Assertiveness Is The Way

Not to write another “summary of the year” kind of shitpost, but I want to reflect on one of my little battles that I had unexpectedly won in 2020.

It’s about a few positive changes in my thinking and behavior when I'm dealing with other people:

  1. I’ve become more assertive and direct. I'm not sure where I've got that confidence, but I think I had just stopped beating myself up. How I did that is a big topic itself which I hope to cover in a separate post once. (Or am I just getting old enough?)

  2. I've learned how to challenge people's beliefs by pointing to fallacies and inconsistencies in their thinking indirectly, through questioning their thinking patterns atomically. This way I let them come to their own conclusions step-by-step and direct their defensiveness towards their own realizations rather than me personally.

  3. I challenge people assumptions with ad-hoc experiments. The most important one. Seeing is believing, and most people can't resist the empirical evidence they found themselves. Only the most intelligent ones 😉.

It all started with applying these techniques to myself first. And given that applying such methods to other people is even easier, I've decided to give it a try and got surprisingly good results.

In the meantime, I've also eradicated my shitty behaviors:

  • I no longer expect anything in return tacitly. And when I do, I'm making it explicit. Sometimes, I still fail at this, and when I find myself frustrated with someone else’s behavior I have to remind myself that I hadn't set the expectations in the first place.

  • I don't tolerate when people cross boundaries anymore. I set hard boundaries and make everyone respect them or get the fuck out.

  • I'm not trying to control or caretake. Control is an illusion, and I've let this illusion go for good. Control-less life is much more fun.

  • I ceased trying to fix people. I'm just trying to help them when they ask me.

Still need to polish every each of these new behaviors, but now I can let me wonder where to move next. Which is quite not clear to me actually. Thus I want to ask you: what do you think I need to fix or master in my communications?