So much contradiction lies in the messages we receive about standing up for ourselves. Some people tell us to stand up for ourselves while others tell us to keep our mouths closed. Many people who say “Stand up for yourself” mean “Stand up for yourself if you agree with me.” If you don’t agree with those people, you are “wrong”. Being “wrong” can get you ostracized or hurt. Many of us are left to walk a tight rope while staggering like a drunkard. Peace-keeping in an angry society can be quite exhausting.
I think what adds to confusion over the issue is some of the representation of “standing up for yourself”. Often this idea is presented in a “shout it from the roof tops” kind of way. That doesn’t fit with everybody’s personality. Some people are not shouters. Some people are quiet and/or gentle types. Can quiet types “stand up” for themselves if they are unwilling to get loud? I believe they can. They just go about things differently. Sometimes “standing up” for oneself involves expressing your right not to shout, your right to stay seated and quietly observe. Sometimes “standing up” for oneself can involve walking out of a room without saying a word. Sometimes “standing up” for oneself is calmly saying “Lets agree to disagree.”
If you have struggled with this issue, know that you are not alone. I think many people are on this ship with you. I’m talking about a Noah’s Ark size ship.