Imagine a time where someone made you do something you didn’t want to… Or maybe they did something to you and you didn’t stand up for yourself. Trust me, I’ve been there and it sucks. I was bullied as a kid because I never learned this critically important life skill. I never thought that I even deserved to learn this invaluable life skill… but what is it?
How to Stand Up For Yourself
It’s how to stand up for yourself, command respect and set boundaries so other people don’t step on you like a flaming bag of dog crap on your front porch. Because if people don’t respect your boundaries, they’re not going to respect you. If they don’t respect you, they can’t love you or have your back. They’ll leave you to rot the first chance that it’s convenient.
Ask me how I know.
People will prod you and your friends will tease each other. Most of the time, you can let these moments slide because they’re in good fun. In those cases give as good as you’re getting.
But sometimes, it’s not fun. Sometimes it’s someone crossing a line in the sand that you need to firmly push back on. You don’t have to turn into an asshole who explodes at every little thing to be firm. Nor does it mean doing it in an ungraceful, low-status way. In fact, when these opportunities present themselves you can show how high-status you are. And in this series, we’re going to cover some skills you can learn to make standing up for yourself as easy as petting a soft, fuzzy and happy puppy! Starting with an everyday example I encountered where I learned about the power your voice carries.
Because if you can’t command respect in these forgettable moments then you won’t get respect when it truly matters.
Here’s the story:
There he was, a tall and fairly good looking guy in his mid-thirties with a struggling artist vibe… ignoring me again.
He worked at one of my favorite coffee shops and he wasn’t rude, but he acted like he was above me. I’d ask what’s going on in his life [always nothing], or about his hobbies [he had those] or even if he liked where he worked [fine] but always caught attitude from him…
Have you ever had this happen to you before? Where no matter what you did or tried someone always acted high and mighty around you? If you’re like me you’ll find it rampantly repugnant… Next time, try using a deep, powerful voice tonality you can easily, naturally and quickly develop to stand up for yourself.
Because notice and become aware that people have visceral reactions to higher status individuals. For example, people act differently around the local homeless guy asking for change vs. how they act around the boss strutting around the office like a king. It’s because we’re social animals and we’re unconsciously hyper-vigilant to the levels of status the people around us have.
But if you don’t want to check out the full article above, here’s the short version:
- Rapport Seeking
- The ‘customer service voice’ where someone speaks in a higher voice tone
- They’re rapport seeking because they’re seeking for people to like them
- Rapport Neutral
- Just as it sounds, this should be your natural voice, except for most people it isn’t. They’ve been conditioned for so long to constantly use a higher-pitched voice to ‘be friendly’
- Rapport Breaking
- The voice tone of someone with authority and power, and one we’re going to play with
- Think of the policeman who asks for your license and registration once they pull you over. Are they using a higher-pitched voice? Or are they commanding you, even if they’re technically asking a question?
And the vocal badass himself, Barron Cruz, who I learned from:
The Experiment to Instantly Gain Respect
After watching the above video, I decided to give the rapport breaking tonality a try the next time I saw Mr. Aloof.
Imagine the scene; walking into the coffee shop with the sight of customers on their laptops and reading their morning papers. Listening to the movements of everyone hard at work while the different smells of coffee, tea and food float in the air… only to come to a screeching halt when a dismissive worker lazily asks in an annoyed tone:
What do you want?
With the advice of the video fresh in my mind, I mustered up the policeman’s tonality I’d been practicing and spoke with strong, unflinching eye contact of a man in charge:
Hey. How are you
It was an instant and immediate difference!
What happened next still amuses me to this day because growing up as an insecure nerd I’d never had anything like this happen to me! Sure, I was well on my way with making friends and did alright with women, but this was new. Someone looked at me like I was a man of real power for the first time!
To be honest, since then, doing experiments like these has become addicting for me.
At first, Mr. Aloof looked up, as if waking from a dream and truly looked at me for the first time. Noticing my strong eye contact and hearing the powerful voice tonality he fumbled over his words for a moment.
Uh… f-fine. Thanks, how are you?
Then he looked down and smiled (an ENORMOUS sign of submission). After that, he’s been warmer towards me and has real conversations with me. Even starting some himself!
A Challenge For You
My challenge to you: try out the three different tonalities and see what happens.
Go to a brand new coffee shop, or store or where ever else. Try to talk to one of the cashiers there using a rapport seeking tone. Then go back and use a rapport neutral tone. Then, finally, go back and use a rapport breaking tone.
If you’re like me, you’ll get a slight high from this experiment. Because not only can you gain respect from people, but it’s a fun way to smash through your comfort zone! And you’re practicing one of the necessary skills to powerfully, smoothly and rapidly command respect from people and stand up for yourself when it matters.
Because you’re a man worthy of respect and people are going to respect you if want to be around you.
Confident, powerful and high-status men know they’re high-status. One reason is because they don’t allow people to step on them and most importantly, they believe in themselves even if nobody else does.
And you can showcase confidence, power and high-status through your voice.
But sometimes, that’s not enough. People will try to cross your boundaries, your lines in the sand and you need to push them back to stand up for yourself. Which is what we’ll go more into in the next article in this series.
Keep Moving Forward and Stand Up For Yourself