“I not only have the right to STAND UP for myself, but I have the responsibility.  I can’t ask somebody else to STAND UP for me if I won’t STAND UP for myself.” Maya Angelou                   

The world is full of people who “act” and “react” to situations and circumstances very differently.  Some can easily express how they expect and need to be treated in their relationSHIPS, while others can’t.  For whatever reason, they find it difficult to STAND UP for themselves. Instead, they will allow family members, friends, spouses/mates, and even supervisors to do and say things they consider offensive without expressing discontent or their true feelings. For them, the very thought of STANDING UP for themselves leads to feelings of trepidation and anxiety.  So they CHOOSE to go through life with a don’t “rock the boat” attitude.  Yet, they don’t realize that this sends the message that the treatment they’re receiving is acceptable when it isn’t. This “deal with it kind” of attitude simply leaves them with feelings of anger, resentment, and regret. Not STANDING UP for oneself also makes having evolving relationSHIPS difficult. Do you know someone afraid to STAND UP for themselves? Are you afraid to STAND UP for yourself?  I am NOT but I know people who are and I don’t understand why. So for this week’s blog, let’s talk SHIP about the need to STAND UP for ourselves!!! 

STANDING UP for ourselves simply put means establishing boundaries for ourselves and more importantly, continuously enforcing and reinforcing them. When we don’t STAND UP for ourselves, we give others the opportunity to take advantage of us.  For some people, STANDING UP for themselves isn’t a comfortable experience and the very notion of doing so can be frightening. Last week while watching Project Runway, a contestant was wrought with emotions because of his inability to STAND UP for himself.  He and another designer got into a confrontation and a few of the other contestants came to his rescue and alienated her.   During the incident, she was outspoken and STOOD UP for herself and he was not. He lacked the ability to STAND UP for himself and cried. Now feeling alone and abandoned, she decided to give up her dream of becoming a fashion designer and left the show, two weeks after it started. As I watched the episode, I began to think about how different it is interacting with someone who doesn’t STAND UP for themselves. Since I am NOT the type of person who is afraid to STAND UP for myself, I’ll admit, I don’t quite understand those who won’t. 

Ironically, the same week of the show, I had discussions about this very topic with –a former co-worker and a friend. Both of whom are polar opposites of me.  They are both passive and soft-spoken and I am NOT.  They both are willing to accept and tolerate more stuff and I am NOT.  When my former co-worker and I talked, she explained that she puts up with her supervisor’s disrespect because she needed the job to feed her family and live.  She opted not to STAND UP for herself because of her fear of losing her job. Even though I disagreed with her rationale, I understood her perspective and still encouraged her to shut down the disrespect and STAND UP for herself. Later I spoke with a friend, who shared that she too had a difficult time STANDING UP for herself. I was a bit shocked.  She spoke about how she had always admired her sister’s strength and mine but didn’t quite have it herself.  She indicated that although she does now, she didn’t always STAND UP for herself because, in her relationSHIPS, she avoided discord and confrontation.   These conversations gave me some invaluable insights into why some people have a difficult time STANDING UP for themselves.

I recognize that although STANDING UP, expressing, and asserting ourselves should be instinctive for all of us, it isn’t.  But it can be!! It may take some practice but learning how to STAND UP for oneself is a journey worth embarking on, especially since we are the ones responsible for teaching others how to treat us. But first, STANDING UP for ourselves requires that we possess the type of confidence that can only be attained from genuinely knowing ourselves. STANDING UP for ourselves validates our worthiness. STANDING UP for ourselves allows us to set boundaries that if we reinforce and apply in our relationSHIPS will lead to deeper connections with ourselves and others.  STANDING UP for ourselves reassures our belief that we are perfect just the way GOD created us.  STANDING UP for ourselves gives us the ability to confidently voice our wants, needs, and desires. STANDING UP for ourselves allows us to acknowledge and accept that our desires and needs are just as important as those of others. STANDING UP for ourselves is empowering.

Having relationSHIPS with those who can’t STAND UP for themselves may require extra care. They require that we are more understanding, and patient.  They require that we be mindful of our tone and how we use our words. For those of us that are NOT afraid to STAND UP for ourselves, these relationSHIPS will teach us how to SIT DOWN so that they can STAND UP!!! 

SHIP TALK: Do you STAND UP for yourself?  Are you patient with those who are not able to STAND UP for themselves?

At www.whatstheship.com, we appreciate you taking the time to read this week’s blog post.  We’d love for you to share the blog with your friends and family.  We’d also love to hear your thoughts on what you’ve read.  So if you’d like to leave a comment, please scroll down to the bottom of the page.  Remember, I’m sensitive about my SHIP!!!

3 Replies to “STAND UP!!!”

  1. Angie, I am so glad that you were able to overcome your fear and STAND-UP for yourself. People are or can be just downright mean. When I was younger, I used to stand up for others but realized that I was robbing them of the opportunity to use their voice to STAND UP for themselves. It can be changed, I guess some people just have to be tired of being walked on, and then they’ll stand up. AS always, I appreciate you. Thanks for supporting me.

  2. When I became a Mom I knew that I didn’t want my kids to go through what I did as a child. As a Manager in my profession I knew I had to grow thick skin and also STAND UP and defend myself. I’m not one that likes confrontation; however if it has to go there, I will (it just may take me a little longer to get to that point). I’m more of the type that would prefer to sit down and have a conversation with the understanding that we can agree to disagree. I am a firm believer that LESS is MORE. What I mean by that is sometimes saying nothing at all speaks volumes. I refuse to let someone berate me, even if that means losing my job because if you’re good at what you do, you can get another one of those.

    “Are you patient with those who are not able to stand up for themselves?” YES.
    I’m always for the underdog and I believe kindness and patience goes a long way. You never know someone’s journey. Trust me, for those that have that STAND UP gene, those that don’t wish they did….

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  3. Hi Val!
    To answer to your question(s);
    “Do you stand up for yourself?” YES.
    As a young girl I was bullied and intimidated by my peers and even sometimes my own siblings. At home my Mother was there to protect when my brother would take my candy and eat it; however at school there wasn’t any one to protect me and I’d cry because the kids at school would bully me by pulling my hair or socking me in my back during recess. Not to mention the tall dark-skinned man that would stand on the corner as I walked home from school that would scare me and he knew he did. He’d growl with his hands up like a monster and he thought that was so FUNNY. It would frighten me so much I’d cross over to the other side of the street. I hated to walk home alone. I thought if I would just continue to be nice to people that they’d be nice to me; however that wasn’t always the case. I learned over the years that I had to be a bit more assertive. I needed to STAND UP; although it was totally out of my comfort zone. I am a true empath and many people have taken my kindness for weakness. Growing into adulthood I learned to navigate my life by staying clear of those who I thought were “bullies” or “too aggressive”. I will say I admired those that did STAND UP for themselves and truly wish I had just a small drop of that same attitude, but I didn’t.

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