Dedicated to anyone who hesitates to speak up on their own behalf; for anyone who has ever felt intimidated by another person, younger or older.
Several years ago, I created an assertiveness course for a continuing education program at our community college that I named Victim to Victor. Like most writing, it sprang from some of my own struggles to becoming assertive.
The first few sessions attracted mainly women in their thirties and forties but gradually grew to attract a wider group ranging in ages from late teens to fifties and including men as well as women.
Clearly many people needed language and behaviour strategies to stand up for themselves.
Step One: Awareness
Becoming aware of our rights is a first step. If I asked you right now to tell me your first three rights, I wonder what you’d say. If we don’t know our rights, anyone can trample them.
We each bring our backgrounds to our present handling of situations that might cause us to feel like a victim. Perhaps if you recall instances when you have felt “walked on”, you might come up with some rights.
If I share mine I’d love to hear from you about what you think.
My top 3 rights are:
- The right to choose how to earn my living (as long as it is legal)
- The right to choose how I want to be happy.
- The right to be treated with respect.
I have two more:
4. The right to grow spiritually as I see fit.
5. The right to associate with the people of my choice.
In the next part we’ll talk about how we might respond when we feel like a victim.
What we say to ourselves about ourselves has the power to demoralize or uplift us.
Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies and are often far tougher on ourselves than we are on anyone else.
Without lying to ourselves, we can “reword” negative self-talk so that we can feel more hopeful about changing habits and achieving the success that we deserve and desire.
Think about your own circumstances in which you feel like a “victim” and how you can change those circumstances using the chart below:
Read Part III of this article series HERE