Lately, I’ve been noticing times when something’s really bugging me but I don’t speak up. Why don’t I say something? A few reasons:
- Don’t want to start a conflict
- Can’t figure out a “nice” way to say it
- Maybe it isn’t my place
- Don’t believe my speaking up will change anything, and therefore it’s not worth the effort
My DH offered that speaking up can simply be good practice. My reactions to that were “true” and “meh.” Poor guy, why am I dismissive of good practice? I’ll come back to that.
Good practice or not, I became aware of my attachment to a certain outcome. Maybe saying something is good practice. But when I say something and
nothing the thing that I wanted doesn’t happen, I get frustrated. My “why bother?” feelings kick in. And they stop me from trying again. This felt like an important realization! What if I could say something and let go of my attachment to a particular outcome?
That was as far as the exercise went until I saw Justine Musk‘s tweet today.
Argument doesn’t change people (good stories change people) but it helps you deepen + refine your own understanding of what you stand for.
DING went the light bulb! Her words address two areas of my struggle:
- Changing others
- Clarity of self expression
My story about speaking up is that “we can’t change other people. So it’s not my place / not worth it / why bother.” But people do change, sometimes nudged by outside influences. I can see how stories are way more effective than complaining.
Justine’s tweet also helps me in the “let go of my attachment” department. Speaking up is not about changing someone’s mind or winning an argument. It’s about getting clear about my own thinking and being able to express it. I do have feelings about some topics of our day (Uber-style businesses, the digital divide, income inequality) but rarely say anything. The times that I’ve tried to recently, I quickly get tongue tied and stall out. Maybe there’s something to this practice thing after all.