One of the hardest things for me is to speak up for myself. Meaning that, whenever I am faced with a conflict, I always find it hard to say that I am in fact not okay with the current situation, and instead just go with the flow.
This happens so many times to me, leading me down a path where my feelings are pushed aside. I don’t know why I do this — maybe it’s fear of conflict? Or, maybe it’s because I am worried that some negative consequence would happen to me if I spoke my mind. Whatever the case may be, I’ve decided that I need to be my own advocate.
While I don’t know the source of how this became a habit, I do know what I can do to break it. First, I can try to say how I feel. This was always a struggle for me. I often worry that when I say that I’m not okay with the situation, it comes off as complaining. However, it’s not the case if you do it right. For instance, if you use words such as “I feel” or “I am not comfortable” versus exploding and yelling tends to get you somewhere. Additionally, making sure you don’t use accusatory statements when trying to get your point across. Those always tend to end badly, because it quickly makes the other person more defensive — which is never productive.
Furthermore, it’s important to use the word “no” and create boundaries. There are many ways that this could be done. For example, if you are working on a group project — whether you are in school or at work — and someone is making you do more than your fair share, speak up. Or, if you have someone in your life who constantly wants you to go above and beyond for them — but whenever you need them they are nowhere to be found. You want to say no — but you feel bad. Therefore, you say yes — no matter what the reasoning may be. And, when you say yes, in some cases you become unhappy.
In this situation, I’m learning the importance of standing my ground — and sticking to it. Why? Well, if you’re not seeing yourself as important, then no one else well. And, if you’re not listening to what you want, chances are at a certain point, you’ll become miserable.
And, you don’t deserve that.
Remember when you were in elementary school, and you were bullied on the playground? Well, if it was important to stick up for yourself then, then it’s even more important to stick up for yourself now as an adult.
So, the moral of all of this?
Learn to listen to yourself — and stick to your guns. Believe in yourself, and become your own advocate.