I have this really annoying habit sometimes of making sure that everyone and his dog is happy before remembering to look after my own needs. I am getting better I must admit, but sometimes I have to remind myself that I have the same bloody basic rights as everyone else and do not always have to have the smallest slice of cake or end up forking out for the cab fare home just because every other bugger is skint ( or drunk).
So why do we often end up believing that other people deserve to be treated better than we do? Why do we end up often being a bit of a martyr but deep down seething that we have allowed someone else to treat us like a freaking doormat? Why do we swallow our words when someone is rude to us or takes credit for the work that we have done? Why do we think that it is more important that other people are happy than making ourselves happy? Why do we treat others with nice words and encouragement yet we criticise ourselves and beat ourselves up with a big fat hairy stick?
One of the neat little tricks that I use to prevent me from walking all over my own needs is to remind myself of my own Bill of Rights. I stick this up on my wall as a reminder to validate my own needs, opinions, and boundaries with other people effectively. It also is a great reminder to stand up for myself without violating the rights of other people.
MY PERSONAL BILL OF RIGHTS
1) I have the right to say what is on my mind
2) I have the right to be happy or sad
3) I have the right to express my own opinions and beliefs
4) I have the right to change my mind
5) I have the right not to make a decision until I am ready to do so
6) I have the right to say ‘ I don’t understand’
7) I have the right to say ‘ yes’ or ‘ no’ without explaining myself
8) I have the right to feel ALL my emotions
9) I have the right to accept or decline help without undue shame, anxiety or guilt
10) I have the right to decline responsibility for other peoples problems
11) I have the right to change my mind if I feel like it
12) I have the right to be illogical in making decisions
13) I have the right to my own time
14) I have the right to say ‘ I don’t care’
15) I have the right to set my own rules and priorities
16) I have the right to be listened to, and taken seriously
17) I have the right to make mistakes
18) I have the right to my own friends and acquaintances and how and when to spend time with them. I may, but don’t have to, justify these choices to others
19) I have the right to choose if, when and how to respectfully tell others how their actions are affecting me and to take responsibility for doing so
20) I have the right to take all the time I need to evaluate and make important life decisions. If this stresses other people, they are responsible for asserting their needs and I am responsible for balancing them with mine
21) I have the right to distinguish between who other people SAY I AM, and WHO I REALLY AM
22) I have the right to choose how and when to fill my needs, even if my choices conflict with other people’s values or wishes.
23) I have the right to decide if and when, I choose to forgive my mistakes or anyone else’s mistakes.