Learning To Stand And Speak Up For Ourselves

July 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Featured

I like the blog posted below.  It’s simple and to the point, and addresses a very difficult and life changing issue; speaking up for oneself.  Why is it difficult? Because it also means taking care of ourselves.

Many of us – especially if you are like me; understanding and non-confrontational – think that in order to keep the peace in relationships, we are better off not saying anything and digesting the situation ourselves rather than speaking up.  While it is true that we should pick our fights, not saying to others how we feel about the way we are being treated and spoken to will only lead to bad relationships and resentment.  It is also not true that issues that bother us can be swept under the rug without consequences.  And it is not true it will benefit a relationship — quite the contrary.

When we don’t speak up for ourselves (read: stand-up for ourselves) the message we are sending to our psyche is, we don’t have rights.  And soon enough we will believe that to be true.

Now think about an alternative; letting others know when situations that make us uncomfortable occur, that we would appreciate being talked to in a different fashion.  Imagine stating that with calm and without resentment.  And even if the other person can’t hear it, our psyche will hear us and think: yes, I too have rights.

Now how do we break the habit of not speaking up?

1                    – First by realizing by not speaking up for ourselves, we are actually creating resentment which will damage how you feel about the other person.

2                    – Realizing that by not speaking up we are not giving the person and the situation the possibility of being different.

3                    – Taking a deep breath and speaking from the heart.

4                    – Knowing whatever the results are, we are changing the way we see and deal with our own selves.

Please read on.

Why Don’t You Speak Up for Yourself?

By Margaret Paul, PH.D.

Do you have problems speaking up for yourself when others are being uncaring?

My counseling clients often complain to me about interactions they had with a partner, friend, parents or co-worker. When I asked the question, “Why didn’t you speak up for yourself?” here are the most common answers I receive: …Continued


From The Mouths Of Children

October 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

I read last week that four major cattle producers had agreed on a series of measures to insure that none of their beef was coming from cattle raised in the newly deforested areas of Brazil’s Amazon rain forest. Adding that to the recent announcement by McDonald’s and Wal-Mart that they wouldn’t buy beef from these areas and Adidas, Nike, and Timberland adding their guarantees to cancel contracts from cattle raisers in this area, it seems that some of the big companies are starting to listen. After all, it is estimated that 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases are coming from these deforested areas and if someone doesn’t wake up, the Pacific Ocean will be lapping up against shores on the coastline of Las Vegas.

Now I hope the Big Mac eaters won’t panic. There will still be plenty of beef around to clog up their arteries.

More than a decade ago it came to light that an elementary school girl student whose father was the CEO of one of the two major canned tuna producers, heard in school about the fishing practices of the commercial trawlers that net tuna for the big producers. It seems that the tuna nets came up with lots of dolphins tangled in the nets and the fisherman didn’t have the time to separate the tuna from the dolphins, and dolphins were dying uselessly and unnecessarily. The story went that she asked her father whether he was buying tuna from these fishermen and when he somewhat sheepishly replied that he was, she said simply, “Well, you shouldn’t”. And so, he stopped. He offset the increased costs by advertising his pledge to save the dolphins and putting a note on his labels that indicated his company’s policy. His sales grew, and within months his major competitor had no choice but to agree to the same policy. Now, we believe, dolphins are untangled from the nets and saved by the tuna fishermen.

If the dangers of exploiting the weaknesses in our environment and our economically disadvantaged people are exposed and explained and if we follow that little girl’s wisdom and simply say, “Well, you shouldn’t.” to those who continue to exploit, things will change.

Here, we talk about love. One of the mainstays of love is accepting responsibility for things and people we care about. Love doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There has to be someone to receive it. If the love you share reaches many people and if its effects are felt reverberating for years, then it is cosmic. That doesn’t depreciate the value of giving love to one person, but, how glorious if it could bounce off a satellite and reach millions.

How did I get here from the Brazilian rainforest? Easy. The amount of love each person has isn’t rationed. We can care about our “loved ones” and at the same time we can care about how we are part of a planet filled with people and things that need to be loved and protected. Just as one of us can preserve the joy in another of us, many of us can help preserve the joy in all of us.  

When we see someone commit injustice, when we see someone damage our habitat-our planet, when we see someone ignoring someone else in need, we can get on our soapbox, or email our friends, or boycott a company, or in some similar way scream out, “Well, you shouldn’t.” If we do that, I think we can make ourselves be heard.