Many years ago I worked for a company that had an owner who liked to intimidate his employees. One particular situation I was just thinking about which was when he called the receptionist into his office and in front of several other employees he threw a pile of messages at her and then yelled his complaints about the notes to her and demanded that she pick them up off the floor. When I first heard about this situation, I remember my immediate reaction of what I would have done had I been that receptionist. I would have turned around and grabbed my things and left that office never to return.
I don't think that anyone deserves to be treated like that at work or any where else. I also believe that we should stand up for ourselves and that receptionist should have, but she did as she was told and got down on the floor and picked up the messages in front of all those other employees. I am not a confrontational person, I hate it in fact. In the past, I have stood in the shadows hoping to not create or confront difficult situations, but I have many times stood up for myself to the point of at least walking away.
Since therapy over the last few years, I have learned how to do more than walk away (oh, funny, the lyrics "just walk away Renae" popped into my head) to stand up for myself. I have learned how to use my words and feelings and to do so in an appropriate way. No screaming or yelling, but allowing some time to pull together my thoughts and then approaching the situation maturely and honestly. In the past, I would have just stewed on the situation and let it fester until I wanted to explode or run and hide.
A recent situation made me want to do both explode and run and hide, but I didn't. I stood up for myself, I used my words, I made sure I was calm before using those words and I stood up for how I felt. I still feel angry, I still want to run and hide, but I didn't and I know my therapist would be proud of me. Approaching difficult situations is really hard for me, but I stood up for myself, talk about making progress, I am actually proud of myself for doing so and I can see the strength that I wouldn't have had in the past. Standing up for yourself doesn't have to be a huge thing, just knowing that you did what you knew in your heart was the right thing to do is what is important and I feel like that is just what I did.