Sometimes speaking your mind is harder than it should be. Whether it’s confronting an intimidating coworker or telling your BFF you don’t approve of her abusive boyfriend, occasionally we find ourselves hushing our hearts in difficult situations. This is a huge problem because the more you hush your heart, the more likely it is to freak out, and eventually get into screaming matches with people. No one likes a fight, but what do you expect when you bottle up your feelings? Of course they will ultimately Molotov Cocktail your relationships.
But the good news is you don’t have to wage war to have feelings or let them be known. All you need is honesty and love, and you can never go wrong. Sounds too simple, right? That’s because it is.
Personally, I absolutely abhor confrontation of any kind. The lyrics to the theme of the cartoon The Grinch Who Stole Christmas also double for how I deal with conflicts– wouldn’t touch them with a thirty nine & a half foot pole, dude. But coping with quarrels and clashes has become much simpler for me now that I’ve found self-assuredness in being sincere. Here are the tips I used for myself, and I hope they help you stop stressing out and start speaking up too.
1. Speak From A Genuine Place
This is very important, not just for this particular skill set, but for interacting with others in general. Make sure that you are acting from a genuine place. Really look at why you are feeling the way you are feeling. Sometimes, it may be out of an insincere place; the most common being jealousy, contempt or frustration. That’s fine if you feel those things, but those are YOUR issues, not anyone else’s. You should always do your best to act from a place of love. It doesn’t matter if it’s self-love or love for another, what’s important is that it should be because you are standing up for the well-being of yourself or someone you care about.
2. Have Confidence In Your Intentions
Now that you know you’re acting from a place of love, when you speak up, have conviction in your feelings and your intentions. You are entitled to your feelings and you are entitled to express them appropriately. Of course, this doesn’t mean that people are going to necessarily like them. They may try to tell you you are wrong, or try to make you feel like a bad person for feeling the way you do. Guess what? You’re not. You’re not wrong for having feelings and you’re definitely not wrong for looking out for the welfare of yourself & those you care about. If who you’re talking to doesn’t like what you have to say, you just take stock in the fact that you know what your intentions are and so does the universe.
3. Articulate Your Feelings Logically
Dude, do not just be like, “YOU KNOW, IT REALLY BUGS ME WHEN YOU DO THIS.” That is not acceptable. We’re working on being adults here. If you are going to speak up, be able to articulate how you feel and why it is problematic. Being able to rationally explain why you are feeling this way and why it is an issue will help you stay confident in your opinion, as well as instill confidence in your opinion with who you are explaining it to. You want the person you’re addressing to take you seriously, so don’t be vague or wishy-washy. This should be pretty easy if you know your intentions. If you cannot articulate the how and why of your feelings, then you should probably take another look at the first step, because they’re probably stemming from totally not-legit reasons to be getting up in someone’s grill about.
4. Handle Yourself
Speaking about getting up in someone’s grill, yeah, don’t do that. There is no need. All you have to do is stay focused on your intentions and stay calm. You’re not there to fight, and you’re not there to prove them wrong. You are there to simply bring to light how you feel and hopefully, find a solution to a problem. By getting angry with them, you are only defeating yourself and the issue you are trying to have resolved. As I said in step three, you want people to take you and your feelings seriously. You’re not some kid on the playground threatening a fist-fight. You know what happens when kids fist-fight? The recess aides come and put an end to it because obviously they can’t handle themselves. You’re not a child, so don’t handle yourself like one.
5. Know When To Walk Away
Some things may never be resolved– especially right there on the spot– so it’s okay to walk away. This isn’t about winning, it’s about being honest with yourself and the people in your life. And you did it. You were honest. You let them know how you felt. So, go ahead, walk away. Walk away with your chin up knowing that you spoke your piece, that you acted from a place of love and that you were an adult about it. Judging by what I see on reality TV, this is something rare and definitely something to be proud of.
Eventually, all this will be second nature. No more prepping or pumping yourself up; you’ll just be able to have your feelings and confidently express them because you’ll know exactly where they are coming from– your heart.