Too often, you get pushed around, and people say that it’s just the way things are – I disagree, and I think there are many reasons you should stand up for yourself. It might seem easier to just back down and hide that feeling of indignation that's welling up inside you, but that's not always healthy. This doesn't mean I’m advocating that you go looking for a fight; only that you make it known you’re not a push-over. There are plenty of good reasons to use your inner strength to defend yourself in a measured way and take control of an unfair situation when it arises. Read on and discover seven reasons you should stand up for yourself.
1. YOU’RE WORTH IT
L’Oreal was right! You are totally worth it! First of all, no one gets to bully you. No one, no matter who they are, has the right to treat another person badly or make them feel small. You are worth more than that, and you are worthy of respect and love. If they don’t see that, it's their mistake. The first of a few reasons you should stand up for yourself is that you’re worth the effort.
2. FIND the BRAVERY within
Standing up to someone who is actively trying to put you down is actually really empowering. It can seem terrifying at first, not knowing what to say and how to say it, but once you have stood up for yourself calmly and assertively, you will find it easier and more natural doing it the next time. It doesn’t always mean that people will stop, but you will get stronger, and that will make a huge difference in the way you handle conflict in the future.
3. IT EMPOWERS OTHERS
Watching someone else stand up for themselves often makes onlookers think about how they would handle the situation. Some will be thinking "Yes! I’m so glad she said something, I would too." However, you never know who is watching you put your foot down and stand up for fair and kind treatment. Someone who is timid or has trouble doing what you have decided to do will take great encouragement from seeing you (especially if you are a normally a shy person, and they know this) tell someone they’re doing the wrong thing and why they should stop. Seeing you doing it will help give them the courage to do it themselves.
4. IT’S NOT WRONG to STAND up for YOURSELF
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you’re a rude or mean person if you speak up when someone lies about you or treats you unfairly in public. Well, I’ll tell you now – it’s definitely not. When a person has chosen to bully or control you, they are the one in the wrong. Standing up for your rights and for who you are is not impolite, or weird, or rude – it’s great! Being assertive enough to defend yourself when you need to is a great quality to have and will actually help you to be more confident in other areas of your life, like the workplace.
5. YOU CAN COME to the RESCUE
Once you’ve made a habit of being strong in the presence of intimidating people, it will also become more natural to come to the defense of others who are in a similar predicament. Too much of the time, people will witness unfair or unethical treatment happening and do nothing about it, which is essentially aiding the person committing the wrongdoing. If you have practiced standing up for what’s right instead of shrinking away, it’s much more likely that you’ll come to the rescue of someone who needs a knight in shining armor.
6. PEOPLE WILL NOTICE
After a while, once people pick up on the fact that they can’t push you around anymore, something will happen: they won’t push you around anymore. If you are willing to stand up for yourself and your friends every time and not back down, if you are strong enough to defend yourself without getting out of control, nasty people will realize that they can’t get the big explosive reaction or diminutive defeat they want out of you, and most of the time they’ll just let up.
7. The BULLY MAY LEARN SOMETHING
Another positive thing about standing up for yourself is that in the process, you may just teach the person picking on you a valuable lesson. This won’t happen every time; but there is a human heart at the core of every bully, no matter how mean. Somewhere in there, hidden deep, is a hurting person that is lashing out. Sometimes, if you choose to steadfastly defend yourself without lashing out at them in return, it can have an interesting harvest in their heart. If you are able to stand up for yourself while not tearing them down, they’ll see how differently things can be done. You never know, you may just plant a seed in their mind that will grow and grow until one day, they don’t pursue conflict in the same way.
Now, I’m not saying that my advice is perfect – some people are so damaged that they’ll just keep going, trying to make you crack. But if you can realize that they are not really fighting with you, but with their own crippling self esteem, you’ll see that exploding or shrinking isn’t the answer and a calm defense always wins. It’s all about keeping a cool head and being able to handle a confrontation with measured and assured confidence. Try to always remember what wonderful former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." So make sure you don’t let them. Do you have times when standing up for yourself or others has made a huge difference? Let me know, I’d love to hear about it!