Standing up for oneself

As a child, I was a people pleaser. I used to go out of my way to please everyone. Looking back, I was looking for acceptance.

It’s what it was at the time, but in hindsight I can see that it didn’t do me any favours. When we work to fit our time into what others ask of us, people will always take advantage or manipulate our kindness because they can. What starts off as a kind gesture on our part, becomes a habit to others, because they know we’ll never say No.

What’s more it seems contagious, because it doesn’t always stop at one person. I didn’t know how to say no. I wasn’t forceful enough, but just because someone isn’t good at saying no, it doesn’t mean that someone else has a right to take advantage. It doesn’t put the other person in a particularly good light. I was bullied into doing things, because the people asking me, knew I would never say no.

For me things began to change, when I began to change my attitude. Our attitude sets the tone and helps us become clear in our expression of what we want. It also shows in our body language. The more positive your attitude, the less likely others will take advantage, the more you’ll stand up for yourself.

Although confidence plays a part in changing how we stand up to others, I still believe a permanent change of attitude is important. If we learn to perceive our lives so that our attitude changes, we will say no. We must challenge ourselves to change those all too familiar patterns.

Now if I choose to do something I’ll do it, just as I may choose not to do something. I dictate my own shots.


28 Feb, 2012

6 thoughts on “Standing up for oneself

  1. When I was growing up, I was well trained in the art of people pleasing, which meant I always put off doing what I really wanted to do. It has affected me in my life to the point where I haven’t gotten very far.

    I’m just trying to change things now so that I can do things that I like to do and not be so worried about what other people expect me to do!

    1. Randy, you’re not alone.

      I was 44 when I managed to do something with my own life; having been a people pleaser all of my life. I went back into study; went on to find out that I had CP; then started The CP Diary.

      I am of the opinion that although this is the route you also took, it doesn’t mean you have to stick with it. As the adult you can make changes now.

  2. I was a people pleaser too, but now if I don’t want to do something I won’t.

    I also have a problem with standing up for myself now. It’s a lot better than it used to be. I became stronger after my first marriage because my ex used to be abusive to me a lot and I finally got aggressive and left him.

    1. I think after a while, standing up for ourselves becomes a necessity. I am so pleased Lisa that you became stronger and learned how to look after yourself.

      That’s great.

  3. I think we are all programmed to be people pleasers. We are pre-disposed like that.

    It’s better to have a balance with pleasing oneself too and I think it’s easier to achieve that. The knowledge that it can be achieved and that comes with age and experience and a concerted effort.

    1. I don’t agree that we all are, but there may be some who may have a predisposition because of what they deal with.

      Although this was my own experience and this is what I did, it certainly wasn’t the norm growing up; although I do agree those born into specific cultures will more likely conform that way.

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