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Thursday, May 27, 2010

My bill of rights

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.


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.


  1. I love the Personal Bill of Rights you shared! Is this something you wrote up for yourself? I have had this same challenge. Somehow I used to think that if I took care of my own needs that was being selfish! How not true is that?! Now I know that in order to give anything I must have it to give first!! You cannot give what you do not have! Looking forward to future posts...
    Susan Holsinger

  2. Thank you Susan, I am really glad you enjoyed this. I have developed this over the years from other snippets I have discovered. Lots of love and hope you are well xxxxxxxxxx