Being Assertive

Recently in group therapy I learned about being assertive. I never noticed how bad I was with speaking up for myself. I have noticed though that I am getting a lot better since having Toki. I used to get uncomfortable and get so nervous I wouldn’t say anything to the person distracting or petting her. I would always just let it happen and beat myself up after because I should not have let it happen.

Now when I am out with Toki I find it easier than it once was. I think I realized that I had to change my attitude to be more assertive so I could stop beating myself up and help Toki not get distracted. I think having Toki really made me become more assertive and it’s still strange to me. I still have some days where I don’t say anything but I have to remember I am working on myself everyday.

Just today I had two people in the hospital try to pet Toki and I stopped them both and explained she is working. I really wish people understood the “NO PETTING”/DISTRACTING” rule when seeing a Service Dog because it really makes a difference in Toki’s focus. Furthermore, it really upsets me when I am assertive and then people try to have me justify why they can not pet my dog. I really get upset because it really isn’t any of their business. I had a man reach out to pet her the other day and I said, “Please do not pet her she is a Service Dog.” His response was, “A Service dog for what?!” like he was all butt hurt or something. It really upset me because here I was being assertive and he just asked me to justify why I said no by asking personal questions (Some people…).

Sometimes I still find being assertive very hard but I feel that since having Toki I have become much better at it. I never thought I would be comfortable enough to tell people “no” or speak my mind. It still feels really good every time I stop someone from petting Toki and my fiancée still gives me a thumbs up or praises me for doing it.  Here’s to working on being more assertive with things other than Toki. I just have to keep making baby steps and one day I will be there!

waiting patiently for group to start.
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2 thoughts on “Being Assertive

  1. bonniethemutt August 25, 2015 / 8:59 pm

    It’s wonderful that you’re learning to be more assertive! Many service dog handlers find that really difficult. My Person is terrified of telling someone “please don’t pat my service dog”
    Keep up the good work. Love reading your posts

    Like

  2. Natasha Rydzynski August 26, 2015 / 3:49 pm

    I was the same way. It was SO hard back in 2010 when I had my first SD, Hedi. Now it’s not a big deal after five years of dealing with people and jerks. I had one guy who KEPT petting Hedi even when I told him to stop. I had to physically remove his hand from my dog. It’s ridiculous. I’ve had to physically block people from petting Mocha recently. I don’t get the entitlement!

    Like

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