Love yourself more by being assertive with your dialogue
by Linda Marsanico —
Let us talk about assertion and internal dialogue because they are intimately involved in developing self-love. Assertion is getting your needs met while respecting the rights of others. Internal dialogue is your internal stream of thoughts that stem from your ego.
Assertion is more important than you think because it affects your interactions and decisions. Consider the number of interactions or decisions you make in one day — a lot, right? Internal dialogue is the quiet discussion that happens in your mind. Internal dialogue springs from the ego, and it provides a steady stream of information.
So let us start by looking at our internal dialogue. Take a moment and notice the thoughts that are flowing through your mind. Become aware of this subliminal pattern that is almost below the surface of your awareness. You have the ability to bring this self-talk into full awareness where you can look at its quality. When you are in this concealed stream, you have brought it up to your conscious mind, and you are ready to begin.
Evaluate your internal dialogue. Do you talk to yourself kindly and respectfully or are you critical and harsh? When you observe this dialogue flow, are you satisfied with the tone and content? If you are not satisfied, you — and only you — have the ability to change it by substituting a design of your choosing. You have the ability to replace any negative self-talk with positive self-talk. Think of the way you would want your parent to speak to you — lovingly, positively, kindly.
When you make a mistake, an example of your internal dialogue might be, “I messed up again” or “I cannot do anything right.” This is critical. Instead, you can choose to replace this with, “I made a mistake. I will do this a different way and be successful next time.” This is supportive and kind. With the second choice, you are replacing the critical message with a positive one.
Another skill that promotes self-love is assertion. Following is an example of internal dialogue that emphasizes assertion, and then the avoidance of assertion.
Assertion — A good friend and I had a misunderstanding. I decide to express my truth to her. Our relationship is worth my making the effort to communicate authentically. Perhaps she will not change, but she will know my feelings, which will hopefully improve our relationship because of my honesty.
Avoiding assertion — My good friend and I had a misunderstanding. I want to say something about it, but I am afraid she will not understand, will not change and will get upset when she hears my feelings. Since this makes me uncomfortable, I choose not to say anything. Since I refrain from speaking my truth, the issue festers.
Knowledge of your internal dialogue and assertion are important skills in the development of self-love. Know what you are thinking and choose a response from your authentic self. When you feel unified about your responses, you tend to feel satisfied and comforted — in line with your truth.
These skills have been essential for me as I balance the thoughts that express my true self, my deeper knowledge of who I am. They have helped me become self-loving, and I highly suggest that you give this attention in your repertoire of responses.
Gandhi said: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.”
I know I have more work to do.
Linda Marsanico, a spiritual coach, was educated in the United States and England. Her doctorate is in social psychology and she conducts workshops on the blending of our mind-body-spirit. lindamarsanico.com.
Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 34, Number 6, December 2015/January 2016.