I used to be one of these people who would hold my tongue to keep the peace. I thought it was soooooooo Christian to let things slide. After so many years of doing that I finally exploded and decided that the best way of dealing with negativity is to weed it out of my life. As soon as I saw it coming my way I just headed in the other direction. I cut myself off from anyone who caused me undue stress, and I lived a quite happy, sort of lonely life.
But eventually I realized that many of the people who pushed my buttons were not going to go away so easily. After a few years of avoiding them I realized that I had sort of lost my ability to even manage these encounters without totally breaking down.
Then I realized…since when did being Christian mean that you should let people talk to you disrespectfully, or take advantage of your kindness. In essence ignoring those exchanges is a form of lying. You lie to yourself, when you tell yourself that what they say does not matter. You lie to them, and trick them into believing that their behavior is okay and appropriate in exchanges with you.
I have decided to kick that habit. If there is something I don’t like I stop, and address it head on, I try to address it with directness and patience. I try and understand the position of the aggressor. Cultural background, personal experience and educational level sometimes helps you to understand why that person feels that their behavior is okay. I try not to assume that they are being hurtful on purpose. I assume that they just don’t know or understand that the behavior that they are exhibiting is not appropriate for me and will not be tolerated…without consequences.
That does not mean make idle threats. If you must attach consequences, make them ones that you might actually follow through with. Don’t say things like, if you don’t (your demand here) I am kicking you out and filing for full custody, especially if you have no job and no intention on doing that. That is a lie and the more often you do that the less credibility you have.
Be a woman (or whatever you are)! Stand up for yourself respectfully, openly and honestly. Yes in the beginning you may have more conflict, but I believe as time goes on, and you are consistent with this behavior the aggressor in your life will begin to understand that you are not the one to mess with.