To Stand Up For Yourself? 10 Tips You Can Apply Right Away

To stand up for yourself

Every week you find yourself in different situations in which you should stand up for yourself. Yet you often don’t. Out of insecurity, fear or shame.

We dare not ask for a raise or tell our partner that we have had enough of the restrictions imposed on us.

It could be that you’re just being extremely polite, but it could also mean that you don’t think you deserve to be treated differently.

Do you have trouble standing up for yourself? Do you feel that people often walk all over you?

Read on and discover the 10 easy ways to stand up for yourself every day.

Purpose of this article: You will learn why standing up for yourself is necessary in this world. You will also receive 10 valuable tips to become more assertive and to say no when necessary in your work and relationships. 


Standing up for yourself is important

There are many situations every day where it is necessary to know how to stand up for yourself.

For example, if someone takes your spot in the parking lot, if someone jumps in front of the queue, or if your colleague gossips about you to your boss.

Sometimes it’s easier to avoid conflict and just do what others want. After all, conflict causes a lot of stress and that can be annoying.

But did you know that if you let people walk all over you, you experience stress just as well?

To stand up for yourself

Scientifically Proven: Failure to learn to stand up for yourself can seriously damage your self-esteem,  research shows .

Assertive people often suffer less from insecurities than people who cannot stand up for themselves.

This does not mean that people who use aggressiveness or even physical violence are appropriately assertive. You don’t have to punch someone in the face to stand up for yourself.

Being assertive doesn’t mean you have to fight every person who looks at you the wrong way.

Taking a stand can be as simple as saying “no” when you’re tired or simply refusing to listen to someone you disdain.

Take a few seconds to determine what assertiveness is for you, and then you can create a plan for standing up for yourself.

It is about defending yourself in a communicative clear manner. That you believe in yourself and take control of your life back into your own hands. It’s your life, so control should be in your hands.

When you learn to stand up for yourself, you feel stronger and you become stronger. This will finally allow you to fulfill your own dreams, making you more successful and even more attractive.

Because people who walk their own path and know what they stand for are irresistible.


Assertiveness and self-confidence

Assertiveness means much more than just standing up for yourself.

Being assertive means: 

You can be assertive and still respect others. That means you have healthy boundaries.

Sometimes it seems peaceful to go along with the demands and wishes of others…

But in reality, assertiveness—asking for what you want, saying no when needed, and enforcing mutual respect—is much more effective at building confidence and self-esteem .

According to psychologist Randy Paterson , assertiveness is a way of defying the fear you have of standing up for yourself and setting your own limits.

For example, this fear could be that you think people might think you’re a whiner or think you’re selfish if you stand up for yourself, which would not help your self-confidence.

But just when you stand up for yourself, when you can set your boundaries well, your self-confidence grows.

To stand up for yourself

Not being assertive makes it easier to be ignored, exploited, or even bullied. As a result, you may feel sad, depressed, frustrated, or angry. It hurts your self-confidence.

Here are three easy steps to help with your confidence:

  1. Identify the aspects of yourself that you like. Try to list at least five positive things about yourself. These can be things you know for sure that will help you deal with the negative image you have of yourself .
  2. Change the way you think about yourself with your list of positive qualities. Use that list to remind yourself of your special talents. Tell yourself that you are just like everyone else with both strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Change the way you behave. Pick someone who has the qualities you admire and just imitate him or her.

When we have low self-esteem, we compare our own feelings of insecurity with those who seem much more confident. But you can learn to behave more confidently.

When speaking in front of a group, for example, speak clearly and louder. Do not walk bent but keep your back straight.

It’s important to act confidently by not looking away or looking down, and smiling often.

The more you practice this, the more natural it will be and the easier it will be to stand up for yourself.

Standing up for yourself at work

In any workplace you will usually find people with these four personalities:

Passive or submissive

Those who are submissive do everything they can to avoid conflict and in most cases they fail to deal with problems.

While they may seem like they’re keeping the peace, they just don’t allow issues to be spoken or resolved.

Passive Aggressive

Passive-aggressive people tend to express all their negative feelings through actions rather than words.

This may include being late for work or making only partial effort at work.


These people always react to different situations by alienating others in an extremely hostile, annoying and rude way.

