It’s all over. The 5k is done and the last programs have been transmitted. The Leaders looked brilliant. It was an amazing year.
Operation Transformation watch with Dr Eddie Murphy
Deidre from Cork was the most scared in relation to the run. I took her aside for approx. 15minutes before the race and tried to dispel the negative narrative. Karl then supported Deidre on the run. Each expert ran with a leader Dr Eva ran with Charlotte, I am assured no whip was used! Kathryn Thomas ran with Gavin. Greg ran with a bunch of his friends who eased the way. I ran with Monica from Carlow, she was brilliant. Monica came in at 31:30 for her first 5k ever, how good was that!
Post Operation Transformation Goals
All the Leaders are committing to recommence the Operation Transformation program as they want to reduce their weight and increase their fitness more. In reality there will be a massive adjustment, the cameras will be gone, the crowds walking, the weekly weight –in, the army challenges etc. Suddenly life returns to normal. As the clinical psychologist on the show I still have a responsibility to ensure a smooth transition for the leaders. The Leaders have new goals now and if you want to see them you can catch them at the 10k at the Curragh Race Course in the Run Kildare Event on May 12th details on www.kildaremarathon.ie.
Over the next three weeks I hope to look at the area of assertiveness and give you some skills and homework to practice!
What do these situations have in common?
You’d like to go to an evening class, but you aren’t sure if your husband would be happy about it. So you do nothing. Your mother coaxes you to have a piece of her delicious apple pie. You aren’t hungry and are watching your weight, but you don’t want to hurt her feelings, so you force a smile,
say yes, and choke it down. Your friend makes a smart remark, and you feel upset but say nothing.
In each of these situations, you needed to speak up but didn’t. When you don’t stand up for yourself, your actions are non-assertive—allowing other people to violate or ignore your rights and feelings. The goal of non-assertive behaviour is usually to avoid conflict; however, the habit of non-assertiveness can erode your self-respect and make you feel resentful, helpless, or out of control.
From top form to bottom
Non-assertiveness, endured too long, can easily morph into aggressiveness. From a stance of non-assertion, you suddenly explode into an attitude of: “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more!” When you act aggressively, you deliberately violate or ignore the rights of others or carelessly disregard their feelings.
There is a third way: Be assertive. Assertiveness is defined as “direct, honest, and appropriate ways of standing up for your rights while respecting the rights of others.” It’s the balance way between non-assertiveness and aggressiveness.
Assertive communication can also help you handle difficult family, friends and co-workers more easily, reducing drama and stress. Remember assertiveness is a skill that anyone can learn. The secret is it takes lots of practice. It is worth reading a book on assertiveness skills or taking an assertive class, but for now here are my top tips
Top Assertive Phrases
All you need are a few all-purpose assertive phrases. Memorise these, practice them, and say them gently but firmly when you get stuck or tongue-tied:
“I’m just not comfortable with that.”
“I’ll think about it.”
“No thank you.”
“I could use some help.”
“I don’t appreciate it when you__ Please stop now.”
“I don’t like__. I’d prefer __.”
Expect not to get it right and falter from time to time. Keep trying. Remembering what a difficult skill assertiveness is can help you persist. Should you always be assertive? Not at all. Sometimes life calls for protective aggressiveness or wise non-assertiveness. But if you want relationships that are more open, honest and kind, aim for the assertiveness zone if possible.
Next week I will look at Assertive Skills, get practicing.