If you are a person who hates confrontation, it’s important for you to read this. Watch any “Lifetime” movie or soap opera and you’ll notice that the reason there is so much drama is that no one knows how to communicate well, and instead of standing up for themselves and being direct, they’re acting passive-aggressively.
* Be Transparent and Authentic – The very first thing to work on is your authenticity. Do you know who you are and what you want? If you don’t, those are the things you have to work on so that you can have a great relationship. When you are who you are, it’s a lot easier for people to feel safe with you too.
* No One Controls Your Feelings but You – People cannot make you feel a certain way. Sometimes feelings aren’t even real. They are simply responses to what is happening, and sometimes the feelings can be overwhelming or exaggerated due to ignoring them for so long. However, no matter what, you are the one in control of yourself. No one else.
* Start Small – When you want to start working on standing up for yourself more, it’s important to acknowledge that you haven’t done it until now and going full speed ahead might scare people. Instead, start small by speaking up right away when you are mistreated or misunderstood. Even if you don’t do it perfectly, those small victories will pay off with more confidence.
* Avoid Reacting – If someone is attacking you or you feel attacked, don’t react right away. You never have to react in the heat of anything to still stand up for yourself. You can back off, get your emotions under control, create a strategy based on facts and then arrange to speak to the person you need to work things out with.
* Respond Thoughtfully – When you do respond, it’s imperative to think about what you will say. Stick to facts and let go of being overly emotional, although it’s okay to express the seriousness of the situation. The main thing is that you don’t want to attack; just state firmly your response.
* Speak Up – It can be hard to speak up but when you start vocalizing what is wrong, you’ll really know what’s bothering you in that relationship – whether it’s about the division of labor or something else entirely. You should feel free to speak up to people but also be willing to listen to them.
* Be Straightforward – It can be so tempting to behave in ways that do not improve relationships, such as being critical, speaking under your breath about something they did, or doing “it” back to them in a mean way. Don’t be passive-aggressive. Letting people know what you expect from them is very important to the relationship.
* Reclaim Your Time – If you realize you have toxic relationships, as you try to turn things around and stand up for yourself, you may have to gently let them go. You only have so many days on this earth and time goes by much faster than you even realize right now. Don’t waste it.
* Practice – Don’t pass up opportunities to practice standing up for yourself. Whether it’s sending back the wilted salad at lunch, or letting your best friend know that they need to stop bothering you about their MLM business, you’ll get better at doing it firmly but kindly with practice.
You can stand up for yourself in a relationship and if you do, you’ll start having better ones than you ever thought possible. Being who you are and showing people how you want to be treated will be the best thing you have ever done for yourself. No one knows how to treat you but you, and if you don’t teach people what you expect, you’ll never get the respect you deserve.
To God be the Glory