To achieve harmony, you please your partner by being agreeable to what they want. Eventually, you must learn how to stick up for yourself in a relationship.
Learning how to stick up for yourself in a relationship can be daunting, especially if you’re the type who dislikes confrontation. Or you are the “people pleaser” who doesn’t want to upset their partner.
How to stick up for yourself in a relationship
You think it’s easier to just let everything slide rather than risk starting an argument that escalates the conflict and puts a strain on the relationship. But as you are about to find out, being a constant pushover harms not only you, but the relationship itself in the long run. In these moments, the best way to deal with an overbearing or manipulative partner is by learning how to stick up for yourself in a relationship.
#1 Know your worth in the relationship. Start by knowing your worth in a relationship. Relationships are symbiotic. Both partners depend on the other in some form or another. When one party forgets their worth in a relationship, it is easy to feel that they don’t have a say in anything or their feelings don’t really matter much.
This way, they can be bullied, coerced, or manipulated by their partner. Knowing one’s worth gives the necessary confidence to assert your fair share of respect and recognition in the relationship.
#2 Know your worth outside the relationship. Acknowledge that you have worth outside the relationship. If you feel taken for granted, you can easily break off from the relationship and choose to be with the people who accord you the respect and value you deserve.
Some people make the mistake of assuming that there’s nothing else for them except the oppressive relationship they are in. Making it easy for their partner to get what they want. Once you make your partner realize you have leverage in the relationship, they give you the respect you are due.
#3 Be assertive instead of aggressive. Assertive is positive and constructive while aggression only fosters further conflict. When standing up for yourself, always take the higher moral stance that moves in the direction of preserving the relationship.
Choose your words carefully and match their attitude accordingly in a discussion. An assertive person holds their own in a conversation and stays firm on their beliefs without being accusing or demeaning.
#4 Don’t be intimidated by increased decibel levels. There are moments when things take an ugly turn and a simple conversation escalates into a shouting contest. Some people assume a louder voice will be an easy ticket for them to get people to do what they want.
Remember that the louder the voice, the emptier a threat it usually is. Let your partner raise their voice. Stand firm, be calm, and casually move the conversation back to topic.
#5 Don’t be intimidated by silence. There are some who prefer using the silent treatment over verbal abuse to emotionally submit their partner to their will. One shouldn’t be intimidated by this either.
If you want to know how to stick up for yourself in a relationship with a partner who constantly withdraws affection and gives you the silent treatment, you need to learn to call out their act. Point out their manipulation to get what they want instead of opening a discussion. This way, they realize that using the silent treatment is futile and they will be forced to enter an adult discussion.
#6 Communicate what you want clearly. People understand things better if it is handed to them straight and unadulterated. Being in a relationship sometimes makes us tread very carefully with our words, and sometimes keep our opinion to ourselves to avoid hurting or upsetting our partner.
This self-censorship seems thoughtful at first, but it leads to miscommunication and misunderstandings sooner or later. That’s why people say what they want clearly even if it may make your partner feel uncomfortable.
#7 Learn how to say no. If there is a decision that you clearly have misgivings in, or simply presented with anything that makes you uncomfortable, learn how to say no and own that answer. Being a yes man in a relationship ultimately causes undue emotional distress and feelings of oppression. Learn to say no if you feel strong disapproval even if it disappoints your partner.
#8 Don’t be afraid to point out that your partner is wrong. If your partner is wrong, call it to their attention. In the end, you do your partner a great service by pointing out a wrongdoing that could have otherwise have caused trouble or embarrassment.
People are normally apprehensive in doing this as they fear they might anger their partner. However, if you explain your motive in pointing out the wrongs, they will appreciate it.
#9 Be diplomatic at all times. Standing up for yourself doesn’t mean you take the role of the overbearing and manipulative partner who dominates their partner in every way. Always go for the higher moral ground. Practice fairness and diplomacy especially when discussing something where you both have different opinions.
Consider your partner’s point of view and be empathic towards their feelings. This way, they respect you and treat you as an equal in the relationship.
A one-sided relationship is unhealthy and is bound to crumble eventually. This is why, you should learn how to stick up for yourself in a relationship and prevent harm, to you and your relationship.