Why you don't stand up for yourself and how to start

Being able to stand up for yourself is a major part of maintaining your integrity and sense of self. Unfortunately, it’s hard to do and often puts you in tough spots. So, it’s understandable that many people don’t do it.

Still, today is as good as any to start. If you don’t know how, here’s how I did it.


Why we don't stand up for ourselves

I recently quit my second job. While it didn’t feel great at first – uncertainty is a scary bitch – after a couple of days I started to feel a lot better. Since it was the first time I’ve ever been bold enough to quit at job directly, I’m kinda feelin’ myself.

Looking back at why I rarely stood up for myself in the past, I can see that it was only fear that held me back. At the time I denied it because it didn’t feel like fear, just a feeling of paralyzing unease. Does this sound familiar?

We often forget that emotions don’t always feel like we think they should.

When it came to standing up to my boss and eventually quitting, I had many unrecognized fears:

  • What if I’m wrong to feel this way?
  • What if I get fired?
  • What if they hit me?
  • What if they blow up at me?
  • What if I’m embarrassed?

At the base of all these questions lies doubt in my ability to handle what may come my way. I know I’m not the only one who deals with this. I’ve dealt with this in increasing intensity for the past … all my life. Most people don’t experience it as crushingly as I do, but everyone has worries like this from time to time.

Experiencing doubt and worry is not only normal, but healthy. How you handle these situations is all that really matters.


How to start standing up for yourself

The best way to get better at standing up for yourself is to stand up for yourself. The more you do it, the easier it will be and you’ll come to know yourself better as well. For a lot of people who can’t or have a hard time dealing with these issues, they have a long history of learning to do just the opposite.

I was bullied and otherwise abused a substantial amount as a kid by adults and peers alike – even my own mother joined in on the fun. Through all of this, my mother held firm that I was always to hold my tongue and be a better person, especially when it came to her offenses. After years of this crap, I learned that not reacting would make the various abusers get bored and I’d feel a false sense of power and control.

Years of holding my tongue and being the “better” person gave me a fear of responding to conflict – especially with authority figures. Inevitably, I start to feel angry, scorned and resentful toward the people who’ve hurt me. Instead of working it out through calm conversation, I usually end up running away somehow – until I started taking small steps.


Express your preferences – Building complex habits, like standing up for yourself, often happens due to simple preferences. For example, most people like to be liked and will hide parts of themselves if they’re not certain to be accepted. So, they may do simple things like refuse to pick where to eat and default to “I don’t care,” when asked about a problem they’re experiencing.  

An incredibly effective way to turn this around is to simply figure out your preferences and express them every chance you get. Even if you hate something, but are kind of meh on another, being able to narrow down where your heart lies is an important skill. It can help you identify things in your life that are dragging you down.


Admit when people have hurt you – People have a tendency to excuse their pain as unimportant. In truth, the pain we and others experience is real, valid and important enough to deal with. When people say or do things that hurt your feelings or cause negative emotions, say so.

Telling someone they hurt you is a difficult task; hell, it’s hard enough just admitting to yourself that you’re hurting. There’s so many negative reactions the other person can have and there’s no way to stop them from reacting in a way that compounds the pain you’re feeling. Still, people are better than we give them credit for; they’ll usually try to feign concern, even if they don’t empathize or sympathize.

Even if the other person does happen to have a wild overreaction or become unworkably defensive, that alone is important information. Why should you surround yourself with people who would treat you that way and react so badly in the face of your truth? You shouldn’t and, if they do, you can write them out of your life accordingly.


Educate yourself – A lot of life’s small struggles turn into life-long battles is because we simply don’t know there’s another way. If we don’t know there’s another way to live, we can’t begin to work towards getting there. So, your best defense is a strong understanding of what it takes to be content in yourself and lead an authentic life.

If you’ve landed here, you’re on the right path. If this particular piece didn’t speak to maybe there’s another here or somewhere else that will connect with you in a meaningful way. You might want hop over to my sweetie’s new blog TheBudPup.com for a different take on these issues.

There’s a ton of incredibly helpful podcasts, blogs, books, movies, activities and communities available to you thanks to your old friend Google. Also, you friendly neighborhood therapist might be a great resource, even if you don’t think you need therapy.


