I had such a huge problem standing up for myself when I was younger. No, not like a "I don't know how to joan (Atlanta talk for tease) or respond when somebody jokes with me," stand up for myself. I had trouble shutting people down when they offended or disrespected me. I would just be the bigger person and ignore it or respond with grace. I was taught how to tease and hit back if someone hit ME, but that's it. No one told me to tell people they weren't allowed to talk to me any kind of way.
I didn't learn this was a problem until I was 18. When someone joked around that I had AIDS because they didn't like me. Except it wasn't a joke, because it wasn't funny and this person clearly showed they had no morals or regard for my well being. I did not do a thing. I did not go into the other room and give them the cuss out and/or beat down they deserved. I didn't even see a problem with this until it came up while I was sitting in my friends' dorm studying one night. They all gasped and asked me, "Ok girl, so what did YOU do?!" After that, I started to think about all the times that I had been violated and chose to be silent and I was done. From then on, I stood up for myself with my peers, and I've just started doing it with men and women who are older.
I have been speaking my mind so much that I could start a podcast, YouTube channel or join a talk show panel.
,What I mean by all of this is: Whenever you have something on your mind, voice it! Don't let anyone punk you; don't let anyone play you. Even if you don't have issues taking up for yourself, start voicing your opinions and thoughts anyway. The world needs to hear it, and you'll be better for it. Start your blog, buy a journal or record a song. Voice it.
Since I started taking up for myself, it's allowed me to create boundaries, too. My friends know not to ask me for anything too early in the morning- they know I need to meditate and pray before I start my day. They also know I need time to recharge after socializing. So unless it's someone's birthday, I'm not going out 2 nights in a row.
People aren't mind readers. When you healthily communicate boundaries, real friends will oblige. Everyone will be happier. And never forget: sometimes you'll just have to cuss someone out or beat somebody up. *shrugs*
Thanks for reading! See you in 2 weeks.
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