Okanagan Panorama

Why do people not like me when I stand up for myself?

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As originally answered on Quora.com ... 


This question is looking for a specific answer, however not having met you, I can only give you suggestions based on possible reasons. It will be up to you to determine which applies to you and what you want to do about it.

Looking at your statement logically, if people do not like you when you stand up for yourself, presumably they do like you at other times, including when you do not stand up for yourself.

Interpersonal relationships develop for many reasons. If you usually do not stand up for yourself, that can be an attractive personality trait to someone who likes to control another. The relationship works for them.

When you ‘stand up for yourself’ you are changing the rules of the game. Sure, its their game, but for the most part, you are a willing participant in the game.

Other answers to this question have touched upon the concept of assertiveness however haven’t expanded upon it.

Simply put … assertiveness is getting what you want out of life, without it being at the expense of the other person. This is called a ‘win-win’ situation.

I’m making an assumption here but when you say “when I stand up for myself” it sounds adversarial. Assertiveness can be placed on a continuum. On one end, we have being passive, and we are assuming that you are until you aren’t. The other end of the continuum is where people are aggressive. Being assertive lays somewhere in the middle.

Some people believe that being aggressive is like bringing out the super guns. The best defence is an attack. “The bigger they are … the harder they fall!” That’s the way I was until I learned about being assertive.

Your question asks for the why. When you stand up for yourself, you may be threatening to the others. In addition to the reasons cited above, they may be insecure about themselves, you may be scaring them i.e. they could be afraid of losing your relationship, or they could jut be plain angry.

I often use a story in my clinical practice that I learned years ago “If the only tool you have in your toolbox is a hammer, then every problem you have will be a nail.” If standing up for yourself means lashing out in anger, then perhaps its time to develop some more tools.

Learning everything you can about assertiveness and putting it into practice can go a long way in improving your self-confidence but changing your interpersonal relationships into effective, healthy ones.

Thanks for your question and good luck with asserting yourself!

Rae Stonehouse

Author Bio:

Rae A. Stonehouse is a Canadian born author & speaker. His professional career as a Registered Nurse working predominantly in psychiatry/mental health, has spanned four decades.

Rae has embraced the principal of CANI (Constant and Never-ending Improvement) as promoted by thought leaders such as Tony Robbins and brings that philosophy to each of his publications and presentations.

Rae has dedicated the latter segment of his journey through life to overcoming his personal inhibitions. As a 27+ year member of Toastmasters International he has systematically built his self-confidence and communicating ability. He is passionate about sharing his lessons with his readers and listeners. His publications thus far are of the personal/professional self-help, self-improvement genre and systematically offer valuable sage advice on a specific topic.

His writing style can be described as being conversational. As an author Rae strives to have a one-to-one conversation with each of his readers, very much like having your own personal self-development coach. Rae is known for having a wry sense of humour that features in his publications.


Author of Self-Help Downloadable E-Books, paperbacks and on-line courses:


Power Networking for Shy PeoplePower Networking for Shy People: How to Network Like a Pro

52 Power Networking Tips: How to Network Like a Pro

PROtect Yourself Now!PROtect Yourself Now! Violence Prevention for Healthcare Workers

The Savvy Emcee: How to be a Dynamic Master of Ceremonies.

Power of Promotion: On-line Marketing for Toastmasters Club Growth

You're Hired! Job Search Strategies That Work: Available as an easily downloadable e-book or as an on-line e-course.

You're Hired! Resume Tactics: Job Search Strategies That Work

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You're Hired! Job Searching Success Tips List

Working With Words: Adding Life to Your Oral Presentations

Blow Your Own Horn! Personal Branding for Business Professionals

Make it Safe! A Family Caregiver's Home Safety Assessment Guide for Supporting Elders@Home


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