You see that person in the office, on Instagram or at the park who is always talking to everyone. You are a little jealous of their confidence to talk to everyone. You know people treat them differently — people like their ideas and are willing to do what they ask.
How do you achieve what feels unattainable? You want people to think you are kind and smart, especially your spouse. But there are some things you say that aren't about being kind, and instead are actually giving others power over you.
Here are three things to stop saying if you want to be taken seriously:
It is important to apologize when you have made a mistake. But somehow we have moved into a world where we are taking blame for things that aren't our fault. For example, you are sitting in a chair and someone sits down next to you and bumps your elbow, but you are the one who says sorry. This was not your fault yet you apologized.
Doing this cheapens your apologies and weakens your power to be taken seriously because people start to realize they can walk over you and you will still apologize to them.
Take your power back and only apologize when it's actually your fault.
Let's get real for a second; not many people are experts. People are allowed to express ideas and thoughts about things they haven't really studied a lot about. That's how we learn. We share what we think, and then we are open if someone has a better idea.
Imagine you are suggesting ideas for what to buy your brother-in-law for Christmas. You say, "I think we should buy him the new game I heard him ask about, but I'm no expert. You're his brother." Then your husband answers, "Well, I think we should buy him socks." You know your brother-in-law would rather have the game, but by saying "I'm not an expert," you gave the ultimate power of deciding to your husband.
Consistent self-depreciating comments are an offering to others to take control of the situation. There are some times you want others to decide, but for the most part you need to remember your ideas and feelings are valid. Don't be afraid to express them.
When you question what you are saying, other people will too. Let's say you are trying to break up with someone. You explain why you feel things are over and ask if it makes sense. When you end with a question, you leave your boyfriend the chance to say no. No, it doesn't make sense. I don't think you have thought this through, and we need to stay together.
Instead of leaving room for them to question your feelings, you can simply state what you think and feel and end with "How does that make you feel?" or "Do you agree?" This still gives the other person room to answer, but it doesn't take away your power.
Being overly cautious can limit your power in more than just relationships, at work or with friends. If you are too cautious, people will take advantage of your lack of confidence and push their ideas and feelings above yours instead of taking them equally with theirs.
Stop letting people step over you. You are important. You have important ideas and feelings. Instead of being hopeful that people will treat you equally, be powerful by communicating clearly with others. You will feel less resentment to others, especially your spouse, when you are able to express your feelings. Stop saying these three things and see your relationships improve.