Don’t be a Pushover: 6 Tips to Help You Stand Up for Yourself

Is your boss constantly asking you to work overtime? Do coworkers asking you for help prevent you from completing your own work? Do you often find yourself ignored in team meetings? Situations like that can certainly be frustrating. If you find that other people are walking all over you, there are steps you can take to stop that cycle.

Take control of the situation by standing up for yourself, with the help of these six simple steps:

Learn to Be Assertive

The first step to acquiring any new skill is learning what the skill entails. According to Psychology Today, assertiveness is asking for what you want in a way that shows respect to others. It doesn’t mean being demanding or defiant; on the contrary, it’s ensuring that your voice is heard in a firm yet polite manner. It can seem like a difficult balance to strike if you’re not used to being assertive but being respectful while still asking for what you want is a skill you can learn like any other.

Improve Your Self-Confidence

Having a healthy sense of self-esteem is a crucial component of learning to stand up for yourself, as others typically see you the way you see yourself. The recipe for self-confidence lies in feeling good about yourself both physically and mentally: don’t view yourself as a victim. Develop a positive attitude, lead a healthy lifestyle, and you will slowly but surely become the best version of yourself.

Set Strategic Goals

Creating strategic goals is the shortest path towards giving yourself a sense of purpose, keeping you focused on what you truly want to achieve at any given moment. Whether it be improving your public speaking skills or earning that big promotion at work, creating a series of goals that lead up to the end result will help you assert your self-worth. Remember: Goal-oriented individuals find it easier to earn the respect of their peers.

Be Firm with Your Requests

A common example of when you might practice standing up for yourself is dealing with an untidy co-worker or roommate. Being straightforward about your concerns without accusing them is an effective way to facilitate a discussion and develop a solution that works for everyone.

Learn How to Say No

Saying no is one of the most difficult yet rewarding skills to master on the path to becoming assertive. It’s understandable that you don’t want to let people down, yet always saying yes is a slippery slope towards ignoring your own needs for the needs of others. Never apologize or make excuses: Simply deny an unreasonable request and offer an explanation if the situation requires one.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Now that you’ve learned the basics of standing up for yourself, practice being assertive every day for the next two months, at the very least. A U.K. study revealed that it takes 66 days to form a habit, after which time the habit becomes an ingrained part of who you are. Routine assertiveness not only builds your self-confidence, but also demonstrates to others that you will not be taken advantage of.


Diana Spektor | Contributing Writer



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