Grab the Minotaur by the Horns

I am a MLP convert. Yep, that means I am a brony. Whenever deadlines for classes creep up, I like to watch an episode or two of My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic to calm my worries with a laugh.

Fluttershy ©2012 *caninelove

Because I was feeling more aggressive than assertive Monday, I rewatched “Putting Your Hoof Down” from Season 2; like Fluttershy, I felt like a monster for being too pushy and not empathetic (“self-righteously defensive”). After unsuccessfully persuading (with flirting and bartering) a merchant for his last cherry, Fluttershy decides to attend Iron Will’s (the minotaur) seminar for assertiveness. Instead of being assertive, the shy pony starts acting like a bully with mantras such as:

“Never apologize when you can criticize!”
“You make me lose, I blow my fuse!”

As Fluttershy learned, being assertive is not about putting down others (especially friends).

Instead of Iron Will’s phrases, I researched empathetic and assertive alternatives.

1. “Thanks, but…” statements are basic and acknowledge feelings.

ex. “Thanks, but I need some time to myself right now.”

2. For instances when you need time to think, convey when you could make a decision.

ex.”This is so important, and I can’t give it the time it deserves right now.  Can we make an appointment to talk?”

3. Concise “I” statements are meant to express how you are feeling, desires. etc.

ex. “I didn’t appreciate that you left the windows open when it was raining.”

4. A policy statement For expressing core beliefs (a bit more formal).

ex. “My policy is not to smoke.”

5. “No means no.” Very short and to the point, this is ‘putting your hoof down’.

Selig, Meg. “Speak Up! 18 All-Purpose Assertive Phrases.”

Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, LLC, 1 Oct. 2012. Web.

25 Oct. 2012.

Seltzer, Leon F., Ph.D. “How—And How Not—To Stand Up for

Yourself.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, LLC, 5 Sept. 2012.

Web. 25 Oct. 2012.

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