Monday, May 27, 2024

Learning to Stand Up For Yourself

Find yourself being a people pleaser and not able to stand up for yourself? Standing up for yourself can be very challenging, yet it is a way of ensuring your own self respect and the respect of others. No one wants others to push them around or manipulate them into doing things they really don’t want to do or don’t have the time to do.

When others make demands, manipulate, or are condescending to you and you do nothing to stand up for yourself, you allow yourself to become a victim – risking depression and self-effacement. There is a way out of this trap. One key is to speak your truth and only do the things you really want to do. Say no when you really want to say no. Simply say, “No thanks” or “I will have to pass.” You owe no explanation. Just keep it simple and others will not disrespect you.

Unlearning old people-pleasing habits of saying “yes” to anything we are asked to do will not happen overnight, but with time and practice you can begin a new journey – one free from all the negative emotions that come with feeling so overwhelmed.

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Tips for Self-Care

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Tips for Being Assertive

Believe in yourself

Some say “fake it till you make it” - meaning that even if you don’t believe in yourself, you can “act as if” you do. This act often leads to the real thing! You may also need to practice positive self-talk - telling yourself over and over again that you can do it. You may need to begin by taking baby steps. How can we expect others to believe in us if we do not believe in ourself first? So, even if you don’t really think it yet, act like you have the confidence you need and you may be surprised at how easy it is.

Keep the right attitude and stance

Your attitude is everything and will impact how others perceive you. You will want to stand up for yourself in a loving and respectful manner but with authority as to not be mistaken in your statement. Do not mumble or look down. Stand tall, look the person in the eye, and speak calmly. Watch your body language. Don’t roll the eyes or make any facial expressions that can be misread. Many of us are considered to be to sensitive or emotional, but lets think of it as having a big heart and not being afraid to let the world see it. This may allow you to uncover their insecurities or jealousy when you are just genuinely who you are and proud of it – even if you tear up or quiver – stay grounded and strong.

Let go of the past

Many of us find the inability to stand up for ourselves is rooted in our life experiences where we may have turned negative events into a negative attitude about ourselves. LET IT GO. It is the past. Learn from it and move on. By allowing yourself to absorb negativity and retreat into a shell, you stop standing up for yourself and become everyone’s doormat. Even if you have done things in the past you’re not proud of, the only way to right some wrongs is to make a move in a new direction and move forward. Every day is a new day to be and do what is best.

Trust in yourself

If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. Trust your instincts and act on them. Be polite and courteous but don’t go back into that shell. If someone is being difficult you do not owe him or her any explanation. Simply stand your ground and repeat you original response. “No thanks.” Walking away from the source of trouble is not running away. You do not gain anything by hanging around in their presence. Practice a little assertiveness: the key to standing up for yourself. Some call it a broken record: “I just don’t want to go” over and over is better than making up an excuse you don’t really believe or being talked into something you really don’t want to do. You don’t owe people reasons and you don’t need to have a perfect reason.

Speak Up

If someone attacks you verbally or provokes you, speak up. The manner in which you defend yourself will speak volumes. Show that you will not stand for disrespect. Be sure to articulate what your concern is while being aware of your tone of voice but avoid whispering, mumbling or speaking too quickly. The tone and speed of your delivery are an important part of clarifying what you want and how you are feeling.

Don’t give up

As in everything we do, there will be days when you feel yourself backsliding. Don’t see this as defeat in your attempt to speak up for yourself, see it for what it is – just a day you went off track – and get right back on track.

Be selfish - in a good way

Other folks may react poorly to the “new you” if you suddenly start saying no to requests, or start asking for what you really need. Their reaction and their opinions are not your concern. We cannot control how others feel or what they say or do. Tip-toeing around hostile or angry people just to make sure everyone is happy almost always backfires anyway. It goes against what some of us are taught, but a healthy desire to do what is best for yourself (not greed – but just a healthy self-concern) is usually best for everyone in the long run.


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