I just turned 23 last August. I've realized that it's high time for me to look back and assess my values. One thing that really caught my attention was—I have always spoken my mind whether it's stating what I want, or when I don't like something.
Seriously, this isn't something new.
In our society, it's becoming prevalent to encourage that we speak our minds, although some of us take this in the wrong way. They think that speaking one's mind is equivalent to being insensitive and rude. That is not the case. That only breeds more misunderstanding.
Although I should say as well that when you try to speak your mind even in the most respectful way, chances are you will still be misunderstood. The only difference is, in the long run, choosing to speak one's mind respectfully will still benefit you.
Yaki shut up. You're just 23. What do you know?
Yes, I'm just 23, and you probably shouldn't listen to me, but here is the collection of lessons I've learned from being honest with how I feel and think a.k.a speaking one's mind. If you think this is pure garbage, let me know. ROAST ME.
1. You'll lose people
When you begin speaking your mind, you will definitely lose some people in your life, because not all can keep up with what you value and your standard. What I mean by value is good values such as loyalty, honesty, keeping one's words, and whatever values you consider important in your life.
On the other hand, what I mean by standard is the same as having good values not being 6 ft. tall with lambo and thick wallet. You get my drift?
The funny thing though, most people might even think that when you try to call them out of their awfulness, and you tell them that it won't work with you, you are acting all high and mighty. Furthermore, they'll even get mad at you. God, I despise it when people do this. They can't take responsibility, so they want to play victims and have the cajones to be angry. If I could only be mean, I could outright tell this kind of people to just f**k off. But you know, let's stick to speaking our mind respectfully and tell them to just leave. What's the sense of keeping people in your life who don't value what you value? Or don't even respect what's not cool with you?
2. You'll feel guilty
Guilt has made me more miserable than the act of speaking my mind. I would often ask myself after I did the deed, "Did I really have to ask for what I need? I think he's right. I'm being selfish."
I failed to realize that feeling guilty would surely come even when I knew I was not being selfish. I reckon this has something to do with trying to make each other feel good as much as possible, and when we speak our mind, there is a 99.9% probability that we'll upset the apple cart. Since we think we've caused it, we feel guilty and we self-blame too; at least that's how it has been for me. Will this stop me from speaking my mind though? No. Because I certainly do not want to keep mum for the sake of keeping the peace while in my heart I have thousands of resentments.
3. People won't like you, but they will respect you
You won't be liked when you speak your mind. Why? Because nobody wants to hear you call them out of their wrongdoings, nor does anyone want to be reminded that there's one person who won't put up when things don't satisfy or making him happy. In fact, to speak your mind is to be prepared to be called names and be hated.
Heck, honestly I think speaking my mind is making me such a nagger already. For example, even such a small act of not responding to my questions (of course let's only count important questions) every now and then is something I do not tolerate. The ending? I tell someone it's disrespectful when they do not answer questions. But you know what too? If people have common sense, they will already know this. Do I really have to speak my mind about this basic social manner? Oh boy.
But yes, people won't like you if you keep speaking your mind even about matters that seem trivial to them.
The good news though? People who end up staying with you anyway will respect you in the long run, because they will be able to trust that you will keep it real with them, and you won't fake your words just to please them. They will also realize that with your frankness, they can also speak their minds when you've done something that they do not like. This, for me, is a foundation of good relationship. It builds openness, respect, and greater emotional intimacy.
4. You'll hate yourself
I've been down this path. I question myself a lot. Sometimes, I catch Yaki scolding Yaki in this way: "You know you shouldn't have just said that. You should have just let that slide. You'll end up losing many people in your life if you keep being this way."
Then a few hours later I will realize — "If you said nothing, would it make things better?" My typical response to that is: "Yes, in the short term. No, in the long run."
So a few days later, even when I still sort of hate myself for being straightforward, for asking for what I think I deserve and for not tolerating things that are not fine with me, I am grateful that I have the courage to be this way.
For so many of us, we are trapped in our own heads. We do not speak when we get hurt. I see it in my mom. I think I am this way, because I do not want to be like my mother. She's the kindest to the point of being a martyr. She wants to keep the peace than to fight for what she really deserves. Whereas, others do not speak their minds, because they are people-pleaser. They cannot afford to have a confrontation even when necessary.
Honestly, no matter how straightforward I can be, I am also torn between the two: being kind and being a people-pleaser. The only difference I try to make is I find a balance. Being kind does not mean being a doormat. Being a people-pleaser does not mean being a codependent. Simply put, even when it sounds so conditional, I try to live with the quote: "Treat people nice, but take no crap."
Moreover, speaking your mind also goes to asking for a raise, saying no, and contradicting beliefs you don't agree. Just remember to do it in a respectable manner as much as possible.
Do you speak your mind as well? If no, why not? Are you scared of offending people? Let me know. I'd love to hear about it.
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