I am not one to freely speak her mind. I am a people pleaser which means I have lived many, many years stuffing and hiding my opinion for the sake of minimizing uncomfortable situations for others. Related: I have a most excellent game face.
Speaking One’s Mind v. Just Being a Bully
There are times to keep one’s mouth closed and one’s opinion to oneself, and not speaking up in order to avoid an uncomfortable social situation is something I often do and want to point out… I don’t think that is a proper way to relationship with others either.
There is a balance.
For example, some folks use the phrase, “I’m just speaking my mind.” … when in fact they are just justifying an act of bullying.
Bullying isn’t only for the physically forceful.
And bullying doesn’t just happen in the teenage years.
Current politics and the use of social media is a perfect example.
People are using their words in social media every day (though this is not limited to social media). But with social media people are separated from seeing the face of the person they are expressing their own opinion ON.
To be clear: I am not saying folks cannot have their own opinion. I’m just saying there is a difference between expressing an opinion and being a bully about it. The words, “I’m just speaking my mind” (or the like), isn’t a hall pass to say whatever one wants.
What I am saying is – HOW one’s own opinion is expressed is very important and while expressing one’s opinion is totally fine… GOOD, in fact… not all words should be said.
FURTHERMORE *brings mic closer to mouth* THE WAY words are said matter too.
Hitherhencetofore, there is a difference between sharing opinion……….. and being a bully.
A.K.A. – a jerk.
A.K.A. – an a^*hole.
It’s not just in politics… it’s religion, and work ethic, and business relationships, and eating habits, and parenting.
Whether in a tweet reply, Instagram comment, Facebook message, text message… and even face-to-face, this self-empowered movement of “doing what I have to do for me” and “I’m just speaking my mind” is giving valuable freedom to some, but also breeding a whole bunch of self-empowered bullies for others.
And I just don’t like it.
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If you know what I’m talking about, then you know what I’m talking about.
It’s a matter of compassion. And empathy. And verbal skill. And a matter of NOT saying EVERYTHING on wants to say.
It’s not called freedom. It’s called being a selfish a*@hole.
The thing is – It’s OK to not fully fulfill our wants.
We can’t eat all we want.
We can’t drink all we want.
We can’t doooooo all we want.
Hitherhencetofore – we just can’t say all we want.
It’s not about stuffing one’s feelings. It’s not about not fighting for what is right.
It’s about discernment. And wisdom.
It’s about people. And relationships. And agreeing to disagree.
Have you head this one from Proverbs 17:28?
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
There’s a difference between speaking one’s mind and shutting people down.
I believe one can speak one’s mind without being a bully, even if all involved don’t agree.
It’s called walking away. Bullying won’t change someone’s mind to the favor of the bully.
I LOVE this quote from Maya Angelou,
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
*Originally shared September 2016
If you like this post, you might like this post, Finding Kind: A Film About Girl on Girl Bullying