Learning how to do this was an enormous challenge for me. I was such a people pleaser. Even though I generally did not like other people, it was still incredibly important to me that they like me. Imagine the conundrum. So, I became a social chameleon. I would say whatever I thought other people wanted me to say, something that would make them happy and thus, like me. It was impossible for me to stand up for myself even if someone attacked me. Then, one day I had an assertiveness training lesson and my whole life and way of being changed. I learned how to defend myself in an argument without tearing the other person down. I learned how disagree politely but firmly with another person. In essence, I learned how say what I meant and mean what I said. It was a tremendous eye opener and life changer.
It is not hard to learn how to be assertive, it just takes practice
The best part about learning how to be assertive is that even being an assertive person can be difficult the techniques are tried and true and easy to learn. However, though easy to learn, they are often difficult to put into practice. They take determination and diligence and practice. I started by practicing on store clerks at my local mall. The closer into your personal sphere with people you care about, the more difficult it will become but it is entirely possible to learn these techniques and master them. You can literally change your life by learning assertiveness and your life will be dramatically improved by learning and implementing this skill. Trust me.
Being assertive means stating your position without putting the other person down
The key is to not personalize your responses to the other person. So when your husband says something mean to you, the response is “When you say ‘x’ I feel ‘y’. No one can tell you that your feelings are wrong. They just are. You are not saying the other person is bad because of what they said, you are just informing them about how you are responding feeling-wise to their comment. It gets easier the more you practice it and in no time it will become second nature to you.