When you fail to let someone know what your true feelings are, or you allow another person to speak to you in a way you find unacceptable, you undermine your self-respect. This is energetically depleting, not to mention personally demoralizing.
One Thing to Think About
Women often have difficulty letting someone know when they’re angry or hurt. That’s generally because we aren’t comfortable with confrontation. We haven’t been taught to communicate with clarity and constructive feedback, so we repress our emotions.
When you consistently censor yourself, eventually one of three things will happen—you will numb out emotionally, you will make yourself physically sick, or you will explode at the most inopportune moment. (We have all had those explosive moments. While it may feel great to rage like a banshee, I’m here to tell you that there is a better way.)
One Question to Answer
When you don’t speak up for yourself you begin to compile an inventory of experiences that cause you to feel frustrated, sad, despondent, or completely furious. It takes a great deal of energy to fuel these emotions! Examples of such situations include allowing your mate to use an unacceptable tone of voice with you or allowing others to tease or criticize you. Where are you failing to speak up for yourself and creating an emotional energy black hole?
One Challenge to Take
It is important for you to get comfortable with confrontation. Use this five-step process to learn to speak up for yourself:
Step One: Clearly describe the problem, as you see it, to the person involved.
Step Two: Specifically let the other party know what part of his or her behavior was unacceptable to you.
Step Three: Let the other person know how the situation made you feel.
Step Four: Ask the other person for the specific solution you seek. This may require that you ask the person to change his or her behavior in some way. If this is the case, be very clear about the behavioral change you require. If you want an apology, ask for it.
Step Five: This other person has free will and may see the situation much differently than you do. It’s possible that he or she will not be willing to comply with your wishes. You must be ready and willing to let the other person know what you plan to do if he or she won’t comply with your request. This may mean that you let the other know you can’t have a relationship with him or her any longer, or that you’ll have to limit the time you spend with him or her. Understand what your alternatives are and be willing to follow them through.
The core issue in learning to communicate on your own behalf goes far beyond the management of your energy. Truly, this skill will allow you to build your reserves of self-confidence and self-respect. The increase you’ll experience in your level of vitality is simply an added bonus.
Until next time, take care!