On Standing up for Myself

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I’ve been practicing standing up for myself.

It’s really, really hard.

This morning, I wrote a strongly worded email to a co-worker.  She made a decision about an issue we have been debating for weeks without my consent. Then when I questioned her actions, she acted like she had full authority to make a decision on my behalf. My hands were shaking as I wrote this email, I was so upset. But I did it. And I pushed send.

This evening, I confronted a former friend whose wife (for no fault of mine) didn’t want us to be friends. He reached out to me on Skype asking if we could talk sometime. I wrote him  a strongly worded message telling him I will not talk to him unless his wife initiates a new friendship. And I pushed send.

A few days ago, when asked out over text, I responded to a guy I’d gone on a few dates with I would not go out with him again because I was sick of the long silences and I wanted something more serious. And I pushed send.

These might not seem like brave interactions to most people, but for me, they are very different ways of interacting with people. New ways. Courageous ways.

I sometimes get annoyed that most of my responses are over social media. Somehow, my most meaningful interactions all seem to be channeled through technology. Email. Skype. Text.

But there is a very strong possibility that I would not be able to say all of these things in person. Not just yet.

I’ll get there though. Ever so slowly, I am coming to believe that I am worth standing up for. That I should be and can be treated as well as I treat others. That I should and can expect respect, fairness and honor from people I invest in. And that when I don’t receive those things, I should and can communicate my worth in a way that the listener can hear.

I’ve been practicing standing up for myself.

It’s really, really hard.

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