Personality Cafe banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,015 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Something that's been on my mind so much lately.

I feel like it's a long, hard, sweaty, dirty road for us Fe types to learn to advocate for ourselves.

So many times I haven't spoken up. So many learning opportunities where I've gone too far in the other direction speaking up too much.

Really, I'll probably always think everything I say is "too much", and have this niggling sense of guilt/doubt because my main method to get myself to speak up is to put a solid wall in front of my filter (which would rather I say nothing - honestly I can parse a sentence down until there's not a single word left, all with reasonable justification for each removal).


Anyway... what are the methods that work for you? How much crap have you been through to learn?
How loud do you think your personal environment forces you to be - is it more aggressive or more accommodating than most, do you think?

Finally... what are some broad lessons you've learned about self advocacy, and do you do it as often or as strongly as you encourage others to do it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,454 Posts
If I lived in an environment that forced me to be aggressive all the time, I'd probably be really unhealthy. I grew up with two pretty controlling parents (in different ways) and as a response to that, I grew to be pretty defiant and "strong-willed" as my mom would call it. In other words, I was a giant brat. And looking back, I was really hard on myself for this because I thought it meant I was just a bad person, that there was something inherently wrong with me. In time, I had help in realizing that I was rebelling against my environment and not that I just desired to be bad! To me, respect is something that is earned, not freely given and I guess I had that philosophy even towards my own parents.


In my friendships though, I didn't follow this for some reason. I was the opposite. There are often times where my husband gets more upset on my behalf about something someone did to me than I do (family or otherwise). Sometimes he unintentionally gets me fired up lol. If I was on my own, I often wouldn't care or see the problem - sometimes to my own detriment. He doesn't like seeing anyone disrespect me. However, we both tend to be aware of when it is wise to play a card and make a big deal out of something or not. So I think that's something that's always on my mind and important to take into account. Is it wise to speak up now? Will it really make a difference in the long run? Timing is everything, in a way.


I went through a time in my life when I was 18 where I was really tested to stand up for myself. Though during most of that time, I thought it was wiser to stay silent. I'd ignore it when I had to sit through several people who knew nothing about me giving me a lecture about how to conduct my life and why I'm wrong. I bit my tongue and held it in because I thought that was the wiser and kinder thing to do at the time. But eventually it all came to a head, especially when someone really goes over the line. I think a lot about what people say to me, I argue with things in my own mind, I find the points where I am wrong and where they are wrong. I construct arguments for why something is right or wrong. I don't always speak it though. It's funny what finally comes out of my mouth in the moment though, whenever I feel backed against a wall or it's just the last straw for me. Even my dad admitted that I handled myself well in that moment and he was not even in agreement with me entirely.


So I guess dealing with that early on in life taught me a lot about standing my ground and gaining strength in myself through these various experiences. There are times where I've still struggled though. It's not always easy. There are times I just have to bite my tongue because I know it's not worth it or won't be fruitful in the long run to say certain things. I try to measure whether something is fruitful to all parties involved before I speak. I often find that I can calm myself down without having to say anything anyway. Like I can talk myself out of being upset if I feel the reason I am upset is foolish. I'd say that it's also sometimes wiser not to speak because sometimes when you speak, you give away your power or energy and that feels off to me too. So I try to spend my power wisely. And if I want closure about something, I can always talk about it with the people who care about me. Or write about it etc. etc. There's several things that are cathartic. I guess that's part of what self-advocacy means to me -- valuing your own power and spending it wisely.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sour Roses

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,208 Posts
I look at what's preventing me from speaking. If it's fear (it's usually fear) then I acknowledge that I'm not speaking because I'm afraid.

The fear becomes a point of entry for inquiry. I inquire into the fear and its causes. I look for associations which come up with the fear. Often there are past experiences (childhood) which seem to be related to it. I examine all thoughts, feelings, images, sensations associated with the fear. If I feel my throat contracting I'll make a note of it and investigate which thoughts/feelings/images/etc... are associated with that pattern of contraction.

I write all this stuff down and meditate on it and explore into it until I feel there's nothing left in it for me to explore.

I've also found that the fear can be transmuted into false rationalizations. What I mean by this is that there's a kind of automatic process whereby my internal machinery will take the fear and start spinning out all kinds of rationalizations which generally look like either self-flattery or reasons which seem to let me off the hook in some way.

An example of this might look like: "It will hurt them if I tell them the truth. A good person wouldn't knowingly hurt the ones they love so I'll withhold the truth in order to prevent them from being hurt. I'm a good person protecting the ones I love from harm."

Really it's just that I'm afraid of telling the truth but my system will automatically rationalize the fear into a self-flattering identity if I'm not vigilant.

Those kinds of pseudo-rationalizations seem to justify inaction. They give me what appear on the surface to be good reasons as to why I didn't speak up but if I really submit those rationalizations to intense scrutiny I find they're not ultimately true and that really I didn't speak up because I was afraid.

Fear of conflict, fear of humiliation, fear of being seen as deficient/inferior/inadquate, fear they'll not like me, fear I'll say something false and be exposed as a fool, etc...

The method that works for me is that I do my best to ensure what I'm saying is true. I don't really know how to advocate on behalf of myself but I can advocate on behalf of what I value. If I've worked things out on an inner experience level sufficiently such that I'm absolutely clear on what I value and why then it's much easier for me to tell the truth and advocate on behalf of those values.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,188 Posts
[...]

Anyway... what are the methods that work for you? How much crap have you been through to learn?
How loud do you think your personal environment forces you to be - is it more aggressive or more accommodating than most, do you think?

Finally... what are some broad lessons you've learned about self advocacy, and do you do it as often or as strongly as you encourage others to do it?
I'm pretty easygoing, because I like to ponder things in their pristine state. However, sometimes people take advantage of this, and a person has to take action.

My favorite tool of the moment is Don't let others frame the situation: You frame it the way you want it. Manipulative people will give you a choice, A or B. Good for them. You want C, but you'll generously give them a choice of C or D. Take it or leave it, and forget about your A or B.

Though easygoing, I'm known to be stubborn to an epic degree when it suits me. People have learned that there's no reasoning with that nut deferring to my wisdom is often the best route; consequently, there's a good degree of accommodation in my day to day environment. Out of my day to day environment, I have to keep on my toes to ward off getting taken advantage of.

I don't (other than right now, on demand) encourage others to self-advocate at all. They get to choose how to live their own lives. When they fall flat on their faces, I'll generously say, "See? You should have known better"--before helping them up and dusting them off...
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top