Personal Nemesis
Photo by Jenna Hamra from Pexels

You are your own worst enemy.

The Problem

Every time I get into a spat with someone I take a step back and reassess the situation. I ask myself questions always beginning with, ‘why is this the person I seem to butt heads with most?’. I let that question sit for a minute as I delve deeper within. ‘Am I being passive-aggressive, or assertive?’ Sometimes is the former, sometimes it’s the latter.

Lately I’ve realized that it’s the former, for if I were truly being assertive, I wouldn’t feel guilty about giving in. I’d continue to stand my ground without the need to get angry or experiencing the overwhelming feeling of anxiety.

That’s when I begin deriding myself for lacking a certain assertiveness to do what is in my own best interest. No matter how the other party takes it, I have to remind myself it’s not my problem. If it upsets them that I place my own well being above their wants then that is their problem, not mine. In this, I often fail.

The Solution

On a straight line there is passive at one end and aggressive at the other. Where these two meet in the middle, is assertive. It takes only a small amount of confidence to be assertive. Putting one’s self, not above anyone else, but squarely in the situation where doing what is best without fear or major concern for the other person’s personal issues, is neither passive nor aggressive. This is particularly helpful to maintaining one’s inner balance. This is specifically helpful when the other person is neither thinking nor cares about your personal best interest.

No one is going to take care of you other than you. No one is going to care about you in the same way you should care about yourself. That’s not to say one should step over the line into narcissism, either. That’s a different conversation.

Why then, does it seem to be a back-and-forth with one person more so than others?

In the end it’s a simple answer for anyone truly in touch with who they are based upon where they’ve been and all the lessons in life they’ve learned. The answer most often doesn’t come immediately, though. For me, it’s because both of us come from a place where we felt insecure at some point in our life and are now trying to assert our authority – one over the other, the other over our self.

The Reminder

Being assertive is a balance. If we do not appreciate our own standing with who we are, we become our very own personal nemesis.


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