Growing up, I was always the little girl who stood up for herself. Whenever my group of friends would get in fights in elementary school, I was the one who said, “That isn’t what happened! This isn’t right!” or other 3rd grade musings that would inevitably make some portion of the group of little ladies angry with me. I didn’t understand this. It didn’t make sense! Why was I in trouble for simply stating the truth? Why did I become the bad guy for pointing out what was happening?
Because I like having people like me, I learned over the years to soften my expressions. I started saying things that pleased people instead of ruffling their feathers. Sure, sure, I still maintained a loud mouth about so many issues (i.e. marriage equality, C’MON), but when it came to standing up for myself, stating my worth when I was being taken advantage of, I just stopped doing it.
Do I mind if you pay me less than what we agreed to? No, no, perfectly fine! Can I stay later to work even though I really need to go right now? OF COURSE! Anything you need. My time has no value at all. Oh, you’re canceling our plans for the third time in a row? Yah, let’s meet up next week! Cancel again if you want, I really like it!
And, so on.
It becomes even harder to stand up for ourselves when the other person has something we want; whether it be friendship, love, a job, or the big one- approval. Do we risk saying “I’m not okay with this” even if it gets a negative reaction? What if we are totally honest and they rip the thing we want from our grasp? Is it worth it? My answer is: HELL YES.
We are treated the way we allow ourselves to be treated. If we allow someone to take advantage of us from the start, it becomes the norm. This doesn’t mean he or she is a bad person, we’ve all taken advantage of someone from time to time, it just means they don’t know any better. They don’t understand your rules because they aren’t you. Every time you speak up, you create a rule. That way, everyone involved understands when a line has been crossed and issues can be cleared away much more quickly.
And if by chance you lose the thing you want by owning your worth, my guess is, you’re better off any way. Eventually you’ll find the person or thing you need by being 100% your authentic self.
I guess little Shayla was on to something. Since it’s Halloween and all, I’m going to the cauldron to call up my 3rd grade self. She knew what was up.