How do you deal with not being able to stand up for yourself?

Dear Sitting Not Standing,

The main thing and possibly hardest part is speaking the truth. If you're not comfortable with a situation, it is okay to say so. It might be hard to stand up for yourself right now, but standing up for yourself is really just telling people the truth — what's really on your mind. That shouldn't be something that causes you to lose confidence.

You can slowly build up the courage to just say things like:

"Ha! That's not funny."

"Please stop saying that."

"Stop."

"I don't find that funny."

"That seriously hurts my feelings."

"I really tried my best. Stop beating me down about it."

Whatever you feel needs to be done to stand up for yourself without harming anyone, you'll be able to do one day if you ease yourself into it.

Start slowly — if there is something you can say, even a simple "Please stop," you can start saying it out loud when you're in private. Practice the words that you want to say. It's very different than when they're bottled up in your head. Once the words come out of your mouth enough, you'll be able to say them as if they're natural. And, you also don't want to say something you'll regret, so if you plan it out it might help in that aspect.

I wrote about a way to stand up for yourself in the future, but to address your question more directly, you can deal with not being able to stand up for yourself by knowing that one day you will be able to. Maybe you don't feel comfortable standing up for yourself right now, but once you gain the confidence to, you'll be spitting back comebacks and remarks like fire. Or, you could take the other route and have so much confidence that those people you're trying to stand up to don't even matter enough to waste your time on them. Also, know that some people just "enjoy" belittling others or make unintentionally hurtful comments. It is not because of you specifically, it is because that is the type of person they are. But also, it is okay to give a rebuttal now and then. Maybe someone doesn't know the whole story so you need to let them know it. There's no need to feel embarrassed about that.

You are a strong, tough person who is capable of standing up for yourself.



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