Yes, aggressive people often speak their mind, but the way they do it also makes them a lot of enemies.

To stand up for yourself


People who are assertive thrive in the workplace, especially in ambiguous situations. They stand up for themselves in a way that doesn’t hurt the feelings of others. They are very transparent in their dealings with their colleagues and are clear and honest in their communication.

They also provide better results by controlling their immediate environment in a very positive way.

Assertive people are confident, which means they effortlessly gain the respect of people they work with.

Dare to ask for a pay rise

Suppose you have been entitled to a raise for a long time and your boss seems to be doing nothing about it.

Even if you know you deserve a higher salary, like many people, you may be hesitant to ask for a raise.

You have three options:

  • You can do nothing, but then you will be stuck on the same salary indefinitely.
  • You can look for a job that pays more.
  • Are you asking for a pay rise?

Obviously, sitting around and waiting for your boss to make the first move hasn’t worked so far, and looking for another job can be quite a hassle.

The only option that can be beneficial for you at the moment is the third option. What do you have to lose? All you might hear is no. And then you know that.

Dare to stand up for yourself

Lilian, the director of a small library in North Holland, says that as a director she was always very gentle, until three years ago.

“I always let people walk all over me and because of that I was often quite unhappy. †

Until one day that changed.

She had made a minor mistake at work and a female co-worker, who was known to be a bully, emailed Lilian’s personal email address about it. She had put the board in CC.

Lilian acknowledged the mistake, apologized and asked the employee to send emails to her business email address instead of her personal one. Then she received the exact same email in her business email.

The next day she was confronted again by the woman about her mistake, in front of other employees.

Lilian exploded. She stood up and said, “As far as I’m concerned, this conversation is over. You made yourself clear. I have apologized. And now it’s done.”

The woman replied, “Ha, now we finally have a headmistress”, and walked away. This meant that Lilian had finally shown her assertiveness, which was necessary for this job.

Lilian says this changed her forever. She has discovered the power of her own assertiveness and freed herself from bullying and people walking all over her.

Standing up for yourself in a relationship

A one-sided relationship in which the other always determines everything is unhealthy and will inevitably fail.

This does not only apply to the relationship with your partner, but also to that with your children, your friends, your parents or your in-laws.

That is reason enough to learn to stand up for yourself and become more assertive .

Not being assertive will not only damage your self-esteem, but also hurt the relationship itself.

The best way to learn to deal with a manipulative partner is to stand up for yourself. That can seem scary.

Especially if you are a person who does not like confrontation or if you are a “people pleaser” and always want to please everyone.

You may think it’s easier to just let everything go rather than start a discussion with your partner, which may end in a conflict.

Maybe you’re just afraid to argue and put your relationship on the line.

But precisely when you learn to stand up for yourself in a clear and loving way, you make your relationship and your life easier and healthier.

To stand up for yourself

Know your worth in a relationship

The first thing to consider when standing up for yourself in a relationship is how much you are worth in that relationship.

A relationship is symbiotic where both partners are dependent on each other in some way. This can be emotional or financial.

When one of the two forgets his or her worth, it’s easy to think that it doesn’t matter what he or she thinks or feels. In this way, they are taken advantage of and their partner can manipulate them more easily (unknowingly or not).

Realizing your worth gives you the confidence you need to command respect and recognition in a relationship.

Know your worth without a relationship

Some people assume that there is nothing but the oppressive relationship they have

† They may be afraid of being alone because they think it will make them feel lonely and unhappy. It is then easy for their partner to get what he or she wants.

But when you communicate what you want clearly and directly, people understand you better and give you the respect you want.

If you want to know how to stand up for yourself in a relationship, remember that. There is no need to keep your opinion to yourself and walk on eggshells because you are afraid of arguing.

In addition, your self-esteem when you are single should be just as high as it is in a relationship. Recognize that you also have value outside of your relationship.

As a result, when you are taken for granted by your partner, it is easier to end the relationship and surround yourself with people who give you the respect you deserve.

Below is a video from Adam Galinsky about standing up for yourself (note this video is in English:

10 Tips That Help You Stand Up For Yourself

How do you best stand up for yourself now?

