In order for someone to both survive and thrive, it will be essential for them to have the ability to stand up for themselves and make it clear when something isn’t acceptable. This will allow them to protect their physical, mental and emotional self.

There will be moments when they will need to be assertive when they are around people they know and people they don’t know. In other words, this will be something that they need to do regardless of who they are with.

It’s Missing

However, although this ability is a key part of being able to handle life on planet earth, it doesn’t mean that everyone will have it. Consequently, when someone is in a position where they don't have it, they are going to be like a sitting duck.

It is then going to be normal for them to be walked over by the people they know as well as the people that they don’t know. They are likely to experience a lot of anger and frustration and carry a lot of resentment around with them.

For example

They could often do things that they don’t want to do, put up with being put down and even have moments when they are physically harmed, for instance. Thanks to this, they could often feel like they are another person’s possession.

Thus, another person will be able to do just about whatever they want to them and one won’t be able to do anything about it. If they spend a lot of time feeling hopeless and helpless, it won’t be much of a surprise.

How life is

If this is how their life has been for a very long time, this could just be seen as how life is. There is then not going to be a way for them to change their life and they will just have to tolerate what is going on.

What is clear is that they won’t be in prison but it will be as if they are serving a life sentence in an invisible prison. There could often be moments when they question if they can carry on any longer, with them thinking about calling it a day.

Stepping Back

If they were able to mentally detach from how they experience life, they could wonder why they find it so hard to stand up for themselves. What they could find, if they were to imagine doing this, is that they experience a fair amount of anxiety and fear.

As opposed to this being something that is positive, it will be seen as something that is negative. Standing up for themselves will be seen as a threat to their very survival, not something that will serve them.

Another part

Additionally, what will stand out, when they imagine standing their ground, is that they don’t feel strong and powerful. Instead, this will be a time when they feel weak and powerless.

At this point, they could struggle to understand why standing their ground is so difficult and why they lack the fire that they need to protect themselves. Like a car without an engine, they will lack the oomph that they need to not only protect themselves but also embrace life.

What’s going on?

If this is how they have been for as long as they can remember, it could show that their early years were not very nurturing. This may have been a time when their aggression/fight instinct was practically knocked out of them.

It might have simply not been safe enough for them to be connected to and express themselves. If they had stayed connected to and expressed themselves, they would have probably suffered even more.

What Happened?

What this may illustrate is that this was a time when they were often physically harmed and neglected. This would have deprived them of the love that they needed to grow and develop in the right way.

Feeling unsafe, insecure, unloved, worthless, ashamed, rejected, terrified, unwanted and bad would then have been a normal part of their formative years. Their priority would have been to survive, not to grow and expand.

One option

In the beginning, then, they may have resisted what was going on but, as time passed, they would have just tolerated it. Being submissive and not putting up a fight would then have been what protected them or at the very least minimised the amount of damage that was done to them.

As they would have been powerless and totally dependent at this stage of their life and their parent or parents were like giants, being hypervigilant and attuning to their needs would have been essential. The pain and arousal that they experienced would have ended up being automatically repressed by their brain.

It’s over

Now, while this stage of their life will be over, this won’t be something that they realise at the core of their being. Due to the pain and arousal that they are carrying in their brain and body, a big part of them will still perceive life in the same way.

This is why it won’t feel safe for them to embrace their aggression/fight instinct and stand their ground. Doing so will be seen as something that will cause them to be harmed and for their life to come to an end.


If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, inner child and inner awareness. With over two thousand, eight hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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