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How can I be more firm and assertive in life?

Q: I am 18 years old, college going girl. I lack in self confidence. Since the time I was in class 1, my teachers loved intelligent and smart children and most students loved to be friends with such students, which I wasn't. That is why I lost interest in studies. But gradually, I was able to improve on my studies in class 11th. I built up on my public speaking skills on my own. I don't feel hesitant in talking to strangers. But some of my classmates and friends hurt me and don't pay me any respect, they put me down. I cannot reply them and ,I am very poor in accepting challenges. I feel I can do much better without accepting a challenge. I don't have faith in myself and cannot rely on my decision and that is why most people use me. I talk to everybody in a jolly manner, even to my juniors. But my friends feel that one should have attitude otherwise people will not respect you. This is true to some extent. Am I wrong in behaving this way? I could not develop an attitude within me but I have started being assertive. Earlier I was scared of quarrels and I used to keep shut. How should I live in the world where I have no friends and no teachers to love and have fun with. My family is supportive but there are some things that one wants to share with friends. If I share my feelings with them, they either make fun of it or use my weaknesses. I have started feeling ashamed of my assertiveness and confidence. I have started behaving in a fashion similar to my friends but that is not my style. I don't want to be like them. How can I be firm and assertive?

A:There is nothing wrong in being good to all. And attitude does not mean that one has to be rude to others. Also confidence needs to be seen as an understanding of the self. This includes understanding and accepting ones virtues, and limitations alike, and working with them. Assertiveness is when you are able to respect others thoughts, and rights and do not trample them, at the same time you do not let others do the same to you. Assertiveness is a skill that can be learnt, and sessions with a psychiatrist would help. Solution to problems are not tips to do stuff, one has to put an effort and work with ones own circumstances and reach the best solution. In psychiatry we don't tell what others have to do, we help them take their own decision as ultimately each person has to do the best according to his own self. To be confident, like yourself, and focus on your positives, and achieve things that you can, and give importance to family, and social network, and take care of yourself. Feeling good includes all parts of life, psychological, social, academic and physical. Talk to a psychiatrist in person, for more.

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