Here are 10 tips that will help you become more assertive in a calm, respectful and loving way.

1: Be transparent and authentic

Sometimes that can be difficult, but when you learn to express yourself honestly, it feels like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.

We so often hide behind our fake smiles and nod along instead of saying what we think.

That’s really tiring!

It does take some practice, but you can learn to be authentic (true to yourself) and open about what you feel and think. That’s the first step.

Once you get into the habit of speaking up without being overly accommodating or defensive, people will be more likely to listen to you.

2: Take small but powerful steps

If you have trouble with assertiveness, take small steps.

Even walking with more confidence (head up, shoulders back) can already help you appear more confident and feel that way.

Use that confidence when dealing with others.

You can apply this attitude to any area of ​​your life. Do you find it annoying when someone jumps in front of you in the queue at the checkout?

Politely ask them to join the queue.

Do you receive an invoice from the energy company that you do not agree with? Call them or submit a notice of appeal.

To stand up for yourself

3: Keep calm when someone bullies you

As your confidence grows and it becomes easier for you to express yourself, you will also have to deal with people who want to overwhelm you.

There will always be people with an aggressive personality.

It’s important to stay calm, but assertive, when you feel someone is bullying you.

Don’t allow yourself to become exhausted, emotional, or hit back on the same level because of this.

Just don’t pay attention to it and stay calm. Keep the credit to yourself. As you do this, you will find yourself building an unprecedented self-confidence.

4: Listen to yourself

Sometimes you don’t realize what exactly is eating you.

Maybe you don’t agree with the system at work, the way people treat each other and you, or your partner’s vacation plans.

Listen to yourself and determine exactly what causes you stress. By figuring this out and then speaking up about it, you lessen the control it has over you.

Remember, people can’t read your mind. If you don’t put into words what’s bothering you, nobody will know.

5: Clarify yourself without getting emotional

It’s tempting to be complacent when you think you’re right.

From your perspective, you’re just defending yourself against someone who’s completely wrong.

But it’s important not to give in to the tendency to react emotionally.

Instead, take a deep breath and calmly explain your perspective to the other person.

Avoid accusatory words or aggressive language.

Make it clear what you mean and listen to the other person’s answer. Only then can you have a real conversation.

6: Practice makes perfect

Once you get used to what it’s like to stand up for yourself, it’s time to practice asking for what you want.

When someone says something you don’t agree with or when you’re forced to do something you don’t want to, say something about it.

To stand up for yourself

Research shows that it takes about 60 days to form a new habit, so keep practicing your assertiveness for two months.

You will be amazed with the result.

7: Be Purposeful

Here’s a situation that many people recognize: sharing an office space with a messy co-worker or a house with a slob.

Perhaps you often don’t say anything, which only makes you more annoyed.

It can be tempting to show passive-aggressive behavior, such as aggressively washing the dishes or making nasty comments. But this only creates more stress on you.

Try to be purposeful instead.

Tell the person how you feel about something without blaming. Use clear and direct language.

Then propose a simple solution that will help to improve the situation, such as:

“If you take a minute in the evening to tidy up your space, that would be really nice.”

8: Defend your own time

Time is valuable and limited. And yet we often feel compelled to give it to someone or something that doesn’t deserve our time.

But we have the option to just say no.

Sometimes you don’t have a choice, such as when your boss says a project has priority and has to be finished before a certain time. But don’t let obligations dictate how you spend your day.

You are in control of your own time. Postpone when necessary or remove people or situations from your life that make you unhappy and take up unnecessary time.

9: Know that your feelings and actions are yours

No one can force you to feel or do something you don’t want to.

Your beliefs, your emotions, your thoughts and your ideas are yours. No one has the right to nullify it.

On the other hand, it is of course also true that you do not have that right to do that to others.

If you do this, there is little chance that a solution to a conflict will be found or that an open discussion can take place.

To stand up for yourself

10: Constantly standing up for yourself at a higher level

Standing up for yourself is not easy. As said before, practice makes perfect. You don’t learn how to stand up for yourself in one day.

With these exercises and tips you are well on your way to standing up for yourself better. Still having trouble setting your boundaries? And do you want to be more assertive when necessary? Then I have the solution for you with one powerful method.

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