Standing up for yourself is a really important thing you need to be able to do in life. It’s not about shouting an arguing with people; it’s not even about being right either but about asserting yourself and saying what you think and being heard!
It can be hard to stand up for yourself if you are lacking in confidence and don’t know how to do it in a confident manner, but it is important to learn how to do this for both successful personal and professional relationships. If you can’t assert yourself when you need to, then relationships can become strained because you can’t communicate your needs clearly. When you assert yourself, you benefit yourself because you let people know what you want and how you feel, but when you hesitate and keep quiet, you diminish yourself. While it can sometimes seem like the easiest option and to go with the flow and avoid conflict, in truth, letting people walk all over you can make you feel stressed and anxious and decrease your confidence, so it’s important to learn to stand up for yourself to help you take charge of your life. You can do this by following these tips.
Learn the Difference Between Assertion and Aggression
When you stand up for yourself, you need to do it in a way that won’t be damaging to yourself or anyone else. Assertiveness lets others know what you need, how you feel, and shows people that you have confidence and self-respect. Aggression, however, comes across as if you think you are more important than other people and as if you have no interest in the other person and their opinion.
Pick Your Place and Time
You know the saying’ pick your battles’, well it’s true, you don’t have to show your assertiveness unless it’s entirely necessary, so when standing up for yourself make sure you set yourself up for success by picking the right time and place.
Take Small Steps
Start by taking small steps to stand up for yourself. Even if it’s just learning to walk more confidently with your head held high and your shoulders back. This will help you appear and feel more confident. Be confident when speaking to others, so for example if someone cuts in front of you in a queue, just politely ask them to move back rather than having a go at them or standing there taking it but getting annoyed to yourself. Taking small steps will mean you can eventually build up to bigger things when you feel there has been an injustice done to you, you will fight for your rights, and in even the most serious of cases you will get the fair compensation you deserve.
Get Things Straight
It’s very tempting to just go for it; you believe you are right, and you know what you want to say. However, in tense situations, you need to take a step back, calm down and clarify things in your head first. Resist the urge to react with emotion and make sure that you take a breath and calmly explain your perspective to the other person. Once you have clarified exactly what you mean, listen to their response and then you can begin a real discussion.
Practice, Practice and Practice
We all know that practice makes perfect and its exactly the same when trying to be more assertive and standing up for yourself. Once you get used to the idea of what it means to stand up for yourself, you can practice asking for what you want as often as you can. When someone says something to you or in a meeting, and you openly disagree with it, or if you feel you are being pushed into doing something you don’t want to do, then say something. According to research, it takes 66 days to form a new habit, so you have to stick with the new assertiveness for two months, and you might be surprised by the results.
Fake It till You Make It
Learning to stand up for yourself isn’t going just to happen overnight. It is something that takes time, and you have to become comfortable with being assertive gradually. During the learning stage, imagine that you are the most assertive person you know. Think about how they would handle themselves in a difficult situation? There might be times when you go from being overly zealous to being too indecisive. Learning to stand up for yourself is just like riding a bike, and eventually, you will find the right balance.