“I ignore hints on purpose…that way people can speak up and be direct with me like an adult.”

Speaking up does not come easy for everyone. For many, speaking up for themselves and others can feel unnatural. With practice, you can build your confidence and find yourself speaking your mind when you need to.

Tips to Speaking Up

1.Make a Plan. Think about what you want to say. How are you going to approach the situation? Think to yourself, “If they say this, I will tell them that,” or “If I see this, I will do have to do that.” If you have to, write down what you want to say. By preparing ahead of time for specific situations, you will feel more at ease about confronting someone about whatever you need to speak to them about.

2. Remain calm. When you decide the time is right to speak up for yourself or others it is best to remain calm. Don’t confront someone if you are too heated and angry. Take time to process your emotions and think about what you are going to say and then speak up. This is much more effective and you are more likely to be listened to.

3. Tell them how you feel. Don’t judge, point fingers or blame them for anything. Just tell your story and let them know how their behavior effects you.

4. Speak up sooner than later. When you recognize a problem arising, make a plan as to how you are going to deal with the situation and know what you are going to say. Remember to keep your emotions under control and then speak up. The sooner you speak up, the easier and the higher likelihood of a positive outcome. When you don’t speak up right away, your emotions are likely to build up so much that you might just blow a gasket when you see decide to open your mouth.

Speaking up for yourself and others is a learned skill. The more you do it, the better and easier it will get. By speaking up, you are letting others know what you believe in and your boundaries. It not only makes you happier and empowered, but will improve your relationship with yourself and others at the same time.

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