Speaking up for yourself does not come naturally for everyone and for those who’ve experienced trauma, you may have also been conditioned or directly told to stay quiet by your abuser(s). Learning to advocate for your own well-being is a very powerful tool in developing boundaries. Understand that your needs (even your wants) do matter, have value and deserve consideration. If there are compromises to be made, let them be made by choice not by coercion or control.
To begin feeling worthy of your own advocation and protection in the world, namely after trauma, start by noticing how you speak to yourself. What do you say internally when you make a mistake? “I’m such an idiot” or simply “I made a mistake, it’s ok” — how we speak to ourselves sets the tone for how we engage with the world. If -you- think you’re an idiot for making a mistake then how worthy do you feel of being acknowledged when you do things correctly? Like you finally did -something- right for a change, perhaps.
Calling yourself an idiot is just an example, your internal dialogue may be different. The detail to note is when your words to yourself are devaluing you, making you less than worthy. Even if you are clinically classifiable as an idiot, there’s no need to devalue your existence for being different. We accumulate these phrases throughout our life and the more we use them, the more we believe it’s true: I am an idiot. You are human and we all make mistakes, we are all imperfect.
It may seem a bit contradictory that a more gentle internal dialogue can help you better advocate for yourself, but it can. When you practice more self compassion and acceptance for who you are as a being in existence you’re able to recognize your worth. It is in recognizing your worth that you will become stronger in your will to advocate for your well-being. You do deserve to have your needs met and be shown consideration from others. And you can choose to excuse yourself from people, places or things that do not align with you.
A word of caution when developing boundaries and learning to advocate for your well-being. The world does not -owe- us anything. Yes you’re deserving of care and respect, yes you can advocate for yourself, no you cannot -expect- the world to cater to you. An expectation mentality fosters entitlement, not healthy boundaries. When a soul becomes entitled for compliance from others they begin to develop resentments and grievances with the world. Over time these negative feelings can become characteristics and lead to a lot more pain than peace for yourself and those around you.
We are all capable of choosing kindness, if we so choose. Many do not and may never desire developing their emotional intelligence in order to foster a gentler world and that’s ok. I personally believe we need the wars to appreciate the peace and I am actively aiming to share bits of things I’ve learned to help you find more peace, if you so choose. Nothing I share is backed by degrees or specific training on my part, I’ve simply been a psych patient since 2006 and I am sharing, to the best of my ability, tips and tricks that have helped me find more internal peace.
Be well, sweet souls.
If you identify with the neurodivergent community, would appreciate an adult space with a focus on support and betterment, I’d like to invite you to check out my discord server! Where shame, blame and devaluation are discouraged while compassion and personal growth are encouraged. The server is designated mature (18+) and minors are promptly removed. Multiple categories allow Members to decide what sort of content they’d like to see from the server using selections in the #about-you channel after joining. You’re invited!