Allowing yourself to speak up and learning to speak out about how you really feel can be freeing! But how often do we really allow ourselves that freedom?
You have a voice, learn to use it. Use your right to your opinions. We do have the personal right to our own opinions, and how we feel about things. Nobody has to agree with us, yet we are still allowed to feel how we feel.
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Why Don’t We Speak Up
Do you find yourself holding back? Not always speaking up or voicing how you really feel when around other people.
Perhaps only certain people or groups cause you to hold back. Do you self-consciously (or purposely) become the “peace-keeper” of the group or family?
Keeping the Peace or Disturbing it
Who made us the “peace-keeper” in the first place? Did we appoint ourselves? Why? Is it simply because we can’t tolerate conflict?
If this is the reason, then what about our own inner conflict? Is it worth the cost of our inner peace just to keep the peace for everyone else? Who decided that was normal or the socially acceptable thing to do?
Speak Up or Keep Quiet
Speaking up is honestly the smart option. Truthfully trying to keep peace on the outside is not worth the price of causing the war of conflict inside of yourself.
Keeping quiet just comes so much easier, even for someone like me that is normally talkative, loud and very outspoken. I was even a “bossy” child. My youngest daughter will tell you that I still do not hesitate to tell her how I think she should live her life. Old habits are hard to break, what else can I say?
I honestly try not to “(s)mother” my adult children. I just haven’t found the on/off switch for mothering. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
Voice your wants, needs and learn to compromise. I do believe compromises are the key. I also believe family and friends all want to compromise and be fair. But how can that happen if one or more of the group never speak up?
If the group is making plans that involve delegating responsibilities to each other you better learn to speak up. If you just always agree with whatever they tell you to do then you will most likely end up doing things you honestly don’t want to do.
Over time of just going along without speaking up, you will eventually build up resentment. Resentment is an emotional toxin. It generally only makes us feel bad as we say yes when our soul means no. And you can only blame yourself for not saying how you really felt in the first place!
Avoiding conflict in order to keep the peace is the only reason I can think of to stay quiet and not speak up for ourselves.
Why do we work so hard to avoid conflict? Are we really so afraid of conflict? Sure conflict can be awkward and uncomfortable. But is it really so awkward that it’s worth our own peace of mind?
Perhaps it’s more than trying to avoid conflict. Maybe we are afraid that our honest opinion might hurt the other person. So if you are sparing someone else’s feelings, then should you stay quiet? Even if it causes you pain and/or anxiety?
Social Grace or Social Anxiety?
Unspoken rules are so confusing to me! Right or wrong. We all have rights. Right to our own opinions. Right to freedom of speech. But when do my rights cross over the line of the next person’s rights?
Choices. We all have choices also. But what about when our personal choices also affect our family, friends and those closest to us? Then what? I seem to have a lot more questions than I’m finding answers to for this topic!
Avoid hurting others
Thomas Gordon wrote: ” Too frequently, we silence ourselves when we have feelings we think or feel sure the other person won’t want to hear. We often do this because we value the relationship and are afraid that it will worsen or even end if we say how we really feel. Ironically, without honest and open dialogue, there is no possibility of a deeper and better relationship. Silencing yourself contributes to the very thing you want to avoid. Further, if it’s anger, resentment or another strong negative feeling that you have, keeping silent doesn’t make that feeling dissipate. Just the opposite happens–the unspoken problem remains, distancing occurs and the relationship suffers as a result. ” See his full article here.
When others hurt you
Keeping quiet when others hurt us tends to be the easy way out, the adult way to again, avoid conflict. However, that does not help our injured feelings or ultimately the relationship.
Hurt feelings can and will fester more often than they will dissipate. Hurt and anger stays inside and eventually boils over. In the end, it will cause more hurt, anger and usually result in you distancing yourself from that person and the relationship.
What are the ground rules?
Are there any concrete ground rules for what is socially acceptable? When to speak up or suffer in silence to keep peace in general?
Obviously there are too many factors to be considered. Every person and every situation is different. No two will ever be exactly the same. So to answer most of my own questions, no there is not a set list of socially acceptable rules for when it’s always right or wrong to just speak up and boldly tell them how you really feel!
Although, you do need a plan! You need some kind of list of general rules for yourself. Otherwise, you will just go around speaking up loud and proud all the time. You won’t keep many friends that way I’m sure.
On the other hand, without any kind of general rules for yourself then you’ll always stay quiet at all costs. Even at the cost of your own hurt, anger and inner peace.
When is it Appropriate to Speak Up
Apparently, if someone is being mean or ugly to you, then I would feel you definitely have the right to defend yourself. Speak up, don’t be a push-over. Don’t allow others to be rude to you, but try not to lash back at them in anger.
Don’t remain quiet only to avoid conflict. Somethings need to be discussed.
Conflict can be constructive, and it helps to strengthen our relationships, giving us the opportunity to get to know each other on a deeper level, to meet each other’s needs, to stop resentment and other negative feelings from chipping away at the connection. And it’s critical for caring for ourselves.https://blogs.psychcentral.com/weightless/2018/07/do-you-regularly-stay-silent-to-avoid-conflict/
Speak Up to be Helpful
When speaking up and telling someone how you really feel it should be helpful. Speaking up for yourself is not a free pass to be mean and intentionally hurt other people.
Allowing yourself to speak up must be considerate, loving, caring and something that helps them and you. Above all, it should be truthful. At least the truth as you see it or believe it to be.
Do not say it or broach the subject when you are hurt or angry about the situation. You need to be calm and open to discussing the issue. There needs to be a possibility of a compromise. You also have to remain open to listening to their responses. Not just listen, but honestly hear what they have to say back to you.
Be ready to accept the fact that they may not agree with you. They may not like what you have to say. They honestly may not see it the same way you do. Remember you both have the right to your own opinions. But to honestly keep true peace everyone needs to be able to openly express how they really feel!
There aren’t any rules or guidelines to follow. I’m not even sure I answered all of my own questions.
Perhaps I offered enough thought-provoking questions that my readers will feel urged to engage with me! Help me out! Offer some answers or suggestions by leaving me a comment below! I love hearing from my readers!
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Until next time,
I am a retired/disabled nurse with a passion to help others. I am a mother to 3 adult children and Granny to 3 amazing little people! I have a love for writing and reading. I live with my 3 dogs and enjoy blogging!