Speak Up

Confession: I feel completely vulnerable writing this post.  After all, who likes to shed light on one of our weaknesses? Well, here goes….shine the beaming light on it! I am ready to discuss.

Am I the only one who struggles with speaking from your heart? I am not just talking about in a relationship, but this pertains to work, every day interactions, emails etc. Specifically, I am referring to speaking up when you feel there is an injustice or you feel slighted in some way. It’s easier to do this with someone you feel extremely comfortable with (although that comes with its own set of challenges), but how about expressing your heart with someone whom you may not know how s/he will react.

Ugh. This is hard for me. You feel so exposed when you tell someone you feel hurt. It’s like you are fully naked and they can see your insides. My issue is I sometimes choose to ignore it, rather than face the hurt. It’s the cowardly way to exit the situation. But, you know feelings like these don’t ever really go away. They sit there, become stagnant, and sometimes grow into resentment or even worse, hate.

One of the reasons why I struggle with this is (1) I feel scared and (2) I get too emotional.  I’ve already discussed the fear of exposure, but let me go there about my emotions. I wear my heart on my sleeve (hence the name of this blog). It’s just who I am, but I cover it up when I feel threatened. If I do manage to get the courage to speak up, I usually get overwhelmed with emotions and end up crying at some point, whether privately or publicly. Totally embarrassing.  It’s much harder to get your point across when you are dripping with tears and other things coming out from your nose.

So, what do you do if you are like me? Stay quiet? Nope. I’ve decided now is the time to change this and get the strength to speak up. Below are some tips that have helped me do this.

Step Back

This helps with the whole emotional bit. It won’t completely eradicate it, but it will help give you perspective and strength to speak up. It’s amazing what time will show you when you allow it to. You build courage you never knew existed.

Share It

I feel very lucky that I have my dearest Mr. ShuGar, a loving family and some close girl friends I love. Whenever I feel the need, I can turn to any of them and talk it out. By doing so, you can gain perspective on how you want to approach the situation. You should always still listen to your inner voice, but those you trust can add a new dimension of insight into what you have experienced.

Note it

I am so forgetful these days. I need to be reminded why this is important to me and the particulars of the circumstance. This helps me detail how I want to respond, rather than spontaneously have a verbal diarrhea moment. It helps to jot down your key points so that you can understand your own thoughts and emotions.

 Practice It

Total nerd alert here, but I do practice my speech in front of the mirror! Several times! You know what they say: Practice makes perfect or something close to it. This can aid in memorizing the key points you want to address as well. I like to stare at how I am presenting myself. Remember, you can’t control what others think of you, but you can control how you present yourself.

Find THE Place

Whenever you decide to have “the talk,” make sure it is in a safe environment where you feel you can fully express yourself. Having this speech in line at the supermarket or in front of a crowd of people may not be the ideal situation. It also might throw you off of your game with all that you have been practicing.  I like to do this in my car or in a private room.

Just Say It

At some point, you are going to have to swallow your fear and just say it. Once you get going, you usually get momentum and everything else comes out naturally (if you practiced).  Don’t try to prolong the inevitable and change the subject a million times. Gather the strength to be the one to start off the conversation with something along these lines,”I need to talk to you about something that has been on my mind.”

I have learned to trust myself and my instincts. We are stronger than we realize. Embrace your heart and say it. It feels so good once you do.

Photo credit: Hurt Heart

Cup of ShuGar is a series exploring the sweetness of life. For more Cup of ShuGar, click here

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