By Lauren Denos: 9/7/2015 (Mindset)

Do you stand up for yourself? Do you know the difference between being nice and being walked all over?

Getting along with others is a good thing. As a species we do better when we can work together. But there is a difference between being nice to others and letting them push you around. Being nice and getting along is when you respect someone else's beliefs and thoughts. Being pushed around is when you let someone tell you how wrong you are for thinking the way you do. Stick up for what you think and believe in, stick up for your own rights and boundaries. Just because you think one thing and someone else thinks something different does not mean that you can not both be right, and if they really are opinions that can not be right at the same time, just be okay with having a difference of opinion. Most people are not going to have the same point of view as you and that is a good thing. Do it your way. If we lived in a world where everyone thought the same thing, it would be very boring.

Sometimes you will get people who take it beyond a difference of opinion and are just straight up bullies. Understand most people are bullies because they want some sense of control over someone else. They usually in the past or currently have stuff going on in their lives where they are picked on so they feel they will be back on top if they pick on you. That being said it is not okay for someone to treat you that way and you should stand up for yourself. So lets take a look at how you can stand up for yourself.

How to stand up for yourself.

#1 Have faith in yourself and in your own judgments.
I know that having faith in your own self can be hard when you think maybe you are wrong and the other person is right, but stop seeing it in such black and white terms. It is more like multiple shade of gray not just one way or the other. If you see two people in the same career, like health for example, are you going to see one as right and one as wrong? No, you can see that they are giving different information and coming from different life experiences. Both can have great information and both can have info you do not agree with. Take what works for you and leave the rest. Just like this example, you are not wrong, your thoughts and your points of view are valid. You are unique and will see things from a different point of view than someone else. So start to accept the thoughts you have as correct.

#2 Stop seeing yourself as a victim.
Stop seeing yourself as the victim that just needs to deal with however you are treated. Everyone is the hero of their own story and so are you, so start acting that way. Many people will just deal with all the garbage people hand them and then they will complain about how hard life is and how mean everyone is to them. STOP IT! You are not a victim, you are just as important as anyone else and deserve to have an awesome happy life. You need to either stand up to the person who is treating you this way or if they are not someone you work with, then just stop being around them. From now on when you are in a situation where you feel like a victim, choose to be the hero of your own life instead and speak up for yourself.

#3 Stop being so passive.
Acknowledge that you have an opinion. Stop being silent about what you want. You do not have to just go along with whatever someone else wants to do. I understand keeping the peace is nice, but how are you treating yourself when you always just do what everyone else wants to do and ignore all the things you want to do? Compromise is good, but compromise can happen even if you speak up and say what you want to do. Even if you decide to go along with the choice of the majority, at least you made your desires known.

#4 Understand that you do not need to say yes to everything.
Saying yes to new experiences and adventures in your life is great, but be honest when you do not want to do something. A common example of this is when someone asks a friend to help them move and the friend say's yes, because otherwise they feel like a horrible person and friend. But if you only have one day off and you have been working a couple weeks straight and really need a day to sleep in, then say no. If you have other plans, then say no. Personally when a friend asks me to help them move on a weekend I have no problem helping, but I am honest that I will not be over until 10am. I want to sleep in, relax, enjoy breakfast, and maybe even get a workout in. I am still helping them, but I am also respecting what I need. Don't get me wrong saying yes can be a great lesson to learn, but once you have reached to the pushover level, you have learned that lesson too well and it is time to reel it back and say no to the things you really do not want to do.

#5 Understand that you do not need to be rude or mean to stick up for yourself.
One of the problems that many people have with sticking up for themselves is they think sticking up for themselves means being rude or mean, but that simply is not the case. True some people do get mean when sticking up for themselves, but you do not have to be that way. I have had many people ask me to help them with things and I let them know in a very nice way that I am busy that day. They do not take offense. Or if you are in the even more difficult situation of someone being rude to you or picking on you etc. Then come at it from a different angle. Bring it to their attention. “ Are you meaning to be rude to me?” If they really are being mean on purpose, and especially if they are someone you work with, then it is time to bring it up to management. If they do not work with you time to stop spending time with them, because that is not how friends treat each other. Keep in mind that many people are just taking out their bad day on you and don't even realize they are being rude. But that does not mean you should take it.

#6 Find a center for yourself.
Finding a center in yourself means finding that place of power where you can find that strong side of you that will stand up for yourself. This can be anything but a really good way of finding it is to think back to a time or incident when you were strong and stuck up for yourself and create those emotions again. Think about how strong you were and how it felt to stick up for yourself. If you have no incidents like that, then you may want to think up an imaginary time or a time in your favorite movie and see if you can channel that feeling into your life. However you do it, it is just about finding that strong feeling and using it.

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