Standing up for myself

As a woman with anxiety, I am inherently a people pleaser. I find myself worried about making other happy to the extent that I worry about the people driving behind me and if they are annoyed with my driving. Having a pleasing personality often times mean being taken advantage of, or even bullied. I am often seen as the weakest link because of my caring personality. It can make going to work difficult at times because over the past four years in education many teachers have walked all over me because they know I work hard and they manipulate me to do their work and just take their attitude.

However, today I was resolved to make a stand. One of my fellow teachers is very negative and incredibly rude to other staff members, and me most of all! Strange since my husband is the vice principal, you think she would suck up to get on his good side! Anyways, she often talks over me, shoots down my ideas, and talks through my lessons when I am co-teaching. Today we had our team meeting she talked down to me and attempted to throw me under the bus but I stood up to her, in a professional manner that may have been laced with sarcasm, but it felt good! She didn’t say anything else and left without a word, which is highly unusual. I hope that she realized that I am not going to be pushed around anymore and I will not stand for it. I have to admit I was incredibly nervous and even shaking a little. However, I think I needed to do it so I could stop being the doormat. I am a strong woman and I deserve to be treated with respect because I have always treated her with respect.

There were times during the day when I felt anxious, and I am actually feeling a little anxiety as I am writing this, about what happened. I don’t like making anyone unhappy or uncomfortable. However, this can cause me to sacrifice my own comfort and happiness since I focus so much on making sure others needs are met. I hope making a stand is not going to ruin the treatment of my students in her class or the professionalism we must conduct while at work. The only reason I am there is to ensure my student receive the best possible education so they can create a strong future for themselves.

Have any of you been through something like this? And how did you handle it?

20 thoughts on “Standing up for myself

  1. There was a time when I had a bit of a “not-give-a-crap” what others think of me when I know I’ve done nothing wrong, but over the past few years I have cared more and more about others and it has brought me much more anxiety…
    …I care about others’ happiness, even when they don’t care about their own happiness.

    I wish I had advice, other than “Don’t let it get to you”, but sadly that’s all I can think of saying…

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  2. I can relate. I often go out of my way to make sure people are not unhappy at me; their unhappinesss itself – or the mere possibility of it – give me anxiety. But instead I end up letting them walk all over me and afterwards I get angry at myself for letting it happen – again.
    But the few times I have stood up for myself have felt so good… until I started worrying that I was somehow being “selfish” by putting my own happiness above theirs. Arrgh, this anxiety really sucks sometimes…

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  3. I appreciate where you are coming from. My eager to please nature has often meant I’ve put my own needs well and truly aside for pleasing others. And I’ve learned the hard way that the other people don’t appreciate or respect you for it.
    I haven’t given up on being amiable and easy going and somewhat of a “yes” girl. But I only offer what I can give without negative impact on me.
    I am learning to create boundaries so that I don’t cause myself unnecessary harm and suffering. It’s really not easy, but I keep working on it. I’m sure we’ll both get there in the end!

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  4. It’s hard to do…and there is alot of social pressure to ‘go with the flow”–I sometimes get the feeling that I’m surrounded by raging drunks who cannot bear to hear the word no..some of that need to people please is built into our culture…

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  5. I identify with this so much!! Focusing now on really teaching myself to say “no” to people and not be a push over. My former roommates used to walk all over me and treat me very badly but I stood up to them calmly by showing them that I had done my research about the legal rights I had as a tenant. That shut them up pretty quickly. The only thing about standing up to others is that you shouldn’t stoop to their level by putting them down. Stand up for yourself but maintain your integrity and dignity. Don’t become as horrible as the person you are standing up to.

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  6. Go you!! It takes courage to defend yourself, but it feels so much better afterwards than being walked over. I know during the event you probably felt some extremely high anxiety mixed with the worry that standing up for yourself would make things worse. Chances are, now that this woman sees that you’ll say no to her, she’ll leave you alone. 🙂
    Wow! You just really made me think about my own people pleasing nature. I’m the exact same way.
    I recently turned down a job offered to me by my friend’s husband. It was the exact job I was looking for–doing marketing, event planning, social media, and general PR for their event house. I had to stand my ground with my no because I knew I’d end up being completely taken advantage of by his demands–that’s why his other PR person quit. Being friends with his wife would make me even more cautious about saying no to extra duties. I decided to take the proactive route and tell him that I was uncomfortable about working for friends. Fortunately he was understanding.

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  7. I am a big people-pleaser! I haven’t quite figured out how to overcome it yet. I think for right now I’m just trying to gain more confidence in myself and my worth in Christ, and to know that my value doesn’t come from what other people think about me. Thank you for your honesty in your posts–I can really empathize with how you’re feeling.

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  8. Hey, I know this is an old post, but when I looked at the date and the subject matter, I had to laugh. Around the time this was written last year was when we had a management change at my old job. It was not for the better and my supervisor acted in similar ways as you describe. I was also at a loss for how to proceed–it’s a tricky dance to try and stand up to your boss. But around February I had a chance and took it. My boss backed off immediately. 😉 Good for you for having courage.

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