The four personality traits are known as:
- the assertive personality
- the aggressive personality
- the passive-aggressive personality
- the passive personality
Each is considered a personality trait based on the behavioural traits we have and which we use to approach most aspects of our lives with. It is possible to display all four traits at various times throughout our life as a result of our experiences and also with whom we interact with.
Just as they can describe our personalities, the traits can also describe how we live with our pain. If you have an assertive approach to pain, you will have different thoughts and beliefs about your life with pain than someone who is passive about their pain.
- have goals and a plan to deal with our pain.
- ask for help when in it's needed.
- set boundaries for those who are in our lives and how we will be treated by them.
- take responsibility for our actions, behaviour and choices within our lives.
- communicate our needs, thoughts, feelings and opinions without hurting others.
- keep our values, beliefs, thoughts and opinions despite what others think or say.
- take a pro-active approach in our lives and make the changes we need for ourselves.
- like ourselves despite the fact we know we aren't perfect.
- use “I” statements to express our feelings, thoughts and needs, openly and honestly.
- accept pain as a part of who we are, but realize it's not all that we are.
- realize and accept that we will have both good days and bad days.
- do the best we can with what we have, each and every day
When we live aggressively with our pain we...
- get our needs met, regardless of how it affects others around us.
- don't think of, nor much care for, the needs and feelings of others.
- push away the people trying to help us, belittling their efforts.
- yell, stomp, threaten and generally misbehave to get what we need or want.
- don't take responsibility for our actions or the pain they cause.
- have a negative outlook on our lives and futures.
- blame others for the problems in our lives.
- are loud, aggressive and negative, in our communications with others.
- take our pain out on those around us, without thought or care.
- won't listen to the opinions of others, even our doctors.
When we live passive-aggressively with our pain we...
- say we're doing everything we can to help ourselves...when we're not.
- tell our doctors we will exercise and eat better...but we won't.
- feel controlled, always being told what to do by others around us.
- won't be honest about what we're doing in our lives, or our feelings.
- tell others what we think they want to hear from us.
- “forget” appointments for doctor, medical tests, etc.
- distance ourselves from people and then blame them for leaving us.
- will make plans with friends or family and then just not show up or cancel.
- self-sabotage our efforts at getting better.
- express our needs, thoughts and feelings indirectly.
When we live passively with our pain we..
- avoid any involvement in our lives.
- just accept that life will hurt and there's nothing we can do to change it.
- tune out the world around us.
- avoid those that love us.
- allow the thoughts and opinions of others to affect our own.
- give up on the things we once enjoyed.
- don't communicate our thoughts, feelings and needs.
- give up our needs for the needs of others.
- don't take an active role in our treatment plans.
- isolate ourselves from others.
- just exist.
Just as an assertive personality is a healthy goal, so is an assertive approach to your pain. Take the time to consider your thoughts and beliefs about your pain and how you are approaching your life. Do you notice anything from the examples? If you do, and you're not liking what you're starting to realize, I'm glad. Now you can change it.
You are capable of making the changes in your life to begin living more assertively with your pain. Before you can do that however, you need to be sick and tired of being sick and tired. You must first want to make the changes in your life to better yourself. You can't do it because someone else wants you to. You're just being passive or even passive-aggressive, if you do. The change must start with you first.
Take a look at how you are living your life with pain. Are there things within your life you can start doing differently? If you can say yes...then you have just taken your first step to being assertively involved in your life. The next step, is to decide what you're going to do to for yourself to make that happen.
It starts with little steps, but if you remember...
one of the key things to being assertive in your life with pain,
is knowing you will make mistakes,
and that's okay.
Take good care of you okay?