Are you tired of being walked over? Do you wish you could stand up for yourself and your interests more effectively? If so, this article is for you. We’ll discuss the importance of persistence and assertiveness, and we’ll provide you with proven steps to help you develop these qualities. So, whether you’re looking to improve your career, your relationships, or your personal life, read on for some helpful tips.
Developing persistence and the ability to protect your interests in any situation is a valuable skill. Many people believe that being persistent means asserting yourself and expressing your thoughts and feelings. However, this perception can lead to aggressive or passive behavior, hindering constructive dialogue. True persistence lies in expressing your needs and emotions respectfully, increasing the likelihood of being heard.
To cultivate this quality, it requires practice and the adoption of certain strategies. One effective approach is to give more importance to your own feelings and emotional needs. But before that, it’s important to understand why we often lack natural persistence.
What causes a lack of persistence? Persistence involves understanding and expressing emotions in a healthy manner. For those who grew up in an environment where emotions were not openly discussed, it can be challenging.
Neglecting or suppressing emotions during childhood can lead to difficulties with persistence in adulthood. This occurs because we were not taught how to navigate our emotions and their significance. When our parents did not validate our emotions, we learned to undervalue and overlook them. As a result, we struggle to express ourselves using emotional language.
What does persistence entail?
- Awareness: Recognize the emotions you are experiencing in the present moment. In a situation with noisy neighbors, for example, you may feel anger and a strong desire to take action to change the situation.
- Respect for your feelings: Understand that every emotion you experience is valid and deserves consideration. Your anger is justified; it’s already 23:00 and you have to wake up early for work the next day.
- Ability to articulate emotions: Start by understanding and accepting your own emotions. Take a short break, have a glass of water, and take deep breaths to calm down and find the right words.
- Desire to understand others: Consider what the neighbor might be feeling. It’s unlikely they are intentionally trying to make your life difficult. Perhaps they are simply in a good mood and want to dance.
- Understanding the circumstances: Reflect on the situation and context. How do you want to express your feelings and thoughts? Should you approach them directly or call? How frequently does the noise disturbance occur? If it is a recurring issue, the approach may differ.
By combining these skills, you can express your feelings and thoughts in a way that others will listen to. Striking a balance between passivity and aggressiveness increases the chances of understanding and having your requests fulfilled.
For instance, you could say the following to your neighbors: “I understand that you are having a good time, but it’s difficult for me to fall asleep with loud music. Could you please turn it off after 23:00? I would greatly appreciate it, as I have an early morning at work.”
How to develop persistence:
- Practice awareness: Regularly ask yourself self-reflective questions. What am I feeling right now? Why am I experiencing these emotions? How is my body reacting? What do I need in this moment?
- Value your emotions: Recognize that they exist to guide you. By listening to yourself, you gain a better understanding of when to be persistent. Emotions also provide motivation and energy to openly express your needs.
- Use emotional language: While you may recognize basic emotions like joy, sadness, or anger, expanding your emotional vocabulary allows for deeper self-understanding. This, in turn, enables you to clearly communicate your experiences to others.
- Recognize your worth: Every time you persist and assert yourself, you demonstrate to others that your opinions and needs matter.
It’s important to note that not every request will be immediately accepted, and that’s normal. However, with practice and self-work, you will find it easier to communicate with others while remaining conscious and confident.
Instead of living by the motto “My feelings don’t matter,” choose a new life creed: “My feelings may not always be objective, but they are my reality, and therefore, they matter.”