenced in the beginning of my career by the genius book "Getting Past No" I am quick to sincerely admit my own faults, and praise sincerely what I can with the other party. I won't back down from my new stated position, however.

I am very willing to admit wrongs. I am not willing to be a flunky or lackey. Not anymore.

Edit 3:

The semi-difficult conversation with my parents was regarding that I told them at all (it is none of their business or interest regarding squabbling between their adult children). They're having a tough week, and I casually dropped this family drama into their day without considering their feelings. I sincerely apologize for drama-ing up their day.

Here's the great, amazing thing about assertiveness: notice that I didn't apologize for promising to confront my sister. Now, when I confront her, my parents can't act surprised. I simply did what I said I was going to do. Whether they like it or not, they can't be surprised.

In other words, assertiveness creates new boundaries, fresh perspectives. We now can't go back to the old way, "a", which was sacred and must be protected by not speaking about it. I've talked about it, brought into the light.

IME half of the drama of any assertiveness confrontation I've had is the shock and surprise that I am bringing this topic up at all. Once people get over that we can get to a real solution.

-----

Reading perhaps the greatest junkie memoir of all time, Night of the Gun, David Carr planted the seed of assertiveness: as a journalist he'd state plainly some conveniently-non-discussed fact about a third rail. The self-appointed moralizer would tell him: "You can't say that!". David Carr would reply: "I just did. Now we have someplace to work from."
Last edited by oak on July 21st, 2017, 8:57 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Assertiveness diary: ongoing.

Postby oak » July 21st, 2017, 7:36 am

Disappointment!

Today, twice in the span of five minutes, I managed to talk myself out of what I want most in life.

Maybe a little shame, certainly disappointment, and a little pride.

This morning, at the grocery store I saw the dishwater blond (oh my) hair of the grocery store bank person. Before I saw the rest of her a second later, here are the thoughts I had in a split second:

1. I am going to invite her out because of the MIHH forum assertiveness thread.

2. "Manuel Moe". This my physche's way of reminding me that I have the support of good people, including Manuel Moe, Brown Blob, and How Did I Get Here.

She was all smiles when I talked with her, and when discussing weekend plans, she kept saying "we", which I chose to take as a significant other. I talked myself out of inviting her out, and getting a clear response. I was a bit disappointed in myself, but went on with my day.

You are welcome not to believe this, but thirty seconds I saw the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. I started talking to her about vegetables (super trite, but it worked). She seem semi-charmed, and gave a languorous signal of interest: tilting her head back and running her fingers through her hair.

I successfully talked to her about vegetables, which is a very important topic. What breaks my heart to type, so here goes: I knew I had the confidence to talk to her, but I realized I didn't have the confidence to ask her out.

Edit:

I mentioned up top "a little pride" because I only considered asking this beautiful person out because of _this thread_. Before this forum thread I would never have considered asking her out. Sincere thanks to the MIHH community!
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." -Leonard Cohen
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Re: Assertiveness diary: ongoing.

Postby rivergirl » July 22nd, 2017, 6:32 am

Thank you for sharing, Oak. I'm impressed by your continued efforts to learn and grow. :)
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