Five Powerful Ways to Stand Up for Yourself in Any Situation
Every day we make dozens of little choices that either assist us by asserting our ideas or diminish us because we hesitate in making our views or desires known.
Sometimes it seems easier to go with the flow to avoid potential conflict. But the truth is that letting people walk all over you can increase feelings of stress and anxiety, and it might eventually lessen your feelings of self-worth and play to your insecurities.
Learning to stand up for yourself will help you take charge of your life, believe in your own power and embolden you to reach your dreams. The stronger you feel, the stronger you will become.
Learn to stand up for yourself in any situation with these ten simple yet powerful steps.
1. Practice being transparent and authentic.
It might be difficult at times, but if you learn to express yourself openly and honestly, it will feel like a weight has been lifted from your shoulders. So often, we hide behind a halfhearted smile and nod instead of saying what we think. It takes practice, but learning to be authentic and open about what you are feeling or thinking is the first step.
2. Take small but powerful steps.
If you are struggling with being assertive, start taking small steps to stand up for yourself. Even just learning to walk more confidently—head held high, shoulders back—will help you appear and feel more confident. Channel that confidence when dealing with others. This attitude can apply to all areas of your life. Feeling annoyed at the person who cut in front of you at Starbucks? Politely ask them to move to the back.
3. When someone attacks, wait them out.
As you grow more confident in expressing yourself, you’re also going to have to learn to face those who want to override you. There will always be people whose personalities are set to attack mode. It’s important that you remain calm but assertive if you feel like someone is trying to bully you. Don’t allow you to get frazzled or react with low blows. Don’t cater to them or allow them to browbeat you either. Walk the high road but stand your ground.
4. Figure out what’s really bothering you.
Going with the flow for the purposes of not making waves actually creates more stress and anxiety for you. Of course, mustering the courage to face something or someone that is bothering you can feel scary. But facing the issue will empower you to make it better and diminishes the control it has over you. Remember, people can’t read your mind; if you don’t vocalize what is bothering you, no one will know.
5. Clarify first, without attacking.
It’s tempting to take a self-righteous stand, especially if you are sure you are in the right. From your viewpoint, you are justifiably defending yourself against someone who seems to be entirely in the wrong. But it’s important to resist the urge to react with emotion. Instead, take a breath and calmly explain your perspective to them. Avoid combative tones or accusatory words. Clarify exactly what you mean and listen to their response. Only then can a real discussion begin to take place.