One tactic that I have started to employ that I find aids me with dealing with the tough situations is to verbally tell myself that I have nothing to lose in stating my opinion and finding my voice. When I find myself with my back against the wall, the reality is that I do not want to live that way. So thusly saying the truth or just giving my opinion becomes a little easier. I know that I may say something that my partner, friend, family member may not like, but if upon hearing it they choose to react negatively then that is on them. I spent a long time being very proactive in presenting my view points in a way that will ruffle as few feathers as possible. And the reality is, I find more and more I get mis-understood for being too soft or sensitive.
The fact of the matter is, I pretend to be much more sensitive and understanding on the outside then I actually am. It is of course a defense mechanism to prevent my family and friends from attempting to burden me with all the weight of their issues. I spent many years being the shoulder to cry on for the people in my life. It just really wears a person down at the end of the day. I was getting to the point where if I needed a night out to vent about my frustrations or just dance my problems away, I would get two words in before I was listening to someone’s sob story. I realized that I could not change those closest to me, so I did what I needed to, which was to change how I reacted and how I presented myself.
If someone is going to tell me their issues, then I make sure that the time spent on their issues are reciprocated. Or else their issues are just not important enough for me to hear, or make suggestions about. Because of these recently self taught skills, I am now on the level of learning to make my voice heard rather than just a constant passive listener. I will give E, a lot of credit for telling me just how weak a story teller I can be in person. For it is true, not having the early practice of talking to anyone about events in my life resulted in the first few times I did it a genuine lack of interest. Which could have encouraged me to continue to be silent and only listen. However with his patience and guidance I am getting a little bit more confident in telling stories and anecdotes to those around me. To learning the social queues, and most importantly my first point in this blog, that if someone reacts negatively to my thoughts and feelings that it is on them. My voice is legitimate, and my feelings and emotions although rare, are valid. They are justifiable and I deserve to feel what I feel, and should not experience shame or insecurities when those around me pass judgement. I do not judge them, and I am mature enough to demand the same.
The risks are always worthwhile if you believe in yourself. If you are true to yourself, then no matter who you lose along the way, you will always have your voice. It may seem like you have everything to lose, but if you truly feel that way, then what you have may not be worth keeping if one opinion brings it all crashing down.