Standing Up For Ourselves When Others Pull Us Down Is Hard, But We Are Worth It

Standing Up For Ourselves When Others Pull Us Down Is Hard, But We Are Worth It

The journey will not be easy or linear, but we have what we need within ourselves to keep going.
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I know of few things I hate more than awkwardness and tension. I'll do anything to fight it. I put “lol" after very serious messages to make them seem less intense. I use humor to lighten the mood. I let things happen that aren't okay and make myself believe that it “wasn't a big deal."

Except do that for too long, and you'll really get screwed over. Do that for too long, and you'll forget that you are allowed to say no, that you're worth standing up for, that what happened was a big deal and it's okay to admit that.

One of Rupi Kaur's poems says “you pinned / my legs to / the ground / with your feet / and demanded / I stand up."

To say it like my fellow young people: what a mood.

We are allowed to stand up for our needs, even if they don't fit what's “socially acceptable" or done politically. We are allowed to change our minds and avoid time with people who hurt us. We are allowed to say no. One of my favorite quotes is “You can't pour from an empty cup."

But this isn't always easy. We can say no and people ignore it. We can say “I don't want to; that hurts me" and people may say to “put up with it" or make other excuses. We may feel the need to let our boundaries be broken for the sake of other aspects of our mental health that just can't fight anymore.

I understand that some people may fight their hatred of awkwardness and tension by pushing past their boundaries or asking others to do so. At many social functions -- like holidays with family, for example -- it can feel so much easier to try to make sure everyone shows up and “acts normal." Going out of your comfort zone can definitely be a healthy and beneficial thing, but asking others to do so in a way that asserts power and ignores their needs is where I draw the line.

Going forward when someone asks you to stop is definitely not okay. Consent is crucial in so many areas, have that be sharing a story, interacting with someone's body, or whatever else. I believe in the APA Code of Ethics: first, do no harm, and second, try to help. Listen to someone's needs, be with them at the moment, and help how you can.

In trying to work with people who push us, several effective communication strategies exist. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or DBT, contains a module called “Interpersonal Effectiveness" that lays out many of these strategies.

For example, DBT provides the acronym “DEAR MAN," a layout of guidelines that can help you obtain what you want. DBT also provides “GIVE" which entails how to keep a relationship and “FAST" on how to maintain self-respect. Many more acronyms, exercises, and information exist -- they're all over the Internet and can be found in bookstores.

But what happens if these don't seem to work? If people mow us over time and time again, if we're too young to truly have any power or means to fight back if we receive the message through these situations that we are unworthy and will continue to feel disrespected?

We fight for ourselves; we do our best. We believe that every step and victory is a big one. We do what we can. We reach out. We refuse to be hard on ourselves or blame ourselves when things don't go our way. We know we deserve the best and don't feel guilty for it.

This journey will not be linear. It will not be perfect, nor will it always feel positive and empowering. However, we will find ourselves stronger with each step. We will hold onto hope and give our time, attention, and love to those who deserve it. It may be awkward, and it may be filled with tension, but it will be worth it, I promise you.

In summary, a quote of Nisargadatta Maharaj:

"All you need is already within you, only you must approach yourself with reverence and love. Self-condemnation and self-distrust are grievous errors. Your constant flight from pain and search for pleasure is a sign of love you bear for yourself; all I plead with you is this: make love of yourself perfect. Deny yourself nothing -- glue your self infinity and eternity and discover that you do not need them; you are beyond."

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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These Are 4 Proven Ways That Vaccines Cause Autism

Stock up on those essential oils.

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Let's just start with the first (and main) point.

1. They don't.

Susan in your anti-vax group is not a scholarly source (despite her hours and hours of Google research).

2. But in case you still believe Susan...

Maybe you'll believe Autism Speaks who says, "Scientists have conducted extensive research over the last two decades to determine whether there is any link between childhood vaccinations and autism. The results of this research is clear: Vaccines do not cause autism."

3. And if Autism Speaks still didn't convince you...

Feel free to take a look at this comprehensive list of studies that all say that there is no relationship between vaccines such as the MMR vaccination and the development of autism.

4. But here's what you should know...

There have been a few studies lately that have shown that autism develops in utero aka before a baby is even born AND before a baby can even receive vaccinations.

Vaccinations have prevented COUNTLESS deaths and illnesses. Vaccination rates are continuing to fall and do you know what that means? Measles will make its way back. Whooping cough will come back. Rubella, mumps, and polio will come back and there will be no way to stop it.

So, now that you know that vaccines do not cause autism, you're welcome to go tell Susan from your anti-vax group that as well as tell her that the Earth isn't flat. But, don't forget to mention it to her that her essential oils and organic foods are not keeping her children safe from the measles or tuberculosis.

Vaccinate your children. And, besides, even IF vaccinations caused autism, wouldn't you rather have a child with a developmental disorder rather than a child who died from the measles?

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Being Ugly

What it means to me

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Due to a series of ongoing events throughout my semester, I've reconsidered what it means for someone to truly be ugly. Though it is often used in terms of appearance, I do not see it as such-- now more than ever. Ugliness runs deeper than appearance-- it runs within one's soul and festers into other areas of one's life, particularly in their treatment of others.

I view ugliness as someone's conscious capacity and implementation of malice. Taking time and energy out of your day to hurt someone else, that's what I view as ugly. Some offenses are more minor than others, however, it is still a conscious effort to hurt or affect someone else negatively-- and that's the source of the problem. I truly wonder what causes that sort of behavior in someone, as I, along with most people, simply do not invest time or energy into hating or plotting against others. It seems like a full-time job.

I can theorize all sorts of reasons as to why someone would act this way: hate, jealousy, vengeance, etc. Yet, all of these reasons don't hit the root reason. It almost seems that some people are just innately ugly in their soul. This alludes to the timeless debate of whether one's personality is due to nature or nurture. Again, although our surroundings and environment do have a large effect in our behavior, that alibi only goes so far when multiple people are placed in the same environment, in the same situation, and only some are willing to cross moral boundaries in order to hurt the others. Just because an environment applies pressure to people, does not mean everyone is going to act out in malice, and it certainly does not give everyone an excuse to do so. Some people are simply conniving and, well, ugly inside.

If you have ever encountered people like this, I know from personal experience that it is such a drag. You have an enemy, essentially, whether you chose to or not, however based on their hatred towards you, they are now considered an enemy, a hater, and any other associated term. Know that they will do anything in their power to bring you down, even if it requires bending the truth and creating elaborate schemes, but you have to keep on doing you. Let them obsess over ways to bring you down. At the end of the day, their time and energy is being invested into bringing you down, while yours is being used to build yourself up. They will fall by default. So, keep your head high, act in grace, and make your money. They can sip on their Haterade and watch from below.

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