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Countering Type A With Assertiveness

Question:

My husband is very much an A Type personality. I’m a B Type person. I’ve used avoidance in the past because I just don’t know an effective way to deal with him. However, avoidance has left me feeling angry, and resentful. I came to the realization that I’ve been resisting his A-ness as of late. So, it’s one thing to say okay I accept this is him but, it’s another to know how to deal with, respond to, and interact with him in a way that will preserve my sanity, dignity, and keep my stress level down. Are there any books available as resources for guiding me through dealing with this difficult man. My easy going don’t sweat the small stuff outlook is starting to feel the strain. I know that how I deal with and react to him is my choice, but, when you have the proper communication tools it is a lot easier to make the best choice. Right now counseling is not an option.

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Answer:

You want a book recommendation? How about – How to Be an Assertive (Not Aggressive) Woman in Life, in Love, and on the Job: The Total Guide to Self-Assertiveness, by Jean Baer, or the classic Your Perfect Right : A Guide to Assertive Living by Robert Alberti, and Michael Emmons. Both of these should be helpful. I think the problem is that you are not really Type B as you say, but rather have been acting passively. A truly Type B person is someone who just goes with the flow and doesn’t harbor any resentments when the flow goes a different direction than he/she wanted (because he or she doesn’t really care what direction the flow goes in). A passive person, on the other hand, is someone who goes with the flow, not because that is okay with them really, but rather because they don’t think it is worth standing up for what they really want. It is no crime to be passive. In fact, many women are brought up to be this way. It is frustrating to be passive, however. Never fear. There is a better way. Learning to become assertive will mean that you’ll get to learn how to stand up for what you want, but to do so in a way that is not aggressive or attacking. Assertiveness is the way to go. I hope you’ll explore more on this subject.

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