One of the reasons I like teaching the art of standing up for yourself is because I’m a huge fan of self-respect. I think we need to address this more often. You are teaching people how to treat you, and in a larger sense, how to respect you.
By taking the time to stand up for yourself, you are practicing a form of self-respect, which ultimately shows people how to treat you.
On my IG reels last week, I laid out 3 reasons why you have a hard time standing for yourself in conversation and I wanna talk about them today and offer some advice on how to begin moving through these blocks.
"I have a hard time matching my thoughts or feelings with what comes outta my mouth"
In a conversation, you may be having thoughts or having feelings but not really in a place or with a person where your honesty will be respected. Also, if you are in a place where you are having a hard time standing up for yourself, you may have feelings of defensiveness and you know the old adage - it’s not what you say but how you say it. You can separate yourself from feeling like you have to defend yourself and more into a voice of speaking your truth.
Learning to match words with thoughts and feelings is a practice that happens over time. I like to use tools like the Wheel of Emotion. If you’ve taken any class or done any of my freebies, you got a copy! That’s how much I believe in the Wheel of Emotion. At the surface, you may feel a basic reaction (those are love, happy, sad, angry, hurt, ) but those surface, or primary, emotions usually have a deeper meaning. Your first reaction may be anger but that anger is really pointing to jealousy, or frustration, or resentment.
Learning how to identify your thoughts and feelings will help you in all areas of your life but this practice is essential to your ability to stand up for yourself.
"You tend to take what other people are saying to you or about you as truth rather than just their opinion."
I know I originally said “you take what others say to you as truth vs their opinions” and I want to help you see it from a different perspective which is: This is you allowing someone else you define your truth for you.
I think feedback is great. I think reflection is awesome. Being able to see yourself or our situations from perspective outside yourself can be helpful. However, if someone is saying something to you that doesn’t align with your truth, and you don’t correct them (aka, stand up for yourself) you are allowing to define a truth for you that may not be serving you.
You owe it to yourself and your truth to make it known. Put it out there. Don’t allow other people to define things for you. In order to do that, you have to learn to define your truth. You’ll visit my first piece of advice to practice that. :)
A lot of time people don't wanna rattle cages because they believe it keeps the peace. There are two things I’d like to ask here: 1. Is this actual sustainable peace? 2. Who actually gets the benefit of this peace? Especially if you are in a situation where you feel like you can’t stand up for yourself?
1. It definitely is a momentary peace. Most likely, if you’re not standing up for yourself to try and keep peace in a particular conversation or with a particular person, that peace will be short lived because undeniably, this situation will happen again. So while, yes, you are keeping short-term peace, you are prolonging what is bothering you.
2. By not rattling the cage, you’re keeping yourself in that cage. Let’s think of this as an actual cage: you’re in there. The person you’re talking to put you in there. They are still talking to you, which is like giving you food and water but then...they didn’t give you a place to pee. You have nowhere to go. You gonna ask them to let you pee? Let you out so you can go handle your business? Of course you are. You don’t have to light the cage on fire or anything, but it’s okay to knock against the bars to say “Hey, that wasn’t a nice thing to say to me” or “You know, that’s not really how I see myself. I see myself like this…”