Saying It Out Loud: Ten Reminders

speak



  • If you need someone to help you feel better, let them know.

If they're someone that lets you lean on them, they will be happy to help. If they aren't, find out if they could be. If it goes poorly, though it will hurt, it can allow you to reassess your relationship. Are you giving more than you get out? Are they giving more than you give back to them? Are they the kind of person that deals well with other people's emotions? Is there another way that the two of you can connect that doesn't cause discomfort for either party? All important assessments for a relationship that you put value into.


  • If there is an imbalance in your relationship, talk about it.

Are you taking more than you give, or giving more than you take? Is the relationship turning unhealthy, maybe you feed off each other's negativity, this person brings you down emotionally, or they don't respect your personal space. You have to tell them these things, have a decent and respectful conversation in which you are clear in your feelings. If they undermine you or try to tell you that your feelings aren't worth discussing then, well, the next step is up to you. I, however, would be in favour of taking a step away from that relationship all together.


  • Just because you love someone who is suffering doesn't mean you have to let them hurt you.

Read that again, and make sure it sinks in. Now one more time. Good? Good.


  • If you think someone looks nice, tell them and maybe put a smile on their face.

I saw someone in a really great Assassin's Creed cosplay on my train the other day and I'm still upset that I didn't tell him it looked great. I could have potentially brightened his day, engaged in a cool conversation, maybe even discovered some mutual friends through the cosplay community. I know I like when people compliment me, even when it sometimes makes me feel awkward. Spread that awkwardly happy feeling around, damn it!



  • Cat-calling does not fall under that umbrella. Be respectful.

Self-explanatory. If you can't tell the difference between "Oi gorgeous" and "Wow, sorry if I'm bothering you but you look great today!" then I'm not sure what to tell you right now, friend. We'll need to sit down for a while and talk that over.



  • Just because you give a compliment does not mean someone is obligated to take it.

If they don't take it the right way, it's not your job to force them to! You gave a compliment, it wasn't appreciated, move on.



  • If you're feeling sad, let it out.

I spoke about this in my last post as well, and that's really the whole theme of this post too. Holding these emotions in is effectively inflicting punishment on yourself. You may think you're avoiding potential conflict, that your feelings are silly or that you're overreacting. Sometimes that's true, honestly, but that doesn't mean you can't speak. Even if it's true, having those irrational thoughts out of your head is a liberating feeling. It allows for clearer, more useful thoughts to work. Because the emotions you bottle up don't disappear, they take up space in your memory and limit the reach of your mind in every moment you're mulling them over, thinking and rethinking.



  • BUT: Be smart about who you vent to.

There are people in all of our lives who, while we love them, would probably make things worse. People who say the wrong thing even though they mean well, who want to argue with you and tell you you're wrong or offer help that you really don't need in that instance. If you can find a group of people or a forum to speak to, great. If you can find one person, great. If you have a journal or a voice recorder, great. Even if you just have a place you can go to talk things out with yourself, great. Not everyone will be able to give you the support you need, and really you shouldn't expect that of everyone.


  • It's okay if you forget.

I'm the one giving you advice, and if it's okay for me to mess up then it's okay for you to do the same. Old habits die hard, everyone has off days, etc. What matters is that you make the effort, that when you have a set back you keep pushing forward, and you don't beat yourself up when you make a mistake.



  • Do not apologise for your feelings.

They are valid, important, and worth a damn. All the things that you are.

Jacqueline Atta-Hayford