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Finding Your Voice

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am a very quiet person. I have a lot of opinions on things, though, and like to live my life MY way...


When it comes time to step up for my beleifs, I'm a coward!

I'm REALLY trying to work on this, but my problem is that I don't like to offend anyone... I don't like to anger people, pressure people, or make people feel uncomfortable...

THEREFORE usually I tend to "follow them", rather than speak for MYSELF and do things MY way...

I am easily bullied, I guess, AND I'M SICK OF IT!!!

How can I learn to be gentle, but "forceful" to get my point across about issues that MATTER TO ME!!!

Still trying to find myself, I guess, and need help!!!

post #2 of 13
I am exactly the same way. But what I have started doing is writing down my beliefs on everything. When I write it down I can look it over to see if it sounds offensive or not. I can change the wording so I am saying this is what I believe without sounding superior to any one else. Because when I am just talking it sounds like I think I'm superior. Then, when a subject comes up I already have it in my head what to say. I have to practice alot because talking and socializing does not come easy for me. Even writing doesn't come easy, but I have lots of time to look it over and change it to reflect exactly what I want to say.
post #3 of 13
Wow Lindy-- thank you for that advise, and thank you Emily for bringing the subject up, I struggle with that same thing. One of my new years resalutions was to try to stick up for my beliefs more, but finding my voice has been hard-- I will try writing it out first, thank you both.

Love, Avalon
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Lindy, that's great advice...

Before entering a situation that I need to "confront" somebody in, I rehearse what I'm going to say in my head... I ask my angels for the strength to SPEAK what I need to speak, but I *usually* loose my umph...

It's SO much easier to have a conversation with yourself!!! :LOL

I will try writing it down and tweaking things around before verbally coming out with it...

Thanks again!

post #5 of 13
I have a friend who is amazing at sharing his viewpoint even if it is contradictory or difficult. And he does it without causing offense or getting anybody upset. It's really something to see. I started paying attention to how he speaks to people and tried it myself and I found a way that works for me. It's like this: basically I noticed that when he shares his opinion he does so without fear. I mean he doesn't fear the other person or their opinions of him. That lack of fear=confidence. Also he speaks to the other person with very respectfully. So in trying to emulate that what I did was to remind myself (before having to say something difficult) that the person I'm addressing is a child of God and means me no harm. I know that probably sounds hokey and I suppose it is. But it works for me! I find that when I do that I am able to look the other person calmly in the eyes and my voice does *not* reflect any defensiveness. Without defensiveness in my voice, the other person doesn't get defensive either. Fear vanishes, love reigns. Hooray!

anyway, that's what works for me
post #6 of 13
Like the rest of you I would like more confidence in this area. Here is my story. We just moved into this house about 6 months ago. I live on a main road and only have one neighbor. She is a single mother with four children, four dogs, five cats and two horses, sound insane? Well, it is. My kids are not allowed to go over to their house, inside or out. Outside because two of the dogs have already bitten my son. Inside because she smokes a lot of pot. I've seen it first hand, and she admits it freely. If the kids want to play, they play here in my backyard. However, I've had to send the kids home numerous times for violent play behavior. Her kids are big into guns, swords, etc. I don't allow guns of any nature, real or fake, I HATE guns! Also, the mother has taken advantage of me by leaving her kids with me, saying she's just running to the store. Well, three hours later is not running to the store. The other part of this story is her annoying animals. Now, I don't have any animals, I'm extremely allergic. However, her cats practically LIVE here. I come home and find them sitting on my porch swing, sitting on my garbage pails trying to get in and pooping in my yard! I don't know what will happen come spring when I go to put sand in the kids sand box! Finally, the dogs. They are all outside dogs, two of which are dangerous. They bark morning, noon and night. The first week we moved in, she and her kids were on vacation for a week and she just left the dogs home by themselves. Her sister apparently came over to feed them now and then. The dogs spent more time over here than in her yard, and barked at ME in my own yard. When she returned I told her that can't happen again. Well, the dogs are starting to get loose again and twice this week they've been in my yard going to the bathroom. I'm sick of it! I know that any of you that have bothered to read this lengthy post will say what is her problem for not sticking up. I honestly don't know. One excuse is that she is NEVER home. Those kids get themselves on and off the bus everyday. By night time I'm too tired to even bother calling her. I can hear you all now! Believe me, I'm amazed I let this bother me and don't do anything either. What is my problem? Why am I letting this woman control me? I need to find my Voice!!!
post #7 of 13

Hey, I know you!

You need to call the cops! Our dog got out one time and the cops called us to come pick her up. She never got out again. She doesn't have to know that it's you! You shouldn't have to live like that!

You need to stop watching her kids, too! Which I think you have. But, if you haven't, you need to. I have a friend that I love to death (she's Hannah's Godmother) but she has NO concept of time. I have to tell myself that if she is going to take the kids somewhere or I am going to watch her kids I have to double or triple the amount of time she says it's going to be. That way I'm not freaked out when it is that long. If I have other plans that I can't be late for I just say no. It's hard but I have to do it for my own peace of mind!

Good Luck!
post #8 of 13

Tell us!

It's so important to validate our feelings and opinions as separate from other people's, isn't it? I'm with Lindy and everyone else--write it down ! And use the boards. It's like working out--ya gotta flex that opinion muscle of yours...

post #9 of 13
Oh, and from one quiet person to another I just want to say, when we speak people *really* listen, and still waters run deep!


post #10 of 13
You and I must be sisters!
I am usually able to speak my mind with people I don't know. But if I know them it's incredibly hard! One thing I have started to do concerns my relatives and my parenting stule. They are not too supportive so I have started giving them books on how I am papernting that are written by doctors. Doctors are the only ones they'll listen too.
I thoink it's working because my mom recently agreed with me that a baby should self wean! I thought my water was going to come out my nose I was so shocked!
post #11 of 13
I have the same difficulty voicing my opinion when it differs from those around me. I think it is because i am way too worried what they will think about me. i KNOW that by now i should be WAY over that but it is hard. Having my dd has made it a little easier because i feel so protective of her. But i really need to work on how i come across when i do get up the courage to speak up. I have not tried wrinting it out first...that is a great suggestion and i am going to try it. Glad i am not the only one with this difficulty, here on the boards it seems to me everyone is so confident voicing their opinions, but i guess it is easier here than in real life!
post #12 of 13
I think, without sounding too "pop psychology" about it, you need to figure out WHY you have such a hard time voicing anything that might offend anyone. Perhaps you need to confront demons in your past that helped shape the way you deal with people.

I stumbled on something that I realized was an amazing tool for giving you confidence to stick up for yourself; I was working for a union (many years ago) and one thing that they did was have "role playing" (for example, to teach an employee how to politely stand up to a boss), and here's how it works: you get a friend to help you with it, and you take turns, one of you being whoever it is you want to stand up to, and the other being the person "talking back", so you practice. After a few times it's incredible, you really can say almost anything to anyone. And of course use the tools of following the rules of polite behaviour strictly and speaking in a calm, even bright manner, and you won't feel overwhelmed by emotion. One problem I know I have, is that i get SO angry, I can't always trust myself to speak or I'll completely fly off the handle.
post #13 of 13
"One problem I know I have, is that i get SO angry, I can't always trust myself to speak or I'll completely fly off the handle. "

That is so me! I'm afraid that I will lose control so that is one reason why I don't speak up more often. I don't want to look like a fool. I really need to work on that. Like when I was told to leave somewhere for breastfeeding I'm sure I sounded like a fool because I got so upset that I wasn't even making sense. Even though I knew I was right and justified I came off as irrational.
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