Do you ever feel on the defense when you speak your truth? Whether it be politics, personal values, or perceptions; people around you are gearing up for an argumentative battle.
One side sees eye to eye while the other side takes issue. It makes you want to keep quiet and not speak your truth. Especially if you don’t like conflict. Even though you open yourself to conflict you don’t have to allow it to be the driving force. So how can you speak your truth without conflict?
• KNOW YOUR TRUTH.
The most important thing is to know your truth. Why do you feel the way you do? Is it because you have experience with it or are you clinging on to someone else’s truth? Each one of us has the right to have a view or a truth, but you must own it. It can’t be someone else’s or based on what you see on TV. You must know the whys behind it either through experiences or through study.
• BE OPEN TO OTHERS TRUTH
No one can say your truth is wrong. While you have strong belief in your truth, there may be someone who has the same truth with a different belief. This doesn’t have to open the door for argument. Just as you want to speak your truth, they want to speak theirs. By being open and listening you may learn something. You may teach something. You may leave the conversation agreeing to disagree but with the relationship still intact.
If the topic is highly debatable or based on values, it may be harder to accept other views. But you must. That is what makes America wonderful – Freedom. Don’t escalate hostility. Know your truth and allow them to know theirs.
• SHOW RESPECT
It is irritating when you speak your truth and you don’t feel respected. The feelings of assault start rise in you. It is important when you speak your truth to a person(s) you do so with consideration to the differences. Your way isn’t the only way. Although your belief is important to you, their belief is just as important to them. By showing respect you allow that person to feel accepted and unguarded opening the pathway for the same respect to be returned you.
• IT’S NOT ABOUT WINNING OR LOSING
Speaking your truth should not be about winning someone to your side, or feelings of losing if you don’t. Speaking your truth is about being a voice for something you believe in. If you don’t speak your truth you allow an important part of you to be concealed. Speaking your truth is bringing awareness of a topic important to you. Sharing your knowledge guides others who may not understand, afraid to speak their own truth, or to promote change. It’s not about winning or losing; it’s about speaking your truth and being true to yourself.
• KNOW WHEN TO WALK AWAY
When you find yourself in a conversation that isn’t open to healthy talk, you may find the best action is to walk away. There are some topics that trigger people to an unsafe place, or the two viewpoints are so passionately different it creates aggression. Being aware of your audience is important. No truth or belief is so important to be debated it hurts another or causes such hatred within the conversation. To speak your truth correctly you should be aware of how your words are received. Once the space is no longer healthy, or the aggression is building too rapidly on either side, you should stop the conversation. Your relationship with that person should be more important than to hammer away at your truth.
Our society has made it hard for the everyday person to speak their truth. Communities, friends, even families are dividing due to differences. Although those differences can be motive to question another’s values, it should not be motive to be distasteful. It should not make you consider terminating the relationship. Diversity is what America is made of today. If we can’t learn to live with one another despite our differences, how do we expect to persevere?
Speak your truth. Allow others to speak theirs. Be respectful. And don’t forget to vote!