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How to write your own user manual

It’s pretty much a universal truth that life is hard. In fact, just living life in a body is hard. The fact that this shit didn’t come with a user manual is a cosmic joke. Luckily, you don’t have to be the butt of that joke anymore.

As a person who has depression, anxiety, panic attacks and impulse control problems, I’ve been looking for a user manual for years. Recently, I stopped looking and decided to write the damn thing myself. It turned out to be an unparalleled resource. So, I wanted to share it with you.


Personal User Manual Instructions:

The purpose of this form is to lay out instructions for how to live your best life. Don’t be afraid to think on a question and come back to it. Skip any section that doesn’t apply to you.

For this to work properly, you must be honest and vulnerable. This is your instruction manual for yourself; you don’t have to share it with anyone. Yet I would suggest that someone in your life should have this, too, so you’re not the only one who knows.

If you have a partner or best friend, filling this out together can be a very intimate experience. This manual may be useful to your doctors, therapists or other professionals.

The Personal User Manual is a living document. Feel free to add/remove or change any part of your answers at will. If you’re working with an old playbook it won’t be as effective, but it’s important to know where you’ve been. Revisiting how you used to live or what used to work can be very helpful.

If you’re ever confused about a question, just answer it in whatever way you think is correct. If you have any suggestions about ways to make this better let me know: Jerome@ltasex.info


Critical Info




Diagnosed conditions:


ICE contact(s):

Primary care physician:


On a scale of 0 (terminal) to 10 (perfect) my health is:

Diagnosed conditions:

Potential undiagnosed conditions/symptoms:



My health makes it difficult to:

Physical limitations:

When I'm sick, I need:




On a scale of 0 (none) to 10 (complete), my overall confidence is:

On a scale of 0 (none) to 10 (complete), my confidence in my physical attractiveness:

On a scale of 0 (none) to 10 (complete), my confidence in my capabilities:

On a scale of 0 (none) to 10 (complete), my confidence in my decision making:

On a scale of 0 (none) to 10 (complete), my confidence in my ability to sexually please my partners:

On a scale of 0 (none) to 10 (complete), my confidence that I am deserving of love:



I would describe myself as:

I’m really good at:

I’m really bad at:



I need help with:

On a scale of 0 (completely submissive/follower) to 10 (completely dominant/leader) I am:

On a scale of 0 (none) to 10 (all), I prefer to make ___ my own life decisions:

On a scale of 0 (none) to 10 (all), I need ___ guidance:

When I need help, I will:

I work through my emotions by:

Things you should watch out for with me:




My mood is generally:

Things that make me happy:

Things that make me sad:

When I’m sad, you can:

When I’m mad/angry/annoyed, it feels/looks like:

When I’m mad/angry/annoyed, I need:

What I need to be content is:

What relaxes me is:

When I’m relaxed/content, it feels/looks like:

What stresses me out is:

When I’m stressed, it feels/looks like:

What gets me pumped up is:

When I’m pumped up, it feels/looks like:

Things that make me anxious:

Things that scare me:

Things that will hurt my feelings:

Things that annoy me:



For fun I like to:

My favorite food(s) is/are:

My favorite beverage(s) is/are:

My favorite alcoholic beverage(s) is/are:

My favorite vices:

I should avoid these vices:

I should avoid these vices when I'm not in good place:

My favorite thing(s) to listen to:

My favorite things to watch:  

I need about ___ hours of sleep. When I don’t:

I need to eat about ____ times a day. When I don’t:



I need to have sex about ____ per _____. When I don't:

The type of people I have sex with are:

The type of sex I like to have is:

How to arouse me:

How to turn me off:

My favorite fantasies:

Something I'd like to do more of is:

My kinks and fetishes are:

On a scale of 0 (not at all) to 10 (completely), I'd rate my sexual satisfaction as:

I need help with:

What I need from a partner/relationship:



Traumatic experiences:

Happiest moments:

I prefer my chosen or biological family:

These people are not good for me and I need to avoid them:

These people will always help me, if I need it:

These people love and support me:

How to make me feel loved and cared for:

On a scale of 0 (not at all) to 10 (completely) I have resolved my “issues”:

The “issues” I’m still working on:

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