Speak up and Shut up

Most people do all of their confrontational speaking only in their own minds and wrongs never get righted and no one ever gets to know what these people are truly feeling. Bosses and spouses and friends and neighbors go on living their lives believing that all is well with the relationship.

No one likes to confront another person especially a toxic or overbearing person. Everyone gets nervous and ill feeling but there comes a time when you know that you have to speak up. So, you put all the fear aside and you feel the blood rushing to your face and your throat getting a little narrower and you start to talk. The first words that come out are a little higher pitched than you wanted. You pause and stammer ever so slightly on the first words but you notice it. You want to sound strong and confident so you take a deep breath and trying to sound better you continue to speak.

At this point all the courage in the world will be useless if your words are not clear. It’s not that you have a whole bunch of cloudy words. It’s that you take the words that you have felt and rehearsed for so long and after speaking them, you proceed to sugar coat everything you just said. ” Well, I mean, like, if you could maybe see it my way. I mean, like, I don’t want it to sound like you are totally wrong. I mean, like, it’s just that maybe I overreacted maybe a little bit when I said…blah, blah blah.” Your words of power and truth just evaporated and all that is left is a vulnerable target for anyone with even basic semantic skills.

It takes courage to speak up but it takes even more courage to SHUT UP after you have said what you know has to be said. SHUT UP and wait. Do not try to fill the emptiness with your backtracking. You have delivered your message. Your heart is pounding, you are feeling weak and shaky. SHUT UP. Let the other person stammer or rage or try to pick apart what you said. Stick with your message. This is not a debate. This is you saying what your heart knows has to be said. This is you honoring yourself. This is liberation. This is freedom. This is the truth and the truth shall set you free.

Don’t ever mistake sugar coating for compassion. Sugar coating is weakness winning. Compassion is honoring your own heart. Speak up and shut up. It’s time.

(c)2011 All Rights Reserved, Patrick McBride


Leave a Reply