Assertiveness, not escape

on BLOG, Coaching 8 ott, 2015

L'assertività, non la fuga

Shortly before the summer holidays, a coachee of mine asked me how to protect herself from the numerous negative comments, warnings, alarms she was receiving just because she was about to leave the province and to move twenty kilometres away, in the city centre. The real problem was that such "attacks" were not coming from friends of friends of friends, acquaintances, colleagues or neighbours, but by her best friends, the ones she'd chosen, with whom she shares important parts of life. The other detail was the disproportion between the negativity of the messages and the fact itself, that is a reversible, close moving, without major consequences.

Today I want to talk about this: these tips, comments, doomsday predictions that come from everywhere. Some personal example? My accountant who, when he knew that I would open a VAT, warmly discouraged me, "speaking to me like a father" of the economic downturn, of the importance of a permanent job ... But had he left his job in the bank, twenty years before? Why talking to me as a father if I was talking to him like a customer, not like a son? A month later I had another accountant, I swear!

The old professor met in the street a month ago, who makes a panegyric of low but sure salaries, of paid holidays and sick leaves. Her sons? Both freelancers.

My sister who reminds me that I'm a father and I have obligations to my family and my two children; I cannot be irresponsible! No, I hadn't told her that I would open a chalet on a deserted beach, but I had just described a business idea.

I stop, I could go on for another couple of pages.

Nearly three years ago I had treated a similar topic in the post Today I am more and more convinced that, in addition to seeking to avoid negative people (which is not always possible, as in the case of my coachee with her best friends), the weapon is assertiveness. Yes, I am very responsive to these encroachments because they disempower and sabotage, but especially because they represent an entrance in a perimeter that belongs only to me. So, assertiveness, the courteous and very firmly invitation to respect informed choices, and possibly changing the subject. Then we can talk about the reason why, the good faith, the fear for us, for themselves, for others, about the spread of the suggestion, which is rarely what it seems, but generally is just an act of selfishness and protection. All this later, if you have desire and time, but on the instant assertiveness.

"My father basically was right

In saying that the pension is really important,

My mother was not wrong

In saying that a graduate is more worth than a singer ... "

Francesco Guccini, "L'avvelenata", 1976






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