It takes conversational courage to be assertive.
Even with a degree in journalism, as a young wife I took awhile to realize that communication might be more than what I learned in speech class. Poor Dave, think of all the lectures I delivered complete with stories and illustrations (albeit on scrap paper, rather than power point).
The Courage to be Vulnerable and Listen
I remember sitting in my first counselor’s office so many years ago, coming to terms with an abortion. She put down the pad and pen and looked at me with a gentle smile.
“Cathy, you have so much courage.”
Really? No one ever told me I had courage before, I thought.
Instantly, I knew it was true. I DO have courage. Lots of it. I guess that is what keeps inspiring me to live and speak with so much integrity that I don’t hold anything back. It’s not easy. Perhaps you, too, have felt the call to be real, then trembled in dismay. Being vulnerable takes serious courage, doesn’t it? Being more assertive at home is a challenge for the most courageous at heart. Not everyone wants all the information all the time. In fact, there are folks in our life that are just hoping we will continue to pretend everything is hunky-dory.
For all of us, communicating takes the courage to be vulnerable, to listen, to have a heart of compassion, and to be patient and strong.
Being More Assertive at Home Requires Boundaries
Somewhere along the way, I learned some boundaries. It’s necessary to learn to guard our own hearts both ways.
First, we learn to respect the boundary of our loved ones. What can they hear without feeling overwhelmed? We can learn new skills to deliver information without harming the other person in the process. We need to be judicious about what we share and when. Sometimes, quiet companionship is the most soothing thing we can offer a friend or our spouse. It takes courage to learn new skills and to patiently pass skills along to those we love.
Second, we have to learn to recognize our “ouch” moments and put a foot down when our boundaries are being trampled. When we are in the habit of just going along, it takes courage to speak up. We often choose compliance because it seems easier. Actually, compliance is probably easier in the short run. However, discipling ourselves to listen when we feel like pressing our point takes courage and patience. Happily, choosing conversation over debate results in long term fellowship. To get there, we have to learn new skills, including appropriate and judicious assertiveness. The risk of being vulnerable diminishes quickly as we learn skills. In fact, victory can be ours rather quickly!
Vulnerability with Benefits
We create an opportunity for people to love us unconditionally and whole-heartedly when we choose vulnerability. Of course, when we finally get to that place where we are courageous enough to be real, we find out who are our real friends. They often turn out to be amazing women who also live openly with integrity and compassion. The most real and beloved people in our life can be our own hubby, kiddos, amazing grandchildren, and our adult siblings.
Camp Krafve Keeps it Real
Keeping it real is an attitude we live by here at Camp Krafve.Welcome! I am glad you found Camp Krafve. I assume you are seeking out others who have the same desire you have to be real. You came to the right place. You are not alone in seeking to practice the gentle art of companionship by enriching your relationships with truth. I admire your courage.
May I pray for you?
Dear Father in heaven, O perfectly loving One, please bless this dear reader today with more courage. Thank you for this beautiful heart which craves truth, intimacy, and the willingness to be unguardedly vulnerable with trustworthy loved ones and friends. I know Your will is for each of us to enjoy that unguarded, unfailing love with You. Please bestow wisdom on this heart today, dear One. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Cathy Krafve, Texas Author, Columnist, Speaker, and Radio Personality, specializing in Christian Marriage and Family invites your stories, ideas, and questions at CathyKrafve.com. Truth with a Texas Twang.