This is such an important topic for a thread. I'm really glad you started it.
GGrand and Quirky both mention avoidance and that used to be me also. I found it frustrating that if I was defending someone else I would stand up and confront the bully (and yeah if someone tells at you cruelly that is bullying). But I would ignore it if they were being mean to me and stew on it later.
Most of all I'd end up angry at myself for not having the words to defend myself. For getting shaky and going all red and flushed as I do.
After surviving a very bad time where I was suicidal something changed in me. A person here wrote to me and told me something that changed my world completely.
She told me...
- I am a worthwhile person.
- I deserve the same courtesy and respect as everyone else.
- I have the right to ask to be treated as I treat others.
- I have the right to be angry if someone is rude to me.
What do you think of those statements? Do they help you at all?
It was very hard to learn to speak up. I still blush bright red and shake and feel sick. But it helps me afterwards to know I refused to be treated badly.
What did you think of what Quirky said about speaking calmly? This I agree with totally too.
Because I fall apart when someone is yelling at me I had to plan in advance what things I felt able to say in a confronting situation. For example it depends on where you are and who is yelling.
At work I have a few polite but firm options which won't get me in trouble with a manager such as "I understand you're frustrated but being yelled at makes me uncomfortable, stop please". I give two warnings and then if they continue I get a manager. I'm not paid to be abused.
In relationships I say I'm happy to talk about this when you feel able to talk without yelling at me. I walk away if they do not stop.
If it is someone being nasty in public I speak loudly and clearly so people around can hear. I say simply... Don't speak to me like that again, it's not ok.
No please. No other explanation. I have every right to refuse to be abused. So do you. If they keep yelling I ignore and immediately leave without comment or reaction.
Would it help you to share the circumstances you're in so we can brainstorm ideas that might help in your situation?