Sometimes you get pushed. Hard. Maybe just once. Maybe several times. Perhaps over a period of years.
You sit back and take it. You turn the other cheek. "You can't argue with irrational people," you say. "Besides, if I said or did anything they'd just retaliate." Or you simply decide to play by the rules. Regardless, everyone has their limits. And you've finally reached yours.
Then you decide it's time to take off the gloves. It's time to fight back. You can no longer condone what's been happening. The feeling in your gut tells you it's time to act.
Now, mind you, I'm not talking about a physical fight. Or any other violent acts for that matter. I'm not talking about wildly lashing out at the subject of your pain. I'm not talking about being mean-spirited, vindictive, or passive aggressive.
I'm talking about standing up for yourself. Drawing a line in the sand and proclaiming, "Here I am. I will no longer accept how you treat me. You're out of line. Here are the ways you've been so. Please stop. Leave me alone."
And in your mind you hear the faint echo of the words, "no more."
Now, even your best sentiments may not have their desired impact. Your passionate, articulate plea may fall on deaf ears. That's unfortunate, but not necessarily fatal. Because you've established and committed to defend a boundary. The other party knows it. They may not like it. They may not accept it. But they have little choice to acknowledge it.
And you no longer have to live in fear and anxiety. You no longer have to concern yourself with them. You've stated what you want and need. And absolutely no one can undermine the steadfastness of your conviction. You're proactive, and no longer reactive. In short, you now act consistently and confidently, your feet planted firmly on the ground.
You've taken off your boxing gloves. You're fighting back.