Speaking up is hard to do

“Only enemies speak the truth; friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty.” Stephen King

I had a good giggle when I stumbled across this quote.  Mostly because it stands out.  All the other quotes by men typically are about how if we have nothing good to say shut-up.


Yet we are made into liars daily precisely because other people keep telling us that our nasty human thoughts are not kosher.   No one is allowed to speak the small truths about themselves or anyone else.  In case they offend, or slice up feelings.

Why are we so afraid of the truth?  Why is it hard to tell someone that we are hurting or that we need help, that are finances are in the toilet or our love life is less about love and more about anger and dissatisfaction?

People pleasers are taught to swallow their truth, to pretend.  In fact most of us learn from a very early age that “it is not nice”  to express thoughts that come out.  We seem to worry a lot about protecting other people from us and our  “dirty” minds.  Maybe so that we will all grow up to be biddable pleasant robots.   It really is painful, and its sucks big time to have to hide behind a wall of nice.  Sometimes people on twitter ask me to follow them.  They do it very politely that my rebel alert goes off.

Am I that biddable, that fearful that if someone asks me politely that I will jump through hoops?  I turn over the question a million times.  Not wanting to hurt them.  But they don’t care how I feel.  This is a marketing ploy.   Ask someone to do something in a pretty manner and they will comply without thought.   Think about all those marketeers that invade your phone at night asking for the head of the household.   What about when you are waiting in line at the supermarket and someone comes up to you and says can I go in front of you because I am in a hurry.   Do you let them go in because it seems like such a small ask?  Or because you are too polite to offend them by saying no.

Maybe it is because you don’t know how to say no without looking like a mean person?  How many times has a loved one been awful.  Rude obnoxious and total out of your comfort zone and you have covered up with another layer of nice?   What about when people ask you how is everything going and you give them the stock answer.  Fabulous, when really it sucks.  Who can admit how much is hiding beneath the “fake it, till you make it” bs?

That web of duty has so many knots, they keep us tied up for hours trying to figure where we can climb and still say safe.   I don’t say that being rude is the answer, or airing all your endless laundry of exactly how lousy you and your life are.   But there has to be a balance.  A comfortable place to be who we are.   To be able to admit something so we can share how bad we feel, airing that grief and pain creates a doorway to walk through. To sift and shift.

Sometimes with clients I see how being able to confide what they are sure is shocking behavior, in a safe place, without judgement gives them that breathing room.  I said it, I have not been struck down.  Standing and voicing the truth of that moment allows a greater sense of freedom.  The voice is our instrument of communication for a reason.

I don’t think it’s a mistake that the voice lies between the head and the heart.

What is a truth you used to hide and how is your life different since you spoke it into the world?

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Speaking up is hard to do — 5 Comments

  1. Sometimes I act nice because I am nice. Sometimes I offer to let the person behind me in line to go ahead because it feels good. And yes, you have a very good point. I grew up a people pleaser and found that when that is my motive, I can’t please anyone anyway.

    • Great point Susan. Pleasing doesnt work when you are doing it for the sake of people pleasing. I think its great to know that being a nice person doesnt mean you have to be nice all the time.

  2. @Joanna Marple – Joanna excellent point. We have to be mindful and present for every situation and see it as unique. My facebook login wont work. Jen

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