Why don't we stand up for ourselves?

3 tools of empowerment. How knowledge and training can help you overcome your worst fears. 

It isn’t that we are meek. It is more that we just don’t like conflict. Most of us would rather avoid conflict than stand up for ourselves. And, honestly, most of the time this strategy works because most conflicts are over really rather stupid things and walking away from the conflict is the smartest thing you can do.

However, sometimes, it’s not.  Sometimes avoiding conflict makes us feel like cowards. This is especially true when dealing with a bully or someone who is causing harm to others. Knowing what the right thing to do is in any given situation isn’t easy. That’s why we all stress over it.  For instance, the other day, I called the police about a domestic disturbance in the neighborhood. Several neighbors and I were discussing whether we should call the police or not and that is when I decided it was the right thing to do. It wasn’t a violent conflict, but I realized that if it had us all worried, that it was better to err on the side of caution rather than waiting to see how things played out.

Standing up for yourself and others is never easy, but there are ways you can empower yourself to do the right thing. 
  • Make it your responsibility. Don’t wait for other people to come and save you or save that other person. Help won’t come unless it is requested. So request help. Choosing to be responsible is often all it takes to overcome your fears and spur yourself into action.
  • Get educated. Know what your options are. Many times we are stuck and allow things to continue because we just don’t know what the alternative is. If something is bothering you, find out what those alternatives are so that you give yourself options.
  •  Get trained. Knowing what to say, how to say it, when to intervene, or when to ask for help is key.  For instance, knowing CPR empowers you to save a life, if necessary. Knowing what to say to a bully and how to say it empowers you to stand up, not only for yourself but for others.

The point is, don’t just continue to suffer and feel sorry for yourself or feel bad that you didn’t act when you know in your heart you should have. Make it your responsibility to learn what you need to know in order to not sit idly by the next time it happens.

Have you ever regretted not standing up for someone or for yourself? What did you do to empower yourself? Share your story. Help us all learn how to do and be better. 

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