Ladies, today we are going to talk about standing up for yourself, asserting your rights as a human being, as a woman, and as an employee. We are talking about how to assert yourself when you have been wrongly accused, belittled, ignored or treated like your opinion doesn’t matter. I used to be more assertive and then somehow I lost some of that assertiveness. I think it relates to being a single mom and needing a dependable income; sometimes you take more shit than is deserved, and you don’t make waves because you need that job or you think you need your current partner. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been a pushover for far too long, and I’m going re-learn how to assert myself and I want you to learn how to assert yourself.
DIG DEEP~ Being Walked On & Taken Advantage Of
I’m sure you can list multiple times when you have been insulted, made fun of, been treated like your opinion didn’t matter, or been spoken to like you were stupid, or that you have simply been dismissed by someone, whether that be a friend, co-worker, boss or partner. Even kids and parents do this to each other. It’s time to change that. Women and girls need to be respected in all aspects of life and it won’t happen unless we force it to happen. You need to assert yourself!
Here is a great, short article from Sarah Crow, Senior Editor at Best Life. It’s titled 17 Ways To Assert Yourself More in 2020. Sarah offers great advice and it may seem easy when you get yourself all puffed up and ready for action, but when it comes to the conversation, whether it be in person or on the phone, it can be difficult to confidently assert yourself.
All too often, women, whether young or not so young, experienced or not, tend to be ignored, shot down and even belittled for sharing their ideas, thoughts and opinions. I have experienced all of those things and it can be humiliating. It isn’t right, and it’s exhausting constantly trying to prove yourself, or defend yourself. As a woman, you should not have to deal with all this extra shit in the workplace or at home. But wishing it weren’t so, will not stop it. Unfortunately, you will have to take some steps to make your presence known and to gain the respect that you deserve.
FOCUS ON THE FUTURE~ Learn To Assert Yourself
REPEAT & RE-PHRASE
Have you had this happen to you? You suggest something and it’s ignored. Sometimes in the same meeting, a co-worker (often a man) will pick up on your idea, suggest it, and suddenly the boss thinks it’s a great idea. Doesn’t that make your blood boil?
Keep putting it out there; keep sharing your ideas, but if you’re dismissed, re-phrase things in an effort to connect with the boss or manager and get him or her to really hear you. Don’t let that co-worker steal your thunder or take credit for your idea.
CALL THEM ON THEIR BULLSHIT!
If you’re ignored or dismissed, politely request that the boss respond to your comment or idea, provide feedback, or book time to discuss your idea.
If you’re still denied, politely request feedback by asking “why do you think that?” or “why do you say that?” Gently push the issue; assert yourself!
DON’T ACCEPT DISRESPECT
Never allow the boss, manager, or anyone, to act in a way that is condescending toward you. And this is not just about the workplace, but also boyfriends, girlfriends, life partners, friends and family. If you allow condescending comments and attitudes, then you are teaching people that you accept their abusive behavior. Yes, it is abuse. Emotional abuse.
KEEP AT IT
If the job, friendship or partnership shows real value in your life, then it may be worth educating these people on proper and acceptable behavior in a 2021 workplace, or a grown-up and mutually fulfilling relationship. Be persistent, but don’t stay too long in a toxic relationship of any sort, whether it be work or personal. You have one life and it’s not meant to be wasted on ignorance. You deserve respect at the very least, and happiness and fulfillment in your life.
KEEP EMOTION OUT OF IT
Decide what you want. What is the goal for you to assert yourself? Stick to that goal by being direct, and as unemotional as you can, because you know if you get emotional, you’ll quickly be pegged as dramatic, less serious and incapable. No, it’s not right or fair, but that’s likely how a boss or partner will perceive your emotions.
BE DIRECT, BUT POLITE
Direct. Polite. Enough said.
Listen, we’ve all heard this before; that you teach people how to treat you by what you will and will not accept. Go back to your values. Look at your goals. In the case of a workplace, do you actually want to work with people or for a company that doesn’t in some way allign with your values? Do you really want to commit your life to this partner if he or she belittles you and drags you down instead of being supportive? If you continue to accept demeaning behavior and disrespect, you’re telling people that you accept it and you’re okay with it.
If you are DONE being disrespected, ignored, or treated with condescension, then stand up, assert yourself and get what you want- respect! Or move on. I have written a couple blog posts on similar subjects regarding confidence, decision making and ending toxic relationships. Maybe this one Should You End A Relationship? will spark a little something inside you.
Whether you’re in a situation right now that requires you to assert yourself, or if you just need a little pick-me-up and reminder of why you deserve respect and happiness, give a thought to commanding respect from the people in your life. If you continue to accept disrespect without question, then you will continue to receive disrespect. So stop taking it. Assert yourself. Stand up for yourself, because if you don’t, who’s going to?
Thank you for reading. Check back next Friday for more on being an independent woman.
Carol Paino~ Parts Of Ourselves
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