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Be assertive, believe in your worth

 A happy young woman. (Courtesy)

Situations where you have to stand up for yourself, will always arise. Whether it is someone who stepped on your freshly polished shoes or a colleague who gets credit for your hard work, you need to react. Of course, not every situation warrants a response but there are those incidents where you must speak up for yourself because no one else will.

This in no way involves conflict, strife or violence. Quite the contrary. It is about stating the facts of what happened calmly. If you feel anger or resentment at that moment, it is best to hold yourself back until you have cooled down.

When you assert yourself, people around you will begin to take you more seriously and you will begin to notice more respect. You must believe in your worth and look out for yourself. This will in effect better your mental health.

Deep down when your inner critic tells you that people are walking all over you or taking advantage, it probably is true. And chances are, you will not feel good about yourself because you feel as if you let yourself down.

The last thing you want to be is a people-pleaser otherwise, you will become a pushover. No matter how uncomfortable it may feel to say something to the waiter who got your order wrong, you have to do it or you will pay for the consequences yourself.

There is nothing wrong with sharing your point of view and voicing them to support what you believe. This will set boundaries for those who are used to walking all over you, especially family members.

If you find it difficult to ever stand up for yourself, chances are it stemmed from a young age. Maybe you grew up in a strict home with many rules that had to be followed and failure to which you would be punished.

If your parents also disregarded your feelings and made you feel very small while growing up, your self-esteem will be greatly diminished. No matter what happens in your life, you feel less inclined to use your voice and that develops into a habit way into your adulthood.

You need to understand that yes, some friction may arise but that does not necessarily signal conflict. That is merely a minor resistance that can be dwelt with, with proper communication.

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