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Don’t Be Run Over: How to Stand Up for Yourself in a Relationship

A one-sided relationship is unhealthy and bound to crumble eventually. Which is why, you should learn how to stand up for yourself in a relationship.

As you will see, 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 stand up for yourself in a relationship.

How to stand up for yourself in a relationship

Standing up for yourself in a relationship is daunting. Especially if you’re the type who dislikes confrontation or are the “people pleaser” who doesn’t want to upset their partner. You think it’s easier to just let everything slide rather than risk starting an argument that escalates conflict and places a strain on the relationship. [Read: 20 most common people pleasing signs you may be overlooking]

#1 Know your worth in the relationship. The first thing in standing up to your partner is knowing your worth in a relationship. Relationships are essentially symbiotic and 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 are 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. [Read: How to stop being insecure in a relationship and find happiness]

#2 Know your worth outside the relationship. Acknowledge that you have worth outside the relationship. If you are taken for granted, you can easily break from the relationship and be with the people who grant you the respect and value you deserve.

Some people assume 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 that you have leverage in the relationship, they give you the respect you are due. [Read: Types of toxic relationships to watch out for]

#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. Specifically, 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 perceived as accusing or demeaning.

#4 Don’t be intimidated by increased decibel levels. There are moments when things take an ugly turn. 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 or to win an argument.

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. [Read: Relationship arguments and 23 dos and don’ts to remember]

#5 Don’t be intimidated by silence. There are some people who prefer using the silent treatment to emotionally submit their partner to their will. Don’t be intimidated by this either.

Deal with a partner who constantly withdraws affection and gives you the silent treatment to call out their act and 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. They are forced to enter an adult discussion. [Read: How to deal with passive-aggressive people and maintain your sanity]

#6 Communicate what you want clearly. People understand things better if handed to them straight and unadulterated. If you want to know how to stand up for yourself in a relationship, remember that fact because being in a relationship sometimes makes us tread carefully with our words. We sometimes keep our opinions 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 are encouraged to say what they want clearly even if it makes your partner feel uncomfortable.

#7 Learn how to say no. If you disapprove of a decision or simply presented with anything that makes you uncomfortable, learn to say no and own that answer. Being a yes man in a relationship ultimately causes undue emotional distress and feelings of oppression. Learn how to say no if you feel strong disapproval. No matter 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. Otherwise causing them trouble or embarrassment if another person points it out to them.

People are normally apprehensive in doing this. They fear angering or upsetting their partner. However, if you explain your motive in pointing out the wrongs, they will surely appreciate it. [Read: Rules to being a good partner in your relationship]

#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 especially in times of conflict. This way, they respect you and treat you as an equal in the relationship.

[Read: The 30 answers to the question of what makes a good relationship]

Most people want a harmonious relationship. To achieve this, we please our partner by being agreeable to what they want. But it is vital to learn how to stand up for yourself in a relationship too.

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