How Exactly Do I Stand Up For Myself?

Adrian S. Potter
3 min readMar 2, 2022

Push for what you want. Hard.

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Whether in the workplace or social scenarios, people need to speak up on their own behalf. We all need our voice, ideas, and feelings understood by those around us. Here are some simple ideas to keep in mind when being assertive and advocating for your interests:

Don’t apologize (unless it’s warranted).

When standing up for ourselves, we often feel a silly urge to make excuses or apologize to the other person. Be assertive. You can say yes or no without offering a reason. Sometimes all that’s needed is a simple answer.

Understand the opposing viewpoint.

We often look within ourselves to counter others. One way to exude confidence is to stay aware of the other person. Consider their perspective, motives, and needs. Cliché as it seems, there are two sides to every story. You will fight for your viewpoint better if you understand theirs.

Select your words wisely.

Carefully develop verbal responses. Voices and words are influential tools. Plan your words precisely. Monitor delivery and vocal tone. Be aware during the encounter and reflect afterward. Are you positive or negative about word choices? Is your message stated passively or actively?

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler from Pexels

Control your physical response.

I don’t mean fight; I mean physical presence and appearance. Body language can be as powerful as verbal communication. Are you hunched over? Avoiding eye contact? The physical elements of interaction are critical to consider when standing up for yourself.

Coach others to treat you with respect.

Make it clear how you want to be treated –let people know you don’t take crap. This doesn’t mean explicitly saying it. It’s about being aware of how your actions, words, and decisions appear to others. Does your behavior prime folks to treat you respectfully? If you get taken advantage of once, it can be a clue to others that you can be…

Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity ·