Self-Advocacy is generally defined as being when someone acts or speaks out for themselves, in a bid to effect personal change, correct imbalances or inequalities or to improve their quality of life. In more general terms, it’s simply about being able to articulate your needs and make decisions as to how best to meet your needs.
Does this ring a bell? You find yourself pushing your own needs to one side in order to look after the needs of everyone else. You run yourself into the ground to bend yourself backward to do this favor and run this errand to make someone else’s life easier.
It’s easy to be overrun in all of our relationships. It generally leads to resentment and a breakdown of the relationship, and that affects your overall happiness. What often happens in relationships (romantic and platonic) is that we are so focused on keeping them happy, we lose sight of our own happiness. We give in to things without a fight, and they have no idea what is happening inside. You can be a doormat without the other person expecting or demanding that you are, but when you don’t set boundaries you are inviting this upon yourself.
• Set Boundaries and Stick To Them. It’s important to know your boundaries, express them, and then stick to them. If you explain your boundaries and then allow them to be constantly overrun, they are entirely useless. So, be firm. When you say no to people they may be disappointed, but they will soon realize that this is how it is now. You’re not saying no to be cruel or to punish people, you’re simply looking after yourself and improving relationships by creating equality.
• Be Open and Honest. If you feel as though you’re being taken advantage of then speak up. If you are unhappy with certain things, then be open and honest about your discomfort. The other person can’t make important and necessary changes if they don’t know there’s a problem. Be clear, not cruel.
• Create Time For Them. You can’t foster a healthy relationship if you are unable to make time for your loved ones. So, carve time out in your schedule for date night with your partner or a coffee catch up with your bestie. Everyone is busy and we all understand that, but you should always make time for your friends. It’s good for your mental and emotional health, too.