Written by Theresa Nutt, Closeted Creatives
This notion about what it is to be a vibrant woman continues to grow. Last week I shared the importance of embracing emotions. This week I want to focus on why it is important to speak your truth. Too many of us have been taught that it is not polite to speak our truth, that we must consider the feelings of others before our own, and if we don’t have anything nice to say we shouldn’t say anything at all. Unfortunately, this means we swallow our truth and bleed inside. Instead, speaking your truth with grace is exactly what you need to do.
“In the process of telling the truth about what you feel or what you see, each of us has to get in touch with himself or herself in a really deep, serious way.” June Jordan
What Does Speaking Your Truth Mean?
The reason I spoke about embracing your emotions first is that speaking your truth requires self awareness about how you really feel. And based on how you feel, you want to be able to respond by speaking your truth. I recently had a conversation with a friend who doesn’t believe in shamanism or energy healing and he made a sweeping statement about how it isn’t real. I was instantly hurt and felt invalidated because I have significant training in both. And sadly, in that moment I didn’t tell the truth. I did feel my feelings, but couldn’t find a way to express what I was feeling. And you know what happens next – a distance is created and a story starts to build about the other person. A story that in time can take on a life of its own and significantly impact a relationship.
In the moments we swallow our truth we do a huge disservice to ourselves and others. Let me put in a disclaimer here – I am not talking about blasting someone with your truth or lashing out in anger. We always want to make a choice to speak in a way that others can hear us. But swallowing our truth and letting it fester inside of us, often creating resentment, causes health problems and distance in our relationships. So how do we speak our truth with grace?
Speak Your Truth With Grace
Here are some tips to help you speak your truth in a way that others can hear. The goal of this practice is that you speak your truth and at the same time preserve the relationships that matter to you. Its a form of energy hygiene. Who wants to expend a bunch of energy on a conversation that happened some time ago?
- Get clear about what you are feeling first
- Take a deep breath and get grounded especially if you feel a lot of emotional charge about the topic
- Ask yourself how you can best connect with the other person
- Speak from your heart more than your head – NonViolent Communication is a great tool for these conversations
- Ask a question to get more information from the other person if you aren’t sure where to start
- Be willing to meet the person where they are
- Don’t swallow what you need to say – be willing to take the risk of speaking up
- Stay present with yourself throughout the conversation so you can be clear about what needs to happen next for you
- Have a process in place for working through your emotions or triggers when the conversation is over