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The Benefits of Speaking Out

When using your voice is more important than remaining silent.

Awhile back I started a new job. As most new jobs go, the first couple weeks were a little dull, as I was still just getting into the swing of things. However, once I started diving more into the actual work, things got a little more complicated.

There was a co-worker I would often butt heads with because we had two very different ways of looking at things. Eventually, I stopped trying to put in my two cents and just kept all my opinions to myself because it never seemed to do any good.

However, one day, I just couldn’t take it anymore. I let all my feelings and opinions out at once, and while the situation ended up turning out good for me, it could have gone a different direction.

Since that day where I let all my thoughts spill out at once, I have learned how to better handle my thoughts, feelings, and opinions, as well as the benefit of speaking up and when to do so.

{Disclaimer} I am in no way advocating for being disrespectful to authority figures. Obviously, they are in their position for a reason (most of the time) and they deserve to be treated accordingly. However, there is a difference between articulating your thoughts in a calm manner and just letting your words get the best of you. So speak up when you need to be heard, but do so in a professional way.

You are Entitled to Your Thoughts and Feelings

Entitlement often gets a bad rep, but when it comes to your feelings, you are allowed to feel them to the fullest. You are also allowed to share them when it is appropriate. Whoever you are who is reading this, I want you to know that you are smart and educated and I know that you have different life experiences that play into how you interact with the world. When someone is in a superior position to you, that does not automatically make your feelings invalid. If there is a problem or you have a unique viewpoint, you should feel comfortable enough to share those thoughts. We are all human and we all deserve to be heard, especially in a collaborative work environment.

Speaking Up Alleviates the Pressure of Build Up

Take it from me, it is not a good idea to let your thoughts and feelings marinate in your mind for an extended period of time. I am not proud to say that I ultimately cracked, and let all my pent up feelings flow out at once. I had so much resentment stored away that I couldn’t even think straight when it all ended up coming out and I could feel myself getting dizzy when I just couldn’t take it anymore.

Not healthy.

What I really should have done was express myself in the moment, when it was still fresh and I had time to organize my thoughts and remain calm.

If you’re in a meeting with your boss or whoever, and something needs to be said, take a breather and then ask if you can speak with them. By doing so when it is still fresh in both party’s heads, it eliminates the whole, “Well remember last month when you did such and such??” Instead, you can say something like, “In the meeting this morning, I was confused about…” or “I feel this way about ____ because of _____.”

With this method, there is a much higher chance of their being resolution instead of just resentment.

Others Can Benefit From Your Thoughts + Ideas

We are all human and we all have room to expand our thoughts, viewpoints, and ideas.

Maybe you want to speak up because of how you were treated. Or maybe because you have a unique suggestion of how to get something done.

Whatever your reason for speaking up is, there is probably something to be learned from the receiving end.

Often times, people are so set in their ways, they don’t even recognize that there are different ways of looking at situations or executing tasks.

When I had my little episode of speaking out, the person I was speaking to told me at the end of it that I had really showed them a lot, and that they would try and work on the areas I pointed out. 

By speaking up, you can bring up a viewpoint that hadn’t previously thought of. You can teach people how to have an open mind. You can even help to create a positive company culture where people have the freedom to share their mind.

It’s funny because speaking up seems like such a simple task. But when you are in an environment where you feel like it doesn’t matter if your voice is heard, it can be really really hard to find the courage to speak your mind.

However, once you find the strength within to do so, I am confident that you will see a change in your personal wellness, as well as a newfound responsiveness from those you had a difficulty seeing eye-to-eye with.

It is hard to speak up. But in the end, the benefits it reaps will help you to be more confident and realize that your voice matters, no matter how small you may feel.

Originally published at heres-thething.com

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