Hi everyone! So today I’m going to review how I’ve done with my goal for my 26th year that I have been working on: speaking up. Last year I introduced my goal in a blog post and I have to say that I think I didn’t really do a good job of focusing on it throughout the year. But better late than never I suppose!
So every year around my birthday (May 12th) I chose something that I want to work on. Last year I decided to focus on speaking up more.
Oh I also write a blog post every day on this blog and call it BirthMay! I always forget that part haha.
So back to my goal. Specifically I wanted to gain a strong sense of candor with how I speak up. I always give my opinion when asked (people learn this very quickly about me) and I always do so honestly. However, I wanted to focus on doing so directly and openly, even when not asked. Of course this hasn’t always been met with a positive response but I’m always happy when I do it.
From the beginning my goal was to be honest and open against assumptions and injustices. It was also to be able to communicate better with people around me. What my goal wasn’t meant to be was about being “devil’s advocate” which was not what it turned into, thank goodness. One unexpected outcome was that I am someone that people come to for advice a lot, and I do like this. Of course, this also means there’s a level of confidentiality that comes along with all of the conversations I have but I don’t mind.
For the first few months of my 26th year I didn’t really do much towards this. It does take time to change something but I don’t think I did enough as I didn’t think about my goal often. However in the last half of the year or so I did start sharing more of my thoughts and now I think the people around me (my parents and coworkers specifically) probably wish I didn’t do so as often! But they have to deal with it and eventually they appreciate it or get over it so it all works out.
I have to say the pros outweigh the cons. Now I never go out of my way to be mean about being honest (okay maybe only sometimes) but I don’t try to be overly nice about it either (except on a very few rare times). I think overall people are happy to hear the truth rather than have someone say what they want to hear or tiptoe around it. I certainly think my relationships with a few people have been strengthened and they’re also more upfront with me in return. There are many that will just gloss over the truth you tell them, even if they ask for it, but I still provide my opinion as they may want to come back to it later, and sometimes they do.
Long story short, I’m enjoying the candid conversations I can have with people. I can’t really share many as most that come to mind involve people that could come across this blog post. I don’t share my blog link with many people but they can easily find it through my various social media that they have access to. And because those conversations are so honest and personal I don’t want to share them as they aren’t my stories only. But I can share some tips I use to have these conversations with people.
- Always ask if you can be honest if you aren’t sure how they want the conversation to go. I have asked this question to many people and after asking maybe two or three times they’ll tell you, or you can guess, how they want the conversations to go. I have a handful of people that I know always want the honest answer and if they don’t they’ll specifically say so for that particular conversation.
- Think before you speak. This is one that sounds simple but when you’re being open and honest, the truth can sometimes sound harsher than you intend. So take a moment to think if you’re saying it in a way that will be interpreted how you want it to be. And because not everyone is comfortable with a moment or two of silence it’s always okay to use filler sounds like “hmmmmm” or say that you’re thinking of how to best respond and putting your words together. You can always come back to the conversation later as well if you need time to think about it.
- Be a listener first. I’ve noticed that sometimes we all tend to interrupt and try to get our point across but listening to someone fully can help ease the conversation and really get a clear understanding of the situation. This is especially helpful for me because my life and the people around me tend to have vastly different lifestyles or experiences than I do, so learning as much about the situation before giving my thoughts. As I said, a lot of people have started coming to me for advice and share personal stories. Even if they share them with others later on, I don’t talk about them outside of with the person directly because that’s not what was intended at first. And I always try to give the advice that would be helpful and honest. Although usually I’ll throw a bit of humor in there too!
And that’s my review for my goal! I’m kind of bummed that I didn’t do more regular check-ins as I’d probably have more information for you but feel free to ask any questions. Also, is there any goal you’re currently working on? Let me know!
Thanks for reading!
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