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Saying What You Think

Saying What You Think

We all have opinions, but do you ever find yourself abandoning your opinion for the sake of making other people comfortable? I hate to admit it, but sometimes I do. In some ways, it’s one of my greatest strengths (the ability to see an issue from different viewpoints). This same strength can be a weakness, however, when I start to realize that I value everyone else’s opinion more than my own.

It’s a funny thing about self-confidence; ultimately, it can only come from within. But sometimes a pseudo sense of self-esteem comes from feeling like the pleasant and agreeable person. It’s quite easy to become the person who everyone likes when you don’t have a solid opinion on anything. The question is, though: is that really who you are?

Real self-confidence is all about the courage to accept yourself. It’s about being genuine and standing for what you believe in. It’s about having the courage to say what you mean, even if it’s unpopular or the outcome is unpredictable.

This doesn’t mean asserting your opinion on every single little thing or leading a protest in your living room about picking Restaurant A over Restaurant B. But it is about speaking up about the things that matter — and those things don’t necessarily have to be negative.

A lot of times, we think that we must only speak out about injustice or if we feel personally violated. But it’s just as important to speak up about positive things, too. How many times do we think kind thoughts about someone but fail to tell that person? How many times do we admire how a person handled a situation and never say a word? How many times do we let the people around us know how much we appreciate them?

It’s easy to talk ourselves out of building another person up, especially because we may fear of what the other person thinks of us. We convince ourselves that other people would be uncomfortable with us appreciating their presence or contributions when really, a genuine compliment feels so nice and can brighten that person’s day.

Start taking the time to appropriately express your thoughts and feelings instead of disappearing behind what you think other people want. Start verbalizing the appreciation you have for the things around you — big and small. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll inspire someone else to do the same.

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Image Credit: Andrés Nieto Porras / Flickr

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Erika Oglesby

Erika Oglesby is a freelance writer and wandering nomad currently located in Grand Rapids, MI. She is dedicated to helping people better their lives through self-knowledge and alternative therapies -- especially women of color and women diagnosed with autoimmune diseases. Visit her website at http://www.erikaoglesby.com.

21 comments

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9:52AM PDT on May 22, 2012

This is a timely reminder. I need to do this far more often, since I have ended up doing this more often than I would like.

1:05PM PDT on May 17, 2012

thanks for sharing

11:18PM PDT on May 5, 2012

Difference between little white lies and swallowing bile.

11:13PM PDT on May 5, 2012

Norma...lol....it's called... "foot 'n mouth disease" Sometimes we all have it....maybe it's incurable ?

11:03PM PDT on May 5, 2012

I feel I "open mouth and insert foot."

9:57AM PDT on May 4, 2012

Yes, I sometimes have trouble truly speaking my mind much of the time. I usually water it down. It really depends on whom I'm speaking with. And yes, it's much easier to express an opinion in a format such as this that face to face. Guess I'm a wimp sometimes.

1:00AM PDT on May 4, 2012

Whatabot da onez dat slack da flack??

Huber.

5:17PM PDT on May 3, 2012

I say what I think, if I have to listen to someone's opinion, I will voice my own, I'm not a doormat!

1:55PM PDT on May 3, 2012

If we say what we think,it should be what we believe and honesty.But to do that,we reveal a lot of ourseves.What comes out of us is what goes into us.If we want to know truth,we have to find it by sifting through everything that enters us.Mostly though,the environment we spend our time in is who we are.That is not always popular so we disguise it.Being popular is not neccessariy the right perspective.It is a major probem with society these days for we live in an environment of so many lies.If we pass an opinion,it shoud be in truth and not a lie.

11:37AM PDT on May 3, 2012

I think everyone could at least try to be civil and polite no matter what.

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