Monday, October 27, 2014

Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

Is it just me or do you ever feel hesitant to tell someone how you really feel about something? Maybe something has been bothering you for a while, but you haven't worked up the nerve to actually say something to the person for fear of....what, exactly?

I would consider myself a fairly non-confrontational person. I don't like to make conflict if there doesn't have to be conflict, and I don't like to say things that I know will make another person angry. But recently, I have learned that there comes a time when you just have to say what you feel. 

Sometimes, it is important for the other person to hear that you ARE upset, and that you MEAN what you are trying to get across. Sometimes, the other person doesn't even know that there is anything wrong in the first place, and the only way for them to know that you are upset is for you to tell them! 
Now, this does not mean that you have a right to lash out at someone and tell them your feelings in anger. Nor does it mean that you should always state your feelings in the heat of the moment. That often leads to some harsh words, maybe a few tears, and certainly a lot of regret. But if you give yourself some time to step back from the situation, gather your thoughts, and respond a bit later when you have a clear head, the outcome is almost sure to be better. 

In this time of "cooling off," you should think about exactly why you are upset. Do not use this opportunity to make a list of all the things that the other person has done wrong in the past. Really think about what is bothering you in this present moment. Also, try coming up with a way that you can tell the other person what is wrong without sounding mean and hurtful. (P.S. this is usually easier if you have someone you can run your "speech" by first). 

So the next time you find yourself in a situation that needs fixing, try taking a few moments to collect your thoughts before you speak. You have a right to say what you mean, but just make sure that you really mean what you say. If you don't, you might regret it later on.

Do you have any other advice for how to deal with speaking your mind? I would love to hear it!

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