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Assertive? Or Aggressively Mean!

   I’ve had one of those mornings. It started two days ago, with an online purchase. I had put money into an account with an online company. I put together an order and clicked “final purchase.” Only after making that final click, did I realize that the order did not get paid for the account that I had put money into, just for that purpose, but instead, it charged another purchase on my debit card! I cancelled the order as fast as I could, but now, there is a hold on my bank account for that (almost) purchase, for at least 5 days! The only thing I could do was close out my account with that company and demand a full refund of the money I had put into the company account. (I learned that account was only for a particular purchase, not their general store!) Over the years, I’ve had numerous situations that popped up, with very similar action needed on my part. I have learned to be assertive, but in the process, I occasionally have become aggressively mean. That part of me I really do not like. It is perfectly understandable to be assertive with the rights we have as consumers, patients, students and many other areas that we interact with companies and individuals. The challenge is to do so with respect. Sometimes, I am able to accomplish this and sometimes, I woefully drop the ball. The telltale hint for me is if my voice is overly loud and high pitched or the fact that I need more than just a little time to calm down after the episode is over. I’ve learned that I am able to be assertive with doctors, teachers and companies, but I haven’t always mastered my emotions when it happens. That’s when I go overboard and fall into the mire of meanness. Assertiveness can accomplish a lot of good; being an advocate for yourself or others is a very good thing. However, being aggressively mean accomplishes very little and leaves a strong distaste for everyone involved. It is one of those areas I often seek God’s help with. I know that my emotions, without the help of my Lord, would be wildly out of control. I am thankful that I don’t have to be perfect, but that I can strive for respectful assertiveness when I’m faced with situations that need it.