You don’t have to be a doormat by standing up for yourself

Standing up for yourself isn’t second nature to many people. Pushovers especially find themselves in this category, despite whether their reputations have grown over time as a result of personal and professional experiences that have branded them as human doormats. The key to sticking to your opinions and speaking your truth is to stick around no matter how people come to be walking, talking “WELCOME” mats.

You believe you are a pushover because of a deep-seated belief that conflict is the worst thing you can ever do. It may surprise some to realize, though, that the real issue at hand isn’t so much a struggle with asserting your beliefs as it is setting boundaries regarding what you’re willing to accept from others.

“When I work with people on this issue, women in particular seem to struggle with setting healthy boundaries—and solidly standing up for themselves—if this was not modeled for them as children,” says clinical psychologist Carla Marie Manly, PhD. Though standing up for yourself doesn’t need to be scary or something to psych yourself up to do, Dr. Manly does note that many do grow fearful that they’ll be perceived as rude or aggressive if they take the steps to do it. Hence, part of the task is to learn to stand up to others in a powerful way with gentleness and integrity. It’s a win for all people, especially introverts, that this quiet strength is completely within reach.

Establishing these boundaries can serve to assert ourselves in a manner that is neither obnoxious nor off-putting. Self-confidence, sincerity, and respect are the energies that one should learn to embody, says Dr. Manly. Below, we offer five tips for harnessing that energy. When we have this internal energy, others tend to realize the necessity of respectful behavior.

Here are 5 tips on how to stand up for yourself once and for all.
1. Be aware of your own boundaries and needs

That means you have your own personal needs and boundaries, which are probably not the same as anyone else’s. In doing so, you’ll be less likely to be caught off guard.” Dr. Manly says “Once you’re aware of, understand, and respect your own needs, you won’t be caught off guard.” And if you’re not caught off guard? It’s much easier to stand up for yourself.

It is more likely that you will be caught off guard once you understand, respect, and know your own needs.” -clinical psychologist Carla Marie Manly, PhD

Consider a scenario where you are basically a social introvert, and your friend pushes you to join in on the fun. Knowing your limits before hand is important in this case. Often, you don’t like having to push yourself out of your comfort zone to be at social events, but let’s say a certain occasion when your friend asks you to join her coworkers for happy hour. You should take heed in letting your already-set boundaries work if you know you’ve reached your self-imposed limit for after-work hangs and joining up sounds more stressful than relaxing that week.

2. Never be afraid to say “no” to something you are not comfortable with

Having the ability to say no requires a certain level of sophistication. When it comes to managing your anxiety and stress, it is essentially the most powerful word of all time. Being able to deliver an N-O when it is appropriate is important, what is more crucial is ensuring that you do not feel the need to defend your stance.

Dr. Manly advises us that, when pressured by others, it is fine to say “no” or to say, “thank you for the offer,” but not to say “yes.” “You don’t need to explain why you can’t do something if you don’t want to. If you don’t want to do something, let them know that you appreciate their interest but it doesn’t work for you.”

3. Requests do not have to be answered immediately

Whenever we feel under pressure, we tend to commit more readily.” explains Dr. Manly. When it comes to advocating for your needs, taking time to think about what’s best can help. In cases such as this, say, ‘I’d love to think about it. I’ll get back to you right away.’

4. Avoid assuming that you must answer personal questions

You’ve probably endured self-destructive, sanity-fragmenting remarks about when you’re going to get married, have babies and all that if you’ve ever been a single woman at Thanksgiving dinner. In addition, because you don’t want to hit Aunt Miriam in the face, you can simply end the entire conversation before it begins.

Whenever you are asked a question that is too personal or intrusive, smile and say, “I’d prefer not to talk about that.” -Dr. Sydney

Whenever someone asks you too personal or intrusive questions, Dr. Manly recommends smiling and saying, “I prefer not to answer that question,” he says. If they persist, simply smile and say, “That sort of question simply does not feel right to me.” Be respectful of my boundaries.”

5. You have every right to excuse yourself from situations that don’t serve you

It might be best just to leave the conversation altogether if someone is really pulling your ear. Trust me, it’s not a surrender, it’s self care. “A physical time out, such as leaving the room or going for a walk, is sometimes necessary to get the point across,” Dr. Manly says.

Is the heat unbearable to you? In the bathroom, you can rant about what’s going on with your best friend in private.

You’ve now understood how to defend yourself. Are you confident that you’re ready to get a little more aggressive? You can win an argument in three different ways. You should know when an issue with your significant other is really solved or whether it needs to be reexamined.

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