I don’t know about you, but I find that I stand up for myself much more easily when I’m PMSing. I have no problem saying what I want and what I don’t want, even though the eventual outcome isn’t always what I’d intended. Standing up for myself is great, but with PMS I also carry a dangerous bomb that can blow up and ruin everything. You probably know what I mean.
If you’re like me, you try to be as accommodating about as many things as possible, and as often as possible. You think people will like you more if you are a nice person. And even though there is a little voice nagging inside of you that says this is against your truth, desire, or better judgment, you rationalize it away: “Why sweat on the small stuff. It’s not that important.”
The truth is, it is important. These little violations to your true person accumulate over time, and can build up to a point where they’re an explosive bomb waiting for a vulnerable PMS moment to release its fury.
An effective PMS control is to practice standing up for yourself on as many things as possible, and as often as possible while you are not PMSing.
It will not only deflate the power of the PMS bomb, but also help you live happier, and cultivate healthier relationships.
Here are four practices for your consideration:
Exercise Your Choices
If your boyfriend asks you what you want to do this weekend, instead of saying “I don’t mind as long as I am with you,” think about what you really want to do – and voice your opinion. If you are used to be a passenger, become a pilot or copilot. Life offers endless choices at any given moment, offering plenty of opportunities to practice how to be a skillful pilot or copilot in life, and in your relationships.
State What You Want
Once you know what you want, express it with an “I want” statement. For example, “I don’t feel like going to a movie tonight, I want to take a yoga class instead.” Saying “I want” is a very potent way to exert your rights and express who you are. It gives the other person the permission to express him or herself as well.
Say No More Often
Even though you like to say yes all the time, you have limited time and bandwidth in any given day. So saying no more often than you’re used to is an important way to maintain your own wellbeing. When presented with an option or request, ask yourself, “Is this a yes or a no?” Listen to your inner voice for guidance. Over time, you’ll develop a strong antenna to help you make instantaneous decisions that are more aligned with your true self.
Life is a two-way street. What goes around comes around. If you want others to respect your rights, opinions and preferences, you need to give the same respect to others. In relationships, you may not always get what you want. Often it takes negotiation and compromise. Think win-win, be creative and patient, and come to a resolution that all parties are happy with, including you!
Contrary to the common belief, being assertive and saying no doesn’t make you a bitch. In fact it makes you a highly effective human being. And it is a skill or habit that can be cultivated with practice, and over time. So stand up for yourself more often when you are not PMSing. You may notice that you have less of a need to express yourself explosively during your vulnerable premenstrual phase.