Isle of Bute looking towards the mainland

Competent, capable, different not disabled

Standing up for ourselves

One of the challenges I am working through at the moment is how to develop into a mature adult in all areas of my life. This involves many different steps and stages. One of these is learning how to stand up for myself.


Standing up for yourself is hard for anyone, but is particularly difficult for spectrum folk because:


· We might not recognise bullying or unreasonable situations so we might not know that there is anything we should be standing up for ourselves about.


· We might have experienced so much rejection in our lives that we have learned the unhelpful and wrong rule that we must always go along with whatever other people want (people-pleasing), just in order to be tolerated and not attacked.


The good news is that in adulthood, it is possible to choose safe situations and safe people for ourselves, and we are much better able to minimize the amount of time we spend with people who reject us or who are abusive.


You can stand up for yourself by using the word “no” when you are asked for something that is yours but that you do not want to give.


Some things that are yours include:-


· Your thoughts

· Your feelings/emotions

· Your time

· Your money

· Your choices

· Your body (and other people’s access to your body)


Because these things are yours, you alone are responsible for these things.


This means that you alone have the right to decide how much of these things (if any) to give to others.


The rule is to only give these things when you truly want to, and not out of fear or obligation.

When you are asked for something that you do not want to give, you are allowed to say “no” (verbally or non-verbally).

When you do want to give it, you can say “yes”. You can also choose to give to a limited extent, for example: “Yes, I will talk to you on the telephone but I will only give you 20 minutes”.

To contact, e-mail:

Isle of Bute, looking towards the mainland