How to Not Let Bullies Get What They Want
One negative trait we share in the UK is passive aggression. There may be traits that you know you don’t have, have discovered and worked yourself out of before or have not yet acknowledged to be part of you. This doesn’t matter. If you are English you are likely to have experienced some form of passive aggression at some point, so this behaviour is worth looking at and defining more closely, in the same way that co-dependency and dysfunctionality are.
Going back to when I said ‘I’d been there’, I’m going to recount the time when I was shocked to discover the only people who trusted me were those from my background and the majority of people didn’t. I didn’t say what I meant. I let people walk over me. I was a people pleaser.
I couldn’t say what I wanted to. The part of me that thought what I wanted to say got beaten down by my internal editor (no magazine would want this one) and I imagined terrible scenes of what response I would get if I said it, which justified my reticence. This disparity in my life only became apparent when I was around people from all different backgrounds, but many people stick to others in their same social grouping. I can see why but: boring!
If you want to be alive you have to go through experiences and step out of your comfort zone. Luckily for me, I had parents who somehow taught and showed me to do that. It disrespects people around you to keep yourself to yourself. It doesn’t matter if you are quiet or loud, social or not, the biggest acknowledgement you can give to people around you is to take the risk of saying whatever you want to say.
They can always discuss it with you, agree, compromise or say no. The response you get is the biggest signpost towards confidence. When I started to speak up for myself there were some messes, some explosions from people who preferred me as a doormat and the end of some friendships. However, there was much more strengthening of friendships, getting more respect from people, more laughs and I gained a better idea of how to conduct myself in the future.