How To Stand Up For Yourself (Without Being Rude)

Despite popular belief, being assertive is awesome.

girl standing by the road

Nowadays, you can't be nice to anyone without seeming like a total pushover. Whether it's in your love, school or work life, it almost seems as if the minute you stand firm in a decision, you're either ignored or labeled as a b*tch — especially if you're a woman. In fact, it's pretty much assumed that being "ladylike" does not include being honest, firm or direct in your opinions or beliefs.


That assumption is absolutely ABSURD.

Why is it so hard for women to stand up for themselves?

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Ladies, if there's one message that you take away from author John Gray, YourTango's Senior VP Melanie Gorman, Divorce and Breakup Coach Lindsey Ellison, International Dating and Love Life Coach Suzanne Muller-Heinz and Emotional Intelligence Coach Renee Jain's advice, it's this: 

You should never push your needs aside for someone else. Ever. 

According to the Greater Good Science Center, women are nurturers by nature. So we can blame science (and our genes) for making it really hard for us to say no to our partners without feeling bad. 


The Greater Good Science Center also found that "these [nurturing] tendencies may have been evolutionarily adaptive since we have evolved in communities where women’s primary responsibility was raising and protecting offspring who needed protection while men traditionally engaged in hunting and warfare."

But unfortunately, the perception that women must “behave” a certain way goes far deeper than that. Our society expects women to be meek, calm and to not rock the boat when it comes to situations in a workplace as well as at home. These expectations can make it increasingly difficult for a woman to state her needs or desires, because doing so can allow other people around her to assume that she’s being b*tchy, mean or rude.


So just how can you learn to set better boundaries in our your relationship?

These YourTango experts stress that even though we're genetically inclined to show more compassion than men, it doesn't mean that we absolutely must give up our own happiness for the sake of finding love or being accepted.

And we couldn't agree more. There is a difference between asserting yourself to get what you need and throwing a tantrum in order to get it. Men are typically praised for their assertiveness and confidence, whereas women are condemned for it.



But that doesn’t mean that being forthright with your needs and expectations is bad!

Trust us, their points on why being assertive — and most importantly, being yourself — can affect your life for the better will put everything into perspective. Any romantic relationship you’re in will be affected by your decision to assert yourself and show your true colors. And although it might be difficult to do so, it’s unbelievably important to be true to yourself.

Because let's face it. Are you really willing to settle for a relationship where you can't even be honest about who you are?

We certainly hope not! 

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If you're struggling with this or any other personal or relationship problem, you can read our experts' articles and reach out to any one of them. They're here to help and they'd love to talk to you!