• Unified Brain Health Care

How to be nice, but not taken for granted?

Updated: Mar 30, 2021

Ms. Samanvithaa A., Clinical Psychologist, Unified Brain Health Care



A lot of us have been in situations where we were taken for granted by someone, to whom we were trying to be nice. It is frustrating when this happens.

"How to be nice, but not taken for granted?"

The solution for not being taken for granted is simple. It is knowing when to say a NO.

It is difficult for some of us to stand up for ourselves, having been brought up by a society which taught us to abide by what others do, without questioning it, especially if they are respected people, elders or if they are higher up in the "hierarchy".

But standing up for one' own rights, in a nice way, such that it doesn't violate the other person's rights, is important. This is what we call as Assertiveness.

Saying a NO can also be mistaken for being rude at times. There is a thin line between assertiveness and aggressiveness. Assertiveness is when you put across your opinion to the opposite party in a way that you don't step into their boundary. Whereas, Aggressiveness is when you put across your opinion/demands, by not respecting the boundary of the other person. Assertiveness is based on balance. Whereas, Aggressiveness is based on winning.

Benefits of being Assertive:

* Better communication

* Less stress

* More trust

* More confidence

* Development of mutual respect

* Increases self-esteem

* Reduces anxiety

There are 3C's to be followed in communicating assertively:

  • Confidence - Believe that you can handle the situation.

  • Clear - Make sure the message you are putting forth is to the point, clear and easy to understand.

  • Controlled - You deliver the information in a calm and controlled manner, even when you are going through a negative emotion.

Some ways to practice Assertiveness:

  • Say no more often - Practice saying no to do tasks that make you feel uncomfortable.

  • Use a lot of "I" statements - "I" statements have a power to express your opinions, which communicate responsibility and ownership. It does not attribute blame.

  • Behavioral Rehearsal - Try rehearsing saying a No or using "I" statements before you encounter the situation. You could even do this for a hypothetical situation.

  • Watch your Body Language - Sit/stand comfortably, maintain an upright posture, but lean forward a bit, make eye-contact, have a neutral or positive facial expression, smile.

  • Keep your emotions in check - Remain calm, breathe slowly, kee your voice even and firm.

  • Start small - Practice assertiveness at low risk situations to start with. Practice with you family and friends. Then slowly with co-workers and so on.

  • Statement prompt- Use these phrases when you want to express your opinions assertively: "I feel... when you... because... I want/need...

Contact Us if you think you want to work on your life skills such as Assertiveness, Decision Making skills, Anger and Emotions Management, Communication and Interpersonal relationship skills and if you want help to build a good Work-Life Balance. Book an Appointment today.

Unified Brain Health Care is one of a kind Neuro Rehabilitation Centre in Chennai for adults and children offering in person and online therapy in Cognitive Rehabilitation, Clinical Psychology, Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Clinical Nutrition, Career Counselling, Fitness Coaching and Educational Intervention. We also offer support for PCOS management, Pregnancy Care, Post-Pregnancy care for New Moms, Infant and Early Childhood Stimulation, Caregivers and promoting Holistic Brain Health.