Marriage is one of the most important relationships, but it can also be one of the most confusing! There are so many false beliefs perpetuating about what a good marriage really looks like. And while we may know in our minds that other couples have struggles as well, it’s not always something we talk about. Here are 4 common marriage myths:
Healthy communication is the key to long-lasting relationships. It can be bliss to have warm feelings toward our children, our friends, and our spouses, but what happens when a problem arises that necessitates communicating about difficult things? Some individuals may brush their feelings aside in the hopes of avoiding “stirring the pot,” while others may become so overwhelmed with frustration, anger, or sadness that they lose control and have an emotional outburst. The truth is that neither of these approaches are effective in addressing or solving concerns in relationships.
The concept of assertiveness is one of my favorite topics, and I’m excited to share some of the key points from my new book “The Assertiveness Guide for Women: How to Communicate Your Needs, Set Healthy Boundaries, and Transform Your Relationships.”
What is assertiveness exactly? Contrary to what some may think, it’s not being pushy, rude, or aggressive. In the book, I define assertiveness as the ability to reflect on one’s past and present experiences, manage one’s difficult emotions, and clearly express oneself while also being open to someone else’s perspective (that’s quite a definition, right!). Some women may fear or shy away from assertiveness because they think it will threaten their relationships, but practicing it is actually the only way to get your needs met while also maintaining a closeness with others.
Grab a friend, sister, neighbor and come to my day-long workshop for Mormon women. Understand cultural influences that may have silenced your authentic voice, and learn and practice the 5 steps of assertive communication. Details and ticket information below. Early-bird pricing ends soon (save $50) and seating is limited. Can’t wait to spend the day with you!
Based on both clinical wisdom from working with women and from her own experiences, Dr. de Azevedo Hanks invites women to embark on a journey to create a stronger sense of clarity, confidence, connection, and compassion by increasing their assertiveness in the areas of their lives that matter most. This book is useful to any woman who desires to increase her assertiveness and is a good tool for clinicians to use when addressing issues of connection, gender, attachment, and assertiveness. This wonderful guide is highly recommended for anyone who wants to be more assertive.
Reviewed by Beth Russell, Ph.D., LCSW, Clinical Associate Professor of Social Work, The College at Brockport for New Social Worker
I was honored to be interviewed via Skype by business strategist and life coach Nicole Liloia, LCSW to talk about assertiveness and how it relates to female entrepreneurs. Nicole expressed how many of the women she works with seem to struggle with defining and articulating their feelings, thoughts, needs, and wants in their businesses. Using some of the main themes from the book, we addressed these issues and talked about ways women could overcome these boundaries to assertiveness. Here are some of the highlights of our discussion:
For those of you who follow me on social media, you know how much I love to post articles that invite online discussions. I am usually fairly accurate about predicting which posts will generate a lot of interest and discussion. However, sometimes I am taken by surprise at the intensity of responses to particular posts and articles. That happened a week ago when I posted this link to this Salt Lake Tribune article by Peggy Fletcher Stack on Facebook about a survey and results asking for input about Mormon women’s names and titles. Within in minutes people started reacting and commenting and this flurry went on for several days, and was incredibly passionate. Read for yourself!
The Assertiveness Guide for Women by Julie de Azevedo Hanks, Ph.D. is an essential read for women who struggle to assert themselves. Women are especially challenged by assertiveness as they’re often socialized to be compliant and “nice”. But Dr. Hanks takes a deeper look by helping you identify how your attachment style impacts your relationships and communication style.
According to Julie, think of a recent situation where you experienced pain, whether from a physical injury or an emotional one. It might be anything from a fight with a friend to a breakup to someone’s passing. She suggests asking ourselves these questions:
“What did I tell myself about my pain?
Was my self-talk nurturing or was it critical?
Did I validate my suffering or minimize it?
How did I behave toward myself when I was hurting?
Was I able to provide nurturing, comfort and validation to myself?”