Do you find it hard to speak up for yourself? Are you afraid of what might happen if you say how you really feel.
If you spent a lot of your life around unsafe people, at some point you probably decided that it’s better to stay silent about things that matter to you. In certain situations this is adaptive, but for most it isn’t
It is time to break your silence.
Practice identifying whether it’s wiser to speak up or stay silent.
If you, like me, tend to stuff your feelings and needs to avoid conflict or stay invisible. It’s a given that you need to speak up more.
Time, audience, tone of voice and truth.
When you identify that you need or want to say something, run it through these filters:
Is it a good time?
Will there be enough time to properly discuss it? Will you have the others person’s full attention? What kind of mood are they in?
Will this person listen?
Know your audience. I hope most people in your life will be willing to listen to you, and care about what you have to say. If not, you need to get some new people.
Sometimes difficult people are fixtures in our lives. This could be an insensitive boss, or a chronically unkind family member.
This type of person may have demonstrated repeatedly that they will not listen to you and don’t care. It’s generally unwise to express yourself to someone like this, unless the circumstances leave you no other option. Save your breath, you dignity and your emotional energy. A trained counselor can help you navigate this type of situation.
How can you speak, in order to be heard?
Tone of voice is key. If Your emotional, it’s best to wait for a better time. If you start getting upset during a difficult conversation, take time out and reengage when your calm. Work on speaking calmly and respectful, even if Your really angry and frustrated about something.
Sometimes the truth will suddenly come our during an emotional conversation, and that can be a good thing. It’s still more ideal to speak the truth while calm. Cultivate a tone of voice that helps you to be heard, respected and well received.
Know the truth
Before you speak up, get clear about what it is you need to say and why.
Pat attention why. Get clear about what is bothering you and why you need to speak up. Plan how you might express this effectively. Then choose your timing well.
Identify when you need to say no
Are you someone who needs to learn to say no? In a situation where you feel pressure to yes, but want to say no, clarify your why. You don’t have to tell the other person why. If you know why you have to say no. It will help you find the strength and the words.
Honor your emotions, notice that habit. What is the emotion you are avoiding or hiding? Practice identifying the truth of your emotions, and the way you hide them form others. What are you missing out on, because of this? How are you and your relationships suffering! When you are ready, if the situation is safe, start telling key people how you really feel.
Get wise help and support
As a I mentioned a good counselor can be very helpful with all of this. Together you can uncover and explore your most important truths, and the people you need to say thing to. They can help to formulate how and when to share these truths in real life. A wise friend or mentor can do the same thing.
If you’ve spend a lifetime pretending and hiding, it can feel really awkward and messy when you start to speak your truth. It’s still worth it.
It takes to much energy to hold all that truth inside.
What a relief it is to be real, when you find the courage and wisdom to do it.