Speak Up for Yourself

One thing I learnt today was that sometimes, letting things slide and being passive isn’t healthy. You need to put your foot down and shout, “No, this isn’t right!”

If a situation happens to you that makes you feel awful – a friend says something hurtful, you get treated badly or you don’t want to do something – staying quiet might make things worse. Yes, it can be good to compromise on situations and to forgive but you shouldn’t do it all the time. That’s detrimental to you. It’s not fair on you either.

Say someone says something about you behind your back and you hear this from a friend. Another example is if your friends want to do something but you’re utterly averse to the idea; either that or you hear a passing mean comment about you in the corridor. Do you walk on and block your ears? Do you let it slide because you hate confrontation? A lot of people would do that and that’s totally understandable (I hate arguments or the prospect of them too) but think: should you stay silent? In a situation where your life is in danger and you may be hurt, the consequences can be a lot more serious and you should talk to someone immediately if you need help. However, in every day situations, let your mind remember that being passive shouldn’t be your default option.

Like me, if you’re ordinarily someone who doesn’t like confrontation and so doesn’t speak up, breaking that cycle can just emphasise the importance of your point. Whether you’re known for directly saying what you think, it can give you a measure of power over the situation. You’re telling the person that you don’t accept this; you’re letting them know that you won’t just roll over and let them control how you feel. If it’s serious enough to make you speak about it, then they should take note of how much it took for you to say something and therefore realise what a shitty thing they did.

If you’re worried about the consequences – as I always am – let me reassure you. In most cases, you telling whoever you need to tell how you feel won’t result in a permanent falling out. Don’t worry about hurting them although I know that won’t stop the anxiety. My sister, who is one of the most sensible people when it comes to this thing that I know, told me that sometimes people need to know they’ve been petty or awful. There may be some disagreement if that happens, know that it can actually make them think about your point of view and treat you better in the future. If they don’t listen and an argument ensues, maybe they aren’t such a considerate person after all. It’s not your fault if you want to voice your opinion. It’s not up to you how they respond and if they respond negatively to you standing up for yourself, I have to say it bluntly: think about whether you really want to be as close to them as you thought. I understand how hard it is, especially when you’re paranoid about losing friends, but you can’t push your happiness aside in order to appease someone else or avoid an argument.

The fact is, you’re human and can only take so much before you break. I know it’s difficult but it’s far better to break and show someone else just how upset you are than internalise that sadness and anger. I speak from experience when I say that misplaeed anger is one of the worst things that can happen to you because it leaves you feeling hollow and empty, without any kind of closure. Your humanity makes it really understandable as to why you’d want to say something: listen to your instincts.

You aren’t a doormat. You aren’t to be controlled; you aren’t someone who should be trodden on or victimised. Don’t let yourself be victimised because otherwise, people will think it’s okay to treat you like that. My Head of Year told me, today, that I should start to speak more and assert myself: I’m giving that advice to you too because you should never be treated like some kind of object or something to be thrown around.

Find your inner voice and use it in the real world. You’re strong enough to tell even the closest person to you that no: you’re not okay with this.

Speak up.

Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to speak up but couldn’t? How about in the reverse: have you ever spoken up in a situation and had good consequences stem from it? How did it make you feel?

From Elm πŸ™‚

20 thoughts on “Speak Up for Yourself

  1. I loved this post!! Yeah, I have 3 kinda in my class that bother me and mock me sometimes, but they usually bother others too. I don’t really care about it cause it’s no big deal and not that they’ve ever punch me or anything. I think that if someone tries to bother you, you shouldn’t really pay attention, if they see you don’t care, they’ll get tired and stop doing it eventually.
    But I agree with you, if it’s something serious, then, you should tell people and not keep silence, you can help the issue.
    Again, loved this post, you’re so amazing!!

  2. Yes this has happened to everyone once before I’m sure. It’s very important to speak up for yourself you gain respect that way and you don’t have anyone thinking they can walk all over you! Great read!

  3. I hate confrontation as well. But, over time I’ve learned to speak up for myself in a way that is confident to the point where it doesn’t start up an argument, but it’s just enough for the other person to realise that they’ve done or said something that isn’t nice. I hate those moments where I really want to speak up but I’m too scared too. It’s not a nice thing to go through. Great post ❀

  4. You’re so right! People need to speak up more, including me. In my PE class some of the more… assertive…girls tended to order me around and generally be really nasty- snarky comments etc. I occasionally stood up for myself but usually I had a stance of passivity. I kind of wish now I’d stood up for myself a little more. Love this post πŸ˜€xx

    • Don’t be upset with yourself because of it! At least you know now and you can learn from it πŸ™‚ Thanks for your comment! xx

  5. Lol I remember one of the few times I did this. I had to go to the Spanish office to retake a test for my Spanish class, but some other Spanish teacher was there. And of course, my own Spanish teacher didn’t leave the test in the room for me. So when it comes to speaking to adults I’m very scared and reserved lol so when the Spanish office lady was looking for the test I was talking about and she couldn’t find it she was so ready to yell at me like: “Look if it’s not here I can’t help you” because I seemed so quiet and unsure. But I interrupted her and was all like: “NO you look here MISS I KNOW I’m supposed to retake a test so it’s either there or she has it. I do not have things confused.” I think it was only because it was the day before spring break and I wasn’t up for any crap haha. And after I said something like that she took me seriously so it worked it my favor like you said! Lol after the whole thing I ended up saying thank you to her. This post was so true and literally relatable, even though I don’t do it all the time. And you’re so so right we shouldn’t be afraid to speak up for ourselves, we are only human.

    • You know what I’m SO SO proud of you for doing this!!! πŸ™‚ YAAAS you did well; I’m glad you spoke up. I think we should all do that because we don’t deserve crap from anyone πŸ™‚ I’m glad that you liked this! It means a lot xx

    • I’d say don’t REGRET it: learn from it. There were probably a lot of things going on in your mind that prevented you from saying things πŸ™‚ Don’t be upset with yourself for it! And thanks for opening up; I really appreciate it xx

  6. I really struggled with this problem ever since in my childhood, and maybe until now): I just can’t help but to please everyone even though I know it’s impossible but still, I just can’t bear the fact that somebody will hate me and therefore, I tend to agree with just about anything. I know it’s toxic to let somebody walk all over you just because you can’t speak up. It might help by starting loving yourself enough to know that you won’t put up with being silent and letting people control you.

    With that, it’s still easier said than done. *sigh*

    • It is – but we can get there. Thanks for opening up; I’ve not related to something so much in a while. It means a lot that you’d tell me how you feel because it just proves to me I’m not here alone and that people understand. Thank you πŸ™‚ Never let people walk all over you if it’ll hurt you in the long run or at any point. You don’t deserve it xx

  7. I only just properly read this & I was hit by how aesthetically beautiful, touching & meaningful this is! ❀️ I relate to every single one of your words & I have encountered similar experiences. Some where I tried to ignore & didn’t stand up for myself or for what I believed in, and some where I succeeded at confronting the situation and where I felt truly happy & relaxed. Your words are so deeply refreshing, inspiring & motivating! 😍 Everything you’ve said is spot-on! It’s one of my goals this year to stand up more for myself & speak up! This post is everything I needed to read! Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou ❀️❀️

    • Oh gosh I’m so glad I could help you! My huge goal this year is to find my inner voice if you will and help myself to really tell people when I don’t like what they’re doing. Your comment was just so nice and thoughtful!!! Remember that you’re your own person and you DO NOT deserve to have your feelings trampled on. You CAN speak up and you SHOULD. I try to let my words be relatable: helping people is just something I want to do πŸ™‚

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