I don’t know where to start when it comes to the events of the last week globally – and if I am honest, part of that is a fear of saying the wrong thing. Which got me thinking about this weeks blog post. Because I am sure that there are a fair few of us who are feeling that and I didn’t want to skip past it.
As you will be aware, the world is currently undergoing a global protest, related to BLACK LIVES MATTER. It goes without saying that I agree.. BLACK LIVES MATTER. I have also seen some friends of mine, be accused of saying the WRONG thing when they said that as far as they are concerned ALL LIVES MATTER.
Now, my whole point in writing this blog post is not to talk about racism, or go into detail about why black lives matter. But to address the fear that a lot of non black people are having which is wanting to share in the protesting but they are scared of saying the wrong thing.
And this does not just apply to the topic of black lives matter. It can happen in all areas of our lives, from on social media to within the workplace. So, is it better to sit in silence than upset somebody with your wording? Do words really matter? Or should we say what we think anyway? Here is my advice on it.
1. Know that saying nothing can at times be as ‘harmful’ as saying the ‘wrong’ thing.
How many times have you moaned about someone for sitting on the fence with things? We all know that ‘friend’ who doesn’t like to get involved in things for fear of saying the wrong thing. But more often than not, that person ends up being moaned about anyway because they did not get involved in things and that can appear as ‘not caring’.
Solution? Be honest – if you are not sure whether or not you should say what you want to say, why not say that? People are people and relate to honesty. ‘I’m not sure what to say but I didn’t want to listen and run’ can sometimes be all someone needs to hear.
2. Listen and when in doubt, ask. Always be learning.
If you are not sure what to say, then simply ask someone what they want people to understand, what they would like to hear. This is not the same as saying what you think someone wants to hear, rather, showing an interest and learning. Take into account someone’s needs, and don’t be afraid to be the a student of life, no matter what profession you may be in, regardless of your own life experience, we can always learn from another.
3. Is it the ‘wrong thing’ or are you people pleasing?
Sometimes, I meet clients who are worried about saying the wrong thing about EVERYTHING. Truth of the matter is that really, they are scared of upsetting someone, they like to people please. Of course, none of us like to upset people, to some extent we are all people pleasers, BUT, if you are constantly second guessing whether to say things or if you find yourself sugar coating things then ask yourself if you are people pleasing.
Confidence and self worth come into this – find your voice and know, that you are allowed to say what you think and feel, and if done in the right way (not attacking people) then others will most likely respect you for having your own opinion.
I know that times are hard and challenging right now, and it feels like there are many twists and turns and we don’t know what is around the corner.. but with the right communication, with a lot of love, and listening, maybe we can all grow from this and the world will look (and feel) a lot better when we come out of this.
I am always here to talk to, and if confidence about speaking is something that interests you, i have something coming out very soon that will be great for you. Watch this space.
Have a great week ahead of you
Until the next time