Standing up for oneself

As a child, I was always a people pleaser. I used to go out of my way to please everyone. Although I know looking for acceptance was the reason for this, in hindsight I can see it didn’t do me any favours.

What started off as a kind gesture on my part became a habit to everyone else, because they knew I could never say no. What’s more, it seemed contagious because it didn’t stop with one person. I wasn’t assertive enough.

But just because someone isn’t good at saying no, it doesn’t mean others should take advantage. It also doesn’t put those taking advantage in a particularly good light. I was manipulated into doing things, because I was too soft.

As soon as my attitude changed, things began to change. It’s our attitude that sets the tone. The more positive the attitude, the less likely it becomes that others will take advantage, and the more we’ll be able to stand up for ourselves. And although confidence plays its part too, a permanent change of attitude is necessary.

We need to say no and must challenge ourselves to change.

The new ‘me’ found a voice. If I choose to do something now I’ll do it, just as I choose not to do something. I call 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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