Time To Speak Out
The Malaysian Women\'s Weekly|July 2018

Voicing our opinions does not always come easily, but with your career and relationships at stake, it definitely pays to be upfront.

Ever had the nagging feeling that you should stand up for yourself, but instead of opening your mouth, you just ignored your instincts?

Turns out, keeping quiet when you need to boldly express your feelings can be detrimental to your work, health and social life.

“When I had young children, my mother had a habit of calling at precisely the worst time of the day – dinner time. Instead of telling her from the start that this was my tear-my-hair-out moment, and could she please call back later, I took her calls. A pattern formed of her ringing at this set time of the day,” says writer Tammy Cohen.

“I wish I could turn back the clock and pick up the phone that first or second time, and say, ‘Mum, I’d love to talk, but can we arrange a time when I am not so frantic?’ How hard would that have been? But instead of speaking up, I resented her for calling, and set a negative tone that ended up colouring our relationship for a disproportionately long time.”

Saying exactly what we mean is not something most of us are trained to do. From childhood, we are taught the art of people-pleasing – saying yes even if we mean no, holding back from saying anything that might offend and toning down forthrightness in case it comes across as being inconsiderate or arrogant.

But there are some very good reasons for trying to unlearn those early lessons now, and not holding back from speaking your mind. Learning to speak up will help you immensely – not just in your personal relationships, but also in your career.

Here, Dr Susan Newman shares seven reasons why finding your voice and standing up for yourself will help things work out better in the long run.

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