So here’s an idea (didn’t my grandmother once say this to me?): there is a time and a place for everything. And not any time and not every place is the right one.
Authenticity is groovy and all, but there is also a reason we learned to bite our tongue, to bide our time, and to pick the right spot when we were young. Here is some of what I am noticing (and hopefully learning)…
- Me sharing what is up for me is not necessarily always the best thing for the “third entity” of the relationship.
- If I am not coming from love when I stand and deliver – it can lead to more problems than solutions, possibly just means I need to have another one of these little chats.
- It sure is easier to do this with complete strangers – when I care what impact my speaking up might have on the relationship it is WAY harder. Ironic because of course it is WAY more important to not hold back.
- More than half the problem on this holding back thing is the personal frustration I feel toward myself that I have held back.
- Many of the little things don’t need to be said.
- When I am in my feelings and concerns about how someone else might respond to what I have to say, I make the assumption that the people I am going to talk to are not that resilient. They are, for the most part, very resilient.
- When said right (as in effectively) most people seem to see it as feedback and like to know how they are perceived. In speaking up about what I notice – I am actually seeing someone, and who doesn’t want to be really seen.
- The real exploration for me is to discover what is behind the hold back. What has me so uncomfortable with their discomfort and my discomfort? What am I afraid is going to happen when we get so uncomfortable?
- It is when I am holding my cards too close to my chest that things go off the rails. I need to get quicker at saying things but also more effective at knowing what things – and while I think I will do that best by thinking – my gut is usually a better guide, so for me: just start, awkwardly, not perfectly, afraid and all, just start the conversation.
- Trust the urge. When I am following the urge, using it to gauge what needs to be said, and so then I speak up from a red flag that says “hey you are holding that back for some reason“, that is more powerful than just saying everything. It is about letting my intuition inform me about what really needs to be said.
- Try to speak up as close to the moment of discovery as possible. Sitting on it actually also makes it worse (you see I think it will make it better because I can figure it out and do it neatly and be more rational – that doesn’t make it so much better after all).
- Be willing to clean it up. This is not about drive-by speaking up. That is not so fair. It is about sticking and staying and making sure that everything that arises for the other person gets addressed if needed.
- So pick your time and place, be respectful – of both them and myself, get to it as quickly as possible – and trust the process.
I am sure there are more learning’s. And for now that is what I have.
What are you noticing about when works for you to speak up?