Are you frequently labeled as a "pushover" or a "doormat" by others? Do you tend to allow people in both your personal and professional life to take advantage of you? It's time to put a stop to this. I understand that this can be a challenging process, but the sooner you learn to assert yourself, the more content you will be. It may feel unfamiliar at first, but you owe it to yourself. Below are some ways to assert yourself in various settings, without coming across as impolite.
How To Stand Up For Yourself Without Being Rude
1. Practice saying no
Begin by either rehearsing in front of a mirror or rejecting requests from people you trust, such as a parent or a significant other. If you are uninterested in doing something, simply decline, whether it's going out on a Friday evening or even having spaghetti for dinner. Seriously, take baby steps and start by practicing saying "no."
2. Understand that "no" is a complete sentence
In most cases, there's no need to provide a reason for saying no. "No" is a complete sentence in itself. When someone asks you to perform a tedious or time-consuming task that you would usually agree to, try saying "no" instead. If necessary, you can excuse yourself and leave without having to justify your decision.
3. Don't be afraid to disagree
You're not obligated to laugh and nod your head if someone says something that upsets you. It's perfectly okay to express your disagreement. You don't have to engage in an argument, just say, "I disagree," and redirect the conversation. If a friend ends a friendship over a disagreement, it's likely not a robust friendship worth maintaining.
4. Give yourself a pep talk
Similar to psyching yourself up before playing a game of little league, give yourself a pep talk. I realize this is a clichéd and overused analogy, but the idea is to remind yourself that you're fantastic, valuable, and shouldn't let others take advantage of you, no matter the situation.
5. Remind yourself that you deserve to be treated well
Regardless of any past errors, you deserve a happy future. Making mistakes is a normal part of being human. Therefore, use today to progress and create the life you desire since you're deserving of it. Even if you don't believe it initially, remind yourself of your positive qualities and that you're entitled to good things. Go ahead and treat yourself!
6. Own rejection
At times, you may be hesitant to assert yourself due to a fear of being dismissed or turned down. However, it's important to start taking ownership of your actions. Don't take it personally, since it's a universal experience. Instead, use it as a driving force to grow and explore other possibilities.
7. Start to speak up for yourself
Suppose you're dining out, and you receive a salad with walnuts despite requesting them to be excluded. In that case, it's crucial to politely refuse and ask for what you had ordered. Don't always accept mistakes made at your expense.
8. Ask yourself, "What would my idol do?"
We often admire individuals who are strong and self-assured. Therefore, if you're struggling to embody those traits, consider emulating your role model. Ask yourself how they would react and manage the circumstances, then proceed accordingly. In due course, you'll no longer question what confident women do differently because you'll become one of them!
9. Stop trying to please everyone all the time
The truth is, you can't please everyone. There will always be someone dissatisfied with your decisions. However, you shouldn't be that person. Pursue what you want and stop worrying about other people's opinions. Their discontent is not your concern.
It's essential to recognize that not everything is worth arguing over. If you've had enough of a situation, it's best to move on and walk away. Don't allow the other person to derive pleasure from a pointless argument. Don't give them any power over you; it's not worth your time.
11. Ignore guilt trips
Guilt can be a potent tool for manipulation. If a friend requests you to babysit their children with short notice, but you have prior commitments, don't let them guilt you into accepting the favor. Don't fall for their emotional appeals or guilt trips. Instead, politely decline by saying, "I'm sorry I can't help this time," and stick to your decision. If your friend becomes upset, that's their problem to deal with.
How To Stand Up For Yourself At Work
Although you spend eight hours a day with your coworkers, it doesn't mean that they would be your preferred friends. Standing up for yourself in the workplace can be challenging, but it's necessary for others to recognize that you are a young professional who deserves respect.
In the past, you were praised for being unique and innovative, but now it seems like your ideas are immediately dismissed when you share them. This makes you feel bullied, a sensation you thought you had left behind in childhood. It can result in an uncomfortable work atmosphere and damage your self-esteem.
These tips can help you confront workplace bullying and defend yourself without risking your job, as let's be honest, you need to earn a living.
1. Analyze your method of communication
If you're anticipating negativity, you may come across as overly defensive, which can hinder communication. Perhaps you're conveying your message with a harsh tone, or you're not being clear enough. It may seem silly, but try smiling before speaking, and ensure you express your thoughts and opinions with confidence, without displaying unease.
2. Dress the part
Dressing for the job you desire is crucial. Even if you're at the lower end of the corporate hierarchy, dressing like a CEO when you arrive at work will improve your self-assurance and subtly indicate your commitment to the position.
3. Be honest with your feelings
This is crucial when standing up for yourself. If someone belittles you, kindly inform them that their unnecessary comments were hurtful. By addressing it promptly, you prevent these emotions from building up. For example, a straightforward statement such as "Hey Coworker X, your comment hurt my feelings. It's okay if you don't like my idea, but it came off as a personal attack" should firmly convey that you won't tolerate unprofessional behavior. Hopefully, it was simply a misunderstanding.
4. Don't egg them on
Similar to childhood bullies, adult bullies seek a reaction and thrive on breaking your spirit. Fueling their behavior implies they've won the argument, so it's crucial to shut it down before it transforms into a bigger conflict. You don't want to become the subject of gossip throughout the workplace because you lost control.
5. Do the research
Whether it's related to work or a casual conversation, ensure you are knowledgeable about the information you share. If you're presenting at a meeting, have ample examples to support your ideas. If you're discussing a TV show, watch the episode first. It's important to establish credibility by being well-informed. If you have a reputation for speaking impulsively or without doing proper research, people will eventually stop paying attention.
To be heard, it's important to show others the same respect you desire. Even if you disagree with their views, provide them with the opportunity to express themselves.
7. Stop playing the role of the victim
Continuing to see yourself as the victim will perpetuate that mindset. Select a Monday in the near future to alter your outlook and observe how your work week improves. Changing your attitude can significantly enhance your confidence.
8. Learn the power of "No"
Being flexible and assisting colleagues at work is essential, but if you feel that your kindness is leading to others burdening you with menial tasks, you won't have time to complete your own work. If you can't take on additional assignments, communicate this to your coworkers. Don't allow yourself to be exploited. Being truthful about your workload and time management won't jeopardize your job.
Learning how to assert yourself can be challenging, particularly if you're not naturally assertive. Nevertheless, you deserve respect, just like everyone else. If it isn't offered freely, insist on it. Don't let anyone take advantage of you. You're capable of more than that. The more you employ the aforementioned advice, the less frequently you'll need to. It's like magic!