A young medium-built man lay flat on the side of the dirt road, screaming on top of his lungs. The petite middle-aged woman, wearing deadlock and orange jacket, fixed her fuming eyes on the screaming man.
The bystanders stood confused, wondering what went wrong, and how to help. Police officers arrived, and everyone felt relieved.
The petite woman spoke with a soft voice to one of the police officers, “He wanted to steal my purse [she lifted a mint brown bag to show the officer and the bystanders), and I hit his dick with my right foot.” One of the police officers with pot-belly turned and laughed, covering his mouth with his left elbow!
The courage of that tiny woman blew me away. I looked at her petite body, small voice, and the brevity of her actions. I don’t know about you, but I could have given my wallet to the thief for my dear life.
What would you do?
Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder — Rumi.
It takes more than a word or an appearance to get what we want in life from ourselves and others. How do you ask for what you want?
Can courage, tact, and humility help us navigate our life purposefully? Can these traits help us have meaningful interactions with others?
Let look at the three different ways:-
In Soccer, goal scoring is not everything, but the only thing. Soccer or Football players make a name for themselves and their club when they score goals. Most goal scoring in Soccer is by offensive play — aggressiveness, power, and drive.
Sometimes, aggressiveness is the best way to get things done or to get what you want in a particular environment, or from certain people.
Real, stigma is associated with the word, aggressive, but it works in some situations and for some people.
It works when exercising wisely. It works for everyone from a 2 -year old clinging to his mother for special attention to a 97 years old grandfather threatening his children with hellfire if they put him in a nursing home. What is your story?
Alex, a young college graduate, an electrical engineer, started a new job. Soon she was the only woman in a room full of middle-aged men. Some of these men were her father’s age. She cannot complete her sentences or finishes any questions during morning meetings. She is frustrated and alone.
Can you offer Alex suggestions?
I think the middle-aged men are not there to destroy Alex or purposefully mean to her. But practice their values or beliefs — interrupting one another in an enterprising setting. Or, they are what Adam Grant called takers.
Compare Alex, an electrical engineer with another young woman, Sara. Sara is a cashier in your neighborhood, Starbuck, or a young woman principal in your children’s school.
Now, how would the middle-aged men interact with Sara or the Principal? What are your thoughts and feelings?
I think the men in the room with Alex were interacting with a colleague, not a young woman in a coffee shop, or a young principal in a high school.
What next? When you are in an environment with the top ambitious people, raise ‘aggressive’ your voice and words. Also, our body language can be loud and disrupts the interrupters. Practice your office meeting at home with your friends and family and ask them for suggestions. Aggressiveness, when used wisely, can be very effective!
Assertiveness is an essential skill in life, and anyone can learn it. It’s in your control to communicate positively with yourself and others. Assertiveness involves speaking directly and honestly through words, thoughts, actions, and “feelings.” Pay attention to your feeling when interacting with yourself and others.
Assertiveness helps us to articulate what we want and to empathize with others — listen to and respect others’ feelings and values. We master how to communicate our values and beliefs directly and set boundaries calmly and professionally.
Importantly, assertiveness assists us in using or saying words in a proper tone. It tells us what to say in a specific environment and avoid upsetting ourselves and others. Asserting yourself can be difficult sometimes, but good practice helps.
For example, an overweight woman walked with a squared shoulder to a cashier in a reception area. She looked directly at a cashier and said, “Please refund my money if you can’t provide the paid seats at 9 pm show. My children cannot wait until 11 pm.” The cashier looked down and made a call. Then the cashier asked the woman to go upstairs for a refund. Awe, the woman, did not get a refund but got seats for 9 pm show.
“Akpaniko,” people do not like the word, submissive! Why? Some religious groups and cultures in every nook and cranny of the world continue to subjugate women and children in the pretense of submission.
What does. ‘submission’ refer to in your culture or religion? Do you see any positive outcome with this ‘Almighty’ word?
Other words for submissive are timid, spineless, observant, patient, and accommodating. Being accommodating, tactful, or patient can help us get what we want from ourselves and others.
People like to help humble people, and it takes humility to ask and receive help. A friend once lost his job. He was out of work for six months but chose not to tell me, other friends, or relatives. For those six months, he has talked to his friends at least twice without sharing his pain. He claimed, “I didn’t want to border people.” That means my friend didn’t befriend humility.
The world is changing, and COVID-19 is testing our humanity and humility. Would I ask for help immediately if I lost my primary income? It is something for me to reflect on! Would you call for help in times of trouble?
Ask for help today if you are struggling or extend a helping hand to someone who is struggling.
It takes courage, humility, and self-awareness to be humble.
Let us look at an example and see what we can get from it.
A new CEO, Ms. Ekpo, plans to redesign the exterior of the company headquarters. She gathers ideas from the senior management team, and her best friend, an Architect. Before the next BOD meeting, she recalls the head Janitor, Mr. Freedom, who has been with the company for 27 years.
She submitted herself to a low-level staff, Mr. Freedom, for a bit of advice. She listens to his point of view and suggestions on the new project. Ms. Ekpo invites him to attend the next BOD meeting. Why? Mr. Freedom cares for the interior and exterior of the building for 27 years, and he knows the company exterior better than the new CEO. Submissiveness can usher a win-win outcome in our personal or business relationships.
Be you, get things done, be happy, and be purposeful. Use aggressiveness, assertiveness, and submissiveness wisely to improve your life, family, and career.
Help yourself grow