Who hasn’t at some time done something just to please someone else? You do something you don’t want to do because it’s suddenly expected of you, you bite your tongue when you disagree with someone to keep the peace, or you join your spouse in some activity you normally dislike, because he or she did the same for you not long ago.
While going out of your way for others is considered to be a kind and noble thing to do, doing it to the point of ignoring your own needs is impractical and a disservice to yourself. There comes a time when you need to make a stand and consider yourself ahead of others. We all have a self-preservation instinct. This should extend to meeting more than our basic physical needs. Being emotionally strong is important, and not just for the well-being of others.
Tending to your own happiness, not at the expense of others, but because you need to be happy, too, is healthy. Some times when we need to stand up for ourselves include:
When We Passionately Believe in Something
Not standing up for yourself when you strongly believe in something that conflicts with what someone else is saying or doing is difficult. Often, we take this path to avoid conflict, but going against a strong belief will only make you feel that you are being untrue to yourself.
When We Have a Clear Goal
Sometimes we end up doing things that are contrary to our goals, such as helping out a friend who doesn’t support what we’re doing, or who has an opposite goal. Being pushed into this position is a form of bullying, which leads to emotional damage. Don’t let someone sidetrack the goals that are important to you.
When We or Someone Else is Being Bullied
Bullying doesn’t just happen between kids. Anyone can bully you by insisting that you do what you don’t want to do or by trying to control how you live. It is important to stand up and reject this behavior for what it is. Just because someone is dead set on getting his or her way doesn’t mean that he or she is right to push you to behave in a certain way.
When We’re Protecting Our Time
We only have a limited time on Earth. It is a resource that, once wasted, cannot be recovered. We need time to take care of important duties, to spend with those we love, and to do things that make us happy. Everything we do for someone else that we don’t want to do takes time away from another of our goals. It is important that we not shortchange our own goals for the sake of not making waves.
When We Need to Set Boundaries
People will take what leeway you give them. It is important to establish your personal boundaries clearly, because some might think nothing of pushing them. State up front what is and is not acceptable to you in terms of time, money, or any other area on which someone might infringe. People won’t stop if they don’t know what your limits are. This is one of the most important conversations you can have. If you don’t, you will always feel put-upon and end up resentful.
Taking a stand doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get your way, but at least you will have a voice in what happens in your life. Standing your ground and keeping a positive attitude will give you a greater chance of being able to live your life your way.
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