Speaking out is about voicing your discomfort when someone makes you feel uncomfortable. It could involve confronting a romantic partner, classmate, or friend about things they say or do that make you uncomfortable. It’s not easy, but the most important thing you can do is tell others what makes you feel comfortable and let them know them they do make you feel this way.
Speaking out and standing up for yourself can be pretty scary. It’s normal to feel uneasy about standing up for yourself. Speaking out is a skill, and just like other skills it needs to be practiced. Being able to speak out is super important for making your relationships and friendships better. We have to let people know what they do that makes us feel uneasy, we have to talk to them in a way that is clear and get our feelings across in way that will make them listen with respect – and this is something that must go both ways in a relationship.
Everyone should feel comfortable expressing their feelings or discomfort.
If we don’t make others aware of the bad things they do, we are actually hurting them in a way; if we don't say anything it will make the problem worse, and they could end up hurting more people.
It can be difficult to start the conversation, so here are our top tips for speaking out. Hopefully these will make the talk a whole lot easier.
Make a list of the things that makes you feel uncomfortable, and then tell the person how they make you feel. As humans we generally don’t like being told what we’re doing wrong, so focus on how you feel rather than what they are doing wrong. If this is a relationship or friendship you want to keep, try not to come across as attacking the other person; talk about the problem in a calm and mature way. Don’t get personal.
After speaking out, if their response makes your emotions seem wrong, or they ignore the situation, it might be time to think about whether you still want the relationship in your life. At the same time, if someone points out things you have done in an effort to tell you about their own feelings, it’s important to remain mature and open to change. Be kind and try see their side of the story, as you hope they would for you.
Be patient but be firm. You deserve the best.
Change your perspective and uncover a way forward for you!
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