That snide remark from grandma, that rude checkout lady- how do you know when to let it run off your back like water into a stream and how do you know when to stand up and say something?
Recently I have been dealing with an issue with a company. I paid them for a service and they did not deliver.
I have gone back and forth trying to get some answers and now I am at the point where it is beginning to cause me stress and take up a lot of my time.
I think to myself that I should just let it go and save myself the stress, but where is the justice in that?
Sometimes there is a fine line between letting it go and standing up for yourself.
On one level if things are causing you stress then you need to just let them go and trust the Universe and karma to take care of the rest. But on the other hand, it is also important to assert yourself and stand up for what you want.
As I was having this debate in my mind, I decided I was going to form a plan of action. I figured that deciding when to let it go and when to stand up for yourself was a good life lesson I could learn and share with all of you.
Here’s what I came up with-
How to walk the line between letting it go and taking a stand:
Step 1: Remove the Drama
The first step in determining when you should let something go or speak up is to remove the drama.
Often our own moods or experiences can colour the situation and cause us to see things from a biased point of view. This can cause us to feel overly emotional and can also trigger our ego to rise up.
When we feel “wronged” or “attacked” our ego instantly likes to pull up the victim card and this can actually leave us in a powerless position and fuel a powerless mindset.
When looking at the situation, try to remove all the drama and any emotions, and just look at the facts.
Step 2: Is This Really Worth My Energy?
Once you have all the facts in front of you, ask yourself- Is it really worth my energy to pursue this any further or is my energy better spent focusing on other things?
If it is worth your energy, determine how much you are willing to give.
For example, say your friend is yet to pay you back the $50 they owe you. You decide it is worth your energy to pursue because you value the friendship and you want your money back. So, you decide to confront your friend.
Your friend however, never remembers such a thing happening and denies that you gave them any money. You begin to argue about it.
Even though it was worth your time and energy to confront your friend in the beginning, as your friend continues to deny it you may decide that you don’t want to give any more energy to the situation. Perhaps it is better to cut your losses and distance yourself from that “friend”.
Alternatively however, you may decide you want to dedicate a lot of your time and energy to this situation and perhaps you try to get proof to convince your friend and so on.
The decision is up to you, but first it is important to ask yourself the question- Is this really worth my energy?
Step 3: Do Unto Others
When determining how to deal with the situation, try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and ask yourself how you would like to be treated if the tables were reversed.
This can help you to see things from a different point of view and can also help you to find a solution quicker and easier.
It is important to also remember that people are going to treat you how they are going to treat you and more often than not, it has nothing to do with you.
Everyone is fighting their own battles and going through their own “stuff” so trying not to take it personally is important.
How you respond and treat people is your responsibility, so take charge of your actions and your words and use them in a way that sends out positivity, compassion and peace.
Your actions and your words are your responsibility regardless of how others are treating you.
Step 4: Teach People How to Treat You
If you constantly find yourself in the same situations or running into the same conflicts with friends, family or coworkers, you may have to think about how you are allowing yourself to be treated.
It may be ok to let things go once in a while, but if it’s happening repeatedly, this could be a sign that you need to stand up and take charge.
When confronting someone in a potentially conflicting situation, it always helps to use “I” statements. For example, “I feel upset by the comments you made.”
By using “I” statements, it allows you to take responsibility for your own feelings. It also prevents the other person from getting defensive, because after all, you can’t really argue with how someone feels.
Just the same, if you constantly find yourself getting into arguments with everyone and feeling stressed and irritated, you may need to learn how to let things go and work on other more passive techniques instead, such as removing yourself from the situation or choosing not to engage.
If you are the type of person that is quick to anger or get defensive, practices like meditation, exercise and breathing are great tools that you may want to try.
Step 5: Bring it all Together
Ideally, the best way to walk the line between letting it go and standing up for yourself is to find balance.
Essentially, you want to be able to speak your truth, assert yourself and then let it go.
Through this process, try to have compassion for the other point of view and try to see things without emotion and without playing the victim card.
Be responsible for your actions and words and take charge of the energy you are putting out into the world.
It is really important to stand up for yourself, but it is also really important to let things go and not allow other people’s energy to negatively affect you.
At the end of the day, life is really a balance between holding on and letting go, and the same applies here.
It is important to note here that if the issue you are dealing with is abusive in any nature, it is always important to speak up and share your story with people that you trust and that can support you. Abuse in any form is not ever something you should just let go, and this is absolutely a sign that you need to remove yourself from the situation as much as possible and seek support.