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How can I stop being passive?


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I've gotten feedback from people that I am very passive.

This honestly doesn't bother me; I basically like how I am. For whatever reason, things that bother other people don't seem to bother me. In fact, I don't even notice how it comes across to others that I'm passive. I've always been rather introverted and I avoid confrontation unless it's *really* necessary (I can confront someone if I'm really feeling wronged, but it takes a lot for me to feel the need).

There are a few ways that I think my supposed passivity becomes a problem. First is that it may be what is holding me back in my career. People probably won't promote someone who they think is too passive. Second, it seems to bother other people because they read it as symptomatic of low self esteem. And finally, some people take advantage of people who they perceive as passive.

I say “supposed passivity” because in a way, I actually feel that may behavior shows inner confidence, and this inner confidence means that I don't feel the need to exert my will/stand up for myself as outwardly as others do. Unfortunately, I don't think many people get that about me. Americans are so "confidence happy" that I feel that I'll never get anywhere unless I become more confident. For example, I have had many people tell me that I am quite attractive, yet I don't seem to have much luck dating; only very few people who seem to "get me."

To boil it down: I don't know if being perceived as passive really is a problem or if I should just accept this as part of myself since I feel comfortable this way. I guess the real problem for me is that other people see it as a problem. The second part of the question is that if I do decide to work on it, how do I do it? I can try to examine my own behavior more closely, but this just makes me feel terribly self conscious—not a feeling that is likely to make me act more assertive or outwardly confident.

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I think if it is affecting your professional life your work organisation may have assertiveness courses they can put you on to help you speak out a bit. But if this your basic nature and it works for you then screw what anyone else thinks!

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don't be afraid to call people on smaller stuff that wouldn't necessarily bother you but could bother someone else. just be nice and firm. don't be afraid to be the one to think of new ideas- and make sure you get credit for them. that takes some tact, especially if your boss is trying to claim credit for your ideas.

there are a lot of books on the subject. if they don't have a course for it at work, like if your company doesn't do that or isn't big enough, then get some materials from the library, and use the internet too to help in your search.

i don't know, i'm told too that i'm a bit passive and don't stand up for myself as much. i just started calling people on it when they wronged me and stopped letting other people take credit for my ideas, and i'm thought of as being more assertive. this helped in my case. i'm sure your case is different, and you cuold get a lot out of other materials.

loon

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I too have a passive demeanor. It is odd I am that way, since I am very tall and very strong and muscular, quite intimidating to most who meet me, yet I don't have an assertive bone in my body. I guess I was raised to be courteous; treat people with respect and dignity. That doesn't get you very far in this world. I do have aggression, but I take it out on inantimate objects (pity my poor walls with holes in them). I would never harm another person physically, but that doesn't mean I should be more assertive in dealing with people who need to be dealt with firmly.

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Passive does not equal wuss.

Americans are "confidence happy." I know where you are coming from, but this is propaganda. Ever notice how you hear a lot about "Type-A personality," but seldom any other? It is a consumer fascist state we live in. You will grab all you can for yourself, you will make as much money as possible, you will climb the career later as high as you can, you get all the pussy you can, you buy as many advertised products as you can...and then some!!!

If the corporate media is informing any part of your belief system, feel free to jettison it, for it is deadweight on the human soul. All the beliefs, notions, principles, and values presented to you on television are in service of Wall Street. Our popular culture is a toxic marketplace.

Who the hell is anybody else to suggest to you that passivity is a negative trait?

Self-confidence does not come from Dr. Phil. Self-confidence comes from liking who you are, trusting who you are, and not giving a damn what anybody else thinks about you. Fuggem!

To paraphrase Nietzsche, "I see you deafend by the noise of great men and stung all over by poisonous flies!Flee into your solitude where the air is raw and strong, it is not your lot in life to swat flies in the marketplace!"

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