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The Sweet Relief of Speaking My Truth

Growing up I learned that part of being a “good girl” was to be super nice, overly agreeable and say "yes" when I really meant "no." I never learned how to say “no” in fear of hurting someone’s feelings. These passive, autopilot moments of saying what the other person wanted to hear became more important than speaking my truth. Flash forward to today through several years of introspection, personal development work and gaining clarity on my core values; I’ve learned that speaking my truth is important to me and worth any possible momentary discomfort. Here’s an example of how an unspoken “no” turns into an unintentional “yes.”

SCENARIO: Running into a person from my past. Because I’m focusing in on

creative projects, I’m keeping meet-ups to a minimum, reserved for close friends.

ME: “Hi! It’s so good to see you!” (Standard opening.)

THEM: “Hi! How are you?” (Standard reply.)

ME: “I’m good.” (Standard answer.)

THEM: “That’s good.” (Still standard.)

After more surface level chatter…

THEM: “It was good seeing you. We should hang out soon!” (More niceness.)

ME: “Yeah! We totally should hang out soon.” (This is it. This is the moment where I said

"yes" because I didn’t want to hurt their feelings by saying "no.")

This example is how I have created so much unnecessary stress in my life by taking on

the other person’s emotional wellbeing as my own responsibility. This is where I, and so

many others, go wrong because we don’t know any other way. However, there is

another way and I’m going to illustrate it here:

ME: “Hey stranger, long time no see.” (Honest and not overdone.)

THEM: “Hi! How are you?” (Standard reply.)

ME: “I’m actually having a really great day. Thanks for asking.” OR “I’m having kind of an

off day, but I know it’ll pass.” (Real talk and honest for the moment. Not oversharing, but

also keeping it real.)

THEM: “That’s awesome!” OR “Aww, sorry to hear that.” (Genuine response.)

<< In my experience, the person will probably reply with what’s real for them, too. We’re

both present now and hopefully sharing what’s really going on in our lives in that

moment together. >>

THEM: “It was good seeing you. We should hang out soon.” (Standard concluding


ME: “Thanks for the offer, but I’m going to pass for now. I’m focusing in on my creative

projects so perhaps we can try again in a few months. It really was great seeing you


For the people-pleasers out there, you may be reading this thinking how awkward it

would be to actually speak the truth this way. And here’s a heads up: you may feel super

uncomfortable until you practice it more. What’s most important, though, is that you’re

saying what you mean and leaving the other person to have their own experience. By

speaking your truth and taking care of yourself this way, you give other people

permission to do the same.

Follow Krystal on Twitter at @Krystal_Brandt

Interested in more articles like this?

Valencore's InsideOut Leadership Blog Series runs now through September. To see more of this series' posted blogs or to sign-up for the option to receive email alerts when new articles are published, click here.

#leadershipblogseries #weeklywisdom #leadinsideout #Authenticity #truth #voice

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