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 wasn’t sharing how I was truly feeling
- I wasn’t asking for what I wanted
- I was avoiding tough conversations
- I was pretending to be happy
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.
Jamie recently participated in the Feel Good Junkies Group Program. Leading a busy life as a mother of 3, working a full time job she rarely had time for herself. But, Jamie joined the program determined to find a way to do it all - and to feel more confident and happy. What she discovered about herself was so much more profound than she ever expected. Read her full story HERE.
So let me ask you, do you have a pattern of not speaking up? Do you try to be the “chill” person and not ask for things? How is staying quiet and not speaking your truth left you feeling lately?
I’d love to hear… I promise to love you no matter what you have to say! :)