As women, we tend to quiet our voices when they most want to be heard. Cortney explores the importance of why women should speak their truths.
There is nothing worse than having something on your mind you really (really) want to say and being unable to say it.
(Like when your brain is doing its inner monologue but you know you can’t actually say what’s running through your mind, so instead you struggle to bite your tongue?)
Yeah, I hate that feeling.
Why is it that as women we seem to hold our tongue more often than men? I mean, most men don’t seem to have much trouble saying what they mean or feel, right?
“Bill that must be the ugliest shirt you own! I mean seriously, what the hell were you thinking man? Did you get dressed in the dark??”
As women, we dare not be so blunt. Think it, maybe. Say it? Probably not.
In fact, if our friend showed up in some completely hideous dress or outfit, we’d likely do the total opposite…“Oh Susan, your outfit is so chic! I mean mom jeans and neon crop tops are so IN right now!”
I’m not saying we’re all big, fat liars—but women seem more inclined to stretch the truth, even when it’s the opposite of what we would like to say.
Is it because we’ve been conditioned to be pleasant and polite from the time we could talk? Is it because women are expected to be nice?
Let’s be honest, we’ve all heard about ‘mean girls’—but as adults, do you actually know a woman who’s downright mean spirited? A woman who says exactly what she means regardless of how tactless, rude or downright nasty it comes across?
(I don’t…but, I also choose to surround myself with nice people.)
My point is we often smile even when we don’t feel like smiling; we’re nice in the face of others who just aren’t as nice. And, we apologize constantly—even when there’s no need.
This is an annoying habit I find myself doing all the time—someone bumps into me at the store and I am the one saying “Oh, sorry.” What is that?
And, it’s more than just being polite and being taught to use tact and “think before we speak.”
I know many women who have this issue particularly when it comes to relationships; it’s like we occasionally forget that it’s okay to say to our partner: “Hey, that hurt my feelings,” or “I’m disappointed that that you didn’t call after our date like you said you would.”
Instead, many a woman has held her tongue and wished she’d said X, when instead she said Y…or worse yet, said nothing. But what purpose does this serve?
Maybe it’s because we don’t want to rock the boat—especially in a new relationship. Is it because we fear making a bad impression if we actually say what we want too?
Things are going along nicely, we’re getting along great and we just don’t want to be perceived in a negative manner by reacting the wrong way or saying something that could put them off.
We don’t want to offend them—but, what if our reaction has validation? What if it’s our authentic voice we’re suppressing?
I’ve long debated this among various friends over the years.
Among a few girlfriends, this has become the norm—particularly when they begin dating someone new. The current love interest inevitably does something to disappoint, hurt, or offend—often unknowingly. And rather than communicate in an effective, straight-forward manner, these normally outspoken, smart, intelligent women revert to their adolescent selves and become tongue-tied and unable to share what’s bothering them.
Suddenly, they’re unable to articulate the cause of the offending action/behavior to their partner in a non-confrontational way, so instead, they let it go.
But, if we don’t address that which causes the negative feeling, then how is our partner to know how it makes us feel?
I’ve been at fault of this myself over the years; what I’ve come to notice is that it is particularly apparent when starting out in a relationship. It’s almost as if I’m afraid to make a misstep—that somehow, by asserting myself or my feelings, I might scare off my potential mate.
But, herein lies the issue: When we sweep things under the rug, and are not true to our emotions—or ourselves—it can cause resentment later on.
I learned this the hard way over many years.
Often times, it’s better to express your feelings as they arise, in a genuine manner. What we seem to have problems with is the method in which we express ourselves.
If something is truly nagging at you or bothering you, then most likely, it’s a valid concern and therefore warrants a discussion with your partner.
And, if the worst case scenario is that he no longer wants to date you because you spoke from the heart or he takes offense to you being upfront—or worse thinks you’re “crazy” for bringing it up, then wouldn’t it be better to know now rather than later?
If you’re unable to truly be yourself and open up, then maybe you’re not truly compatible with this person. And, that’s okay—I have learned that the best relationships are those where you can be honest and say just about anything to your partner knowing you won’t be judged.
As long as we are coming from an authentic place, trying to be open and honest and share our feelings we should feel safe to speak our mind.
So, the next time you have a niggling sense of wanting to say something, but feeling like that internal censor button is going off, remember that communication is key to all good relationships.
If he’s worth it, he won’t mind hearing you out—and if he does, maybe he wasn’t the right one for you in the first place.
[image: via shutterstock]