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Speak Your Mind

What emotional patterns are you repeating? Is one of them pretending your feelings are not hurt when another person hurts you? Are you pretending not to be hurt because the only acceptable emotions are positive ones, such as joy, happiness, enjoyment, gratitude, and love?

Stop telling people who hurt you; it's OK. No, it is not OK to have people mistreat you because you don't want to create a stir, so you passively accept their mistreatment. You don't want to give people the license or the belief that you are a soft target for mistreatment.

So, maybe you don't respond to their every toxic behavior towards you. Still, when it becomes more frequent, it is usually signals a pattern of their behaviors towards you and your willingness to accept whatever poor behavior they direct at you.

You don't have to stand tall always or take the moral high road; it is OK to say how you feel if something doesn't sit well with you. It may seem like a huge claim to say, "You don't have to stand tall all the time," when the sentiment contradicts what you've always heard about emotions. Toxic environments teach us to cull our feelings; otherwise, we look weak.

What's the alternative? Say you are not hurt, but give the person who upset you the silent treatment or wait for the opportunity to dish out some punitive retribution. Then, justify the punitive retribution as karma.

Contrary to what you've learned, when something bothers you, speak your mind. A disagreement doesn't have to result in a standoff or a battle of wills to see who makes the first move. However, the other person must know you are irritated with how they treated you. There are ways to respond appropriately to people who hurt you.

  • If you are yelling, it is probably too late to respond appropriately.

  • If you must approach the person, do it in private where there's no audience to influence their reaction unduly.

  • Set boundaries to protect yourself from being disrespected by the person in the future.

  • Don't routinely say "everything is fine" regarding how someone treats you.

  • Use assertive, clear, and direct communication; I am annoyed with your behavior.

  • Stay present and state your feelings; if it was something the person did, be specific and address the behavior, not the person.

  • Don't take the bait if the person becomes argumentative or even attempts to change the content of your message.

  • Although it may be difficult initially, make every effort not to become defensive in responding or listening to the person.  

You already know how to communicate. You do it daily; you don't have to avoid your feelings as they are yours. Communication is more than words; when you refuse to communicate your feelings, you, in turn, shut other people down with the justification that they are whiny. It is so easy to label someone whining so that you can rationalize not listening to them. Still, your attempt to shut other people's emotions down only means you are also shutting down your feelings.  

Speak your mind.

Empowering Minds. Inspiring Lives.

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