Do you have trouble speaking up for yourself? Do you tend to avoid challenging or confronting conversations? Did you have a parent who taught you directly, or indirectly that it was better to keep quiet or not to share things in order to keep the peace?
When I was a young girl growing up with 3 older sisters, we were told to be quiet more times than I can remember. We were taught, “Children should be seen and not heard”. I’m not sure who came up with that but I can imagine with 4 children, most parents might be tempted to fall back on a saying like that just to get some peace and quiet every now and then...and it really worked! My sisters and I were all pretty quiet for the most part.
I never thought much about it as a kid really, I just did what I was told so I wouldn’t get in trouble.
I was, in fact, rewarded for being quiet.<<
We all know what rewarding a behavior does right? It reinforces it. Funny thing is, this pattern of staying quiet followed me throughout my life. It was the gateway to pretending that I was FINE. I didn’t want to be any trouble to anyone, I wanted to be liked, loved - REWARDED for being quiet.
On the surface, everything was fine with me. I was, after all, a people-pleaser in training and not speaking up - not speaking my truth was how I had been going through life. It wasn’t until my 40’s that all that “stuffing” of my voice/truth started to catch up with me making me miserable because:
I began to realize that my “reward” as an adult for being quiet was quite different than what I got as a kid. Instead of getting praise, recognition, and love I was getting ignored, taken advantage of and left behind in my own life. All because of a pattern of behavior that I had carried with me since childhood! That pattern was based on a belief that I would be loved and accepted if I didn’t speak up and “rock the boat”.
>>Further, I believed that other peoples’ voices were more worthy of being heard than my own.
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