For most non-confrontational people, especially women, standing up for oneself is an issue that can plague you at home and at work. Many women especially find it difficult to articulate their true desires and demands. When you’re tackling a combative situation or you’re dealing with a controlling person, it can become even more difficult to stand up for yourself. Here are a few ways that you can learn to do it.
Don’t feed the fire.
If you’re dealing with a person who gets loud and belligerent, remember not to stoop to their level as you set out to defend yourself. Do not engage a loud person by countering their loudness with more of the same. When you stop fueling their fire, the tensions will likely fade.
Think of your children.
If you are allowing your children to see you routinely get run over by others, you are sending a subtle message to them that this type of behavior is OK. If you cannot stand up for yourself for you, do it for your kids.
Think about the worst case scenario.
Whenever you are overcome with anxiety and are tempted to shrink away from standing up for yourself, ask yourself, “What is the worst that can happen?” At the end of the day, you may experience some embarrassment, but probably lesser than you imagine. Your opponent may even end up looking worse if they are perceived as a bully. In any event, standing up for yourself is seldom something you will regret doing after you do it.
Think of the future.
Understand that every time you let someone run over you, you are teaching them how to treat yourself–setting the pattern of the relationship. If you want respect in the future, remind yourself that you must demand respect in the present moment.