At every moment of the day, we have the power to make decisions that either assert our ideas or keep us quiet because we hesitate about voicing our desires aloud.
Sometimes, you might choose to do the latter just to avoid an argument.
However, by always going with the flow and never taking a stand for yourself, you’ll only diminish your self-worth and feed into your insecurities.
If you want to feel empowered to take charge of your life, you need to learn to stand up for yourself.
By practicing the following simple, yet powerful steps, you’ll be able to take a stand in any situation.
1. Practice Being Transparent And Authentic
Isn’t it tiring when you always have to put on a fake smile and hold back what you truly want to say? Instead, try being honest.
Though it can be challenging at times, it will lift a ton of pressure off your shoulders.
By being open about whatever’s on your mind, you’ll slowly become a more authentic person – someone people will want to listen to.
Also, try to build balance into your habits by not being too combative or too submissive.
That way, your ideas will resonate a lot better with others.
2. Take Small But Powerful Steps
Sometimes, it can be scary to put yourself out there and be assertive. But, by starting with small steps, you can get there.
A great way to begin is to try walking with more confidence. Hold your head high and pull your shoulders back.
Not only will you look more confident, but you will feel that way, too.
This feeling can quickly translate into all areas of your life.
Next time someone rudely cuts in front of you while your waiting in line, instead of ignoring it, you’ll feel more confident to politely ask them to move to the back of the line.
3. When Someone Attacks, Wait Them Out
The more confident you become, the more you’re going to stop those who want to walk all over you — especially those whose personalities are constantly fiery and offensive.
When dealing with such people, it’s crucial to keep a cool head.
No matter what you do, don’t let them get to you, or allow them to drag you down to their level – with low blows of your own.
At the same time, don’t let them intimidate you into giving in either.
You can take the high road while staying assertive.
4. Figure Out What’s Really Bothering You
You might think that avoiding a potential conflict can diffuse the tension, but it only serves to increase your levels of stress and worry.
Even though it takes lots of guts and bravery to confront whatever’s bothering you, doing so will enable you to improve the situation and minimize the control it has over you.
Remember that people cannot read your mind. So, unless you say something, they may never realize what’s making you uncomfortable.
5. Clarify First, Without Attacking
It can be super tempting to blow up at someone who you believe is clearly in the wrong.
To you, it might even be justifiable to defend yourself because you’re in the right.
That said, you have to make sure that you don’t let your emotions take over and cloud your rational judgment.
Instead of losing your cool, take a moment to breathe deeply, and calmly explain your point of view.
Do your best to avoid passive aggressiveness and harsh words. As soon as you say what’s on your mind, you have to listen and let the other person speak without interrupting.
That’s how a meaningful discussion can take place.
6. Practice Makes Perfect
Once you get better at being assertive, you’ll want to start asking for what you want, more often.
When someone says something you don’t agree with, or forces you to do something you don’t want to do, that’s your cue to voicing your concerns.
And it’s important to maintain your new assertive attitude for at least two months – since it takes about that long to make a new habit stick.
7. Be Deliberate
Have you ever had to deal with a messy person – whether that be your old college roommate or a sloppy sibling?
No matter who it is, sharing a space with someone like that can be exhausting – and gross.
If you’ve never really been assertive, you might remember how you got increasingly annoyed while trying to keep quiet at the same time.
Perhaps you might have even been passive-aggressive – by either cleaning up after this person with bitterness or making slight jabs at them here and there.
To take care of a problem like this, it might do you wonders to be deliberate instead.
That means you should directly tell the person how you are feeling in a polite manner.
The more straightforward you can be, the better the person will understand the trouble they’ve been causing you – and the more willing they’ll be to make changes.
8. Stand Up For Your Time
Of all the resources in the world, time is perhaps the most valuable. But, it’s all too easy to sacrifice it whenever you feel too scared to say no.
Of course, you can’t avoid giving up time in every situation. If you’ve got an important assignment due on a specific date, you should probably get that done.
Beyond all necessary obligations, though, you should have total control over how you spend your days.
Don’t let anyone else dictate how you should live your life. If you ever need to modify your schedule or avoid certain situations, you should stand up for your time.
9. You Don’t Have To Apologize
When you stand up for yourself, you might feel an innate pressure to apologize – as if you are overstepping a boundary.
But you should know that you are never doing the wrong thing when prioritizing your happiness and well-being.
Instead of pulling an excuse out of your pocket, you can empower your assertions with a short “yes” or “no.” Sometimes, a simple answer is all that’s needed.
If you feel like someone expects you to offer a reason, give them a few moments of silence.
It will fully convey your intention, and they’ll most likely turn the conversation in another direction or end it right there.
10. Recognize That No One Can Invalidate You
You are in total control of how you feel and how you act. Because all of your emotions and thoughts belong to you, you shouldn’t let anyone manipulate or invalidate you.
At the same time, if you ever feel tempted to invalidate someone, be sure to take a step back and respect their point of view.
That’s the only way you can have a productive discussion with someone. Learning to stand up for yourself will take some time.
Though it may be hard at first, try putting yourself in the shoes of an actor who’s learning to play a new role.
Once you’re in that mindset, try to picture the most confident version of yourself and how you would confront challenging situations.
Perhaps you might go back and forth from being too indecisive to being too combative.
In any situation where you try to manage your thoughts and feelings, you have to strike the right balance.
With enough practice, standing up for yourself will come more naturally than you realize. What do you think? Do you have a hard time standing up for yourself? What’s preventing you from being more assertive? Share your thoughts and comments below.
Thanks for reading!
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