Stand Up For Yourself

Dear Maria,

Any advice please regarding a problem that keeps happening.

I am a flexible easy-going person and am generally happy and try and do the best.

However people and family’s seem to find me irritating and annoying even though I have done nothing but be there.

For instance at a dinner party the hostess was handing out to others small jewelry gifts that she had bought cheaply on the internet.

She ignored me and while exclaiming how this piece would suit such and such and gave each one.

I didn’t say anything as usual but remarked to my friend who I had gone with that I felt embarrassed. She agreed and left it at that.

Later the hostess phoned my friend and said she spent a sleepless night as she was aware she was doing it but didn’t know why she treated me in such a way.

This exclusion and people being spiteful for no reason is always happening and I was excluded recently again at another event.


There’s a few things that I immediately picked up from this email so I’ll ask the person who wrote me to see if any of this resonates:

It feels to me that you might have low self-esteem and that it would be a great idea to find the power within you so that you can stand strong in who you really are.

Your description of yourself as a flexible, easy-going person that is generally happy and that tries to do the best, sounds (in this context) like a person who tries to be pleasing to others.

Is this how you usually behave? I’m asking you to look honestly at yourself without self-condemnation.

People can pick up ‘weakness’ vibes in other people, and find them annoying.

This happens in the animal world as well; the weak ones are being bullied and pushed out from the group and so on.

Now, I want you to know that I don’t see you as weak – I know who you are, I know your power, but you have to embrace it to know it yourself.

I can share something from my personal life.

There has been times in my life when I have had female friends that have had boyfriends or husbands who has not treated them with the respect that every person deserves, and this has annoyed me, it has really irritated me to see that they accept being treated that way.

So I have voiced my opinion and told them what I think.

I know there is power in those women, but they don’t know it, so there’s not much I can do but to just tell them what I think and what I see.

This has always lead to a breakup with those particular friends, because I like being around people who are confident and who believe in themselves and who treat themselves with respect.

So people around you are probably picking up on your low self-esteem and by the animal instinct and nature in us, they unconsciously push you out because they sense weakness from you.

Does this sound true to you, does it resonate?

If so, then my suggestions for you would be to start responding to these types of happenings in a different way, a way that empowers you and that calls for respect from others.

This takes bravery – you have to be bold and courageous, and I know you have it inside of you to be that.

You wrote: “I didn’t say anything as usual..”

Now it’s time for you to stand up for yourself and actually do say something about it.

Speak up even if your voice shakes!

And stop speaking about it to your friends – that’s a form of gossip and will do you no good.

It’s fine to seek support from friends, that’s perfectly normal, but if you habitually keep your mouth shut when people act disrespectfully towards you (or spitefully as you described it) and you don’t say anything to the person who acted that way, but only to your friends, then you need to stop doing that.

A memory came to mind from a time when I was in my late teens or early twenties sometime, and I was at my workplace at the time and someone said something or did something that really didn’t feel okay in my heart (I don’t remember what he said/did anymore, and I think it was my boss), and it really bothered me so I mustered up some courage and walked up to that person and asked if we could talk.

He said yes, and I took him aside and said something like “you know the thing you just did/said, it really didn’t sit well with me” and then I explained what I thought and so on and it ended up with him apologizing to me and I felt very empowered and proud of myself for having had the courage to speak up ‘even if my voice was shaking’.

So I encourage you to do that.

Forget about all past times (forgive and let go), but pick a resent time or times when you have felt excluded and go directly to those people and share with them how you felt when they excluded you.

Let them know that you were hurt and that it was embarrassing to you, and ask them why they behaved that way towards you.

Do this in a respectful, mature manner, no finger-pointing or blame-games.

Just stand up for yourself and be open and you might be surprised at how receptive people are when we dare to be vulnerable that way.

That, my friend, takes guts, and that is something we all can respect.

When a person has the guts to stand up for themselves!

So here’s my suggestions:

Stop talking with others about those happenings but instead go directly to the person who behaved in a disrespectful manner towards you.

Stop being a people-pleaser (if you recognize yourself as being one) because people can sense that and it comes across as weakness.

Ask yourself:

Why am I flexible and easy-going? Is it a true expression of who I am, or am I trying to fit in, to be liked, or approved of etc?

Am I really ‘generally happy’ and why do I always try to do my best?

I don’t know, maybe you are a genuinely happy person, and if you are, then just continue being that, because the truth is that sometimes people are annoyed by happy people (humans are weird sometimes) but you can learn to ignore that when you grow in self-confidence.

So ask yourself honestly; is it because I am naturally a happy-go-lucky type of person, or is it because I want people to like me?

And why do I always try to do my best?

Maybe if you’re the type of person who always tries to help and is the first one to clean up the table, and who always does things constantly for others and so on, then maybe you need to stop doing that for a while just to see how it feels to have others do those things for you instead.

It takes discipline to not be the person who always tries to do her best, but do try it, and also; learn to say No.

“No, you can do it yourself.”

“No, I don’t feel like it today, today someone else can do it.”

“No, you can’t speak to me like that.”

“No, I’m not flexible about that, this is my decision and I stand firm on it.”

And lastly, if those people who treat you that way are your ‘friends’, then do yourself a huge favor and leave them because people who doesn’t respect you are not true friends. 

If they are your family members (as you also mentioned), then be brave and ask them straight up why they are like they are around you and then learn from that conversation and the feedback you get.

Be brave and courageous – be bold!

You will feel so empowered by being that, I promise you that.

And then from that moment on you will be able to carry yourself in whole new way and people will begin responding to you in a different way as well. 


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