Speaking Your Truth: Having Effective Conversations

speaking your truth

Say What?

Speaking our truth is something that not all of us feel comfortable doing. Sometimes it can be difficult to find our voice. Maybe we’re worried that other people won’t agree with us. Or that what we have to say might not have value or importance. Sometimes we even silence ourselves because we have learned to do it before someone else does. Either way, speaking our truth is not only empowering, but highly important for our emotional well being.

One of the common areas I see people having issues with is when they have to say something difficult to someone in their life who really matters to them. This can be a friend, family member or a romantic partner. For some reason these are the most challenging areas to express ourselves honestly. Because when we are emotionally invested in someone, their opinion tends to hold more weight than it should. When you have to call someone out for bad behavior, to discuss a difficult situation, or to just get something off your chest, it can be hard to know what to say and how to say it. But if you’re open and mindful, you can definitely have an effective conversation.

The Rules of Engagement

#1

My first piece of advice is to not be afraid. Bottled up emotions can come out in a variety of ways. And depending how long you’ve been holding onto them…it’s not always going to be a good expression. Letting things fester takes a toll on your emotional well being. So don’t put off important conversations because you’re unsure of how they will go. They need to happen no matter how things end up. And if you’re worried about losing someone because you need to have a serious conversation…they probably aren’t someone you need around anyway. The people in your life who truly love and care about you will listen.

#2

Think about what you want to say and then consider how you would feel if someone said the same thing to you. Would you be offended? Is there another more neutral way of getting your point across? Use these guidelines to adjust your approach accordingly. Many times we work ourselves up and forget to be practical about our situation. There are a lot of different ways to say what’s bothering you without being rude. We just naturally assume that we will be offensive for expressing ourselves, when this is not always the case.

#3

When you are speaking your truth are you blaming someone by saying “you always do this” or “I hate when you…”? If this is your grand master plan for this particular conversation, perhaps you should consider taking the more appropriate tact and say “when this happened I felt this way”. Blaming someone never turns out well. In fact, it leaves them feeling attacked and puts them on the offensive. But making sure a person is aware of how their actions affect others is a more useful strategy. This gives a person the necessary space to be thoughtful and create change if they’re open to hearing what you have to say.

#4

How emotional do you feel about what happened? There are times when we are processing experiences through our emotions instead of our rational mind. Which makes sense. If someone has treated you badly or offended you, of course you will be angry! But having conversations or trying to sort through things when you’re being reactive is a bad place to start. If you want to be taken seriously, try to wait until you can look at it from a more calm perspective. The idea is to problem solve and talk things over. Not to punish someone for how they made you feel.

#5

The last and most important thing you can ask yourself before you open your mouth is “is this honest and am I being kind”. If the answer is yes than feel free to start the conversation. How the other person reacts is on them. As long as you have followed this rule, any bad reaction on their part says a lot about the kind of person they are and where they’re at in life. Sometimes our truth will irritate others. And that’s OK. It’s usually just because their Spirit knows it has some work to do and it doesn’t like that someone else has noticed. Its hard to be called out on your stuff.

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