art work by John Ceprano
CINERGY (tm) - Peacebuilding... one person at a time

Speaking Your Mind

The expression on today’s blog – speaking your mind – means saying exactly what we think regardless of whether or not others will agree. The idea of doing so comes with boundaries for some of us, and we may not say exactly what is on our mind whether or not others will agree. That may be only one reason. Other reasons have to do with a fear of conflict and associated challenges discussed in a number of previous blogs. What other reasons occur to you?

A little anecdote about truth-telling occurred to me as I was focusing on this topic. I value honesty and try my best to live my life with truths. Some years ago I read a newspaper article entitled “Lie to me a Little” and I smiled then, and as I recall it, because in that article the author wrote about an interpersonal conflict and how she had wished the other person had not been so “brutally honest”.

One of the author’s points in that article was essentially that some messages can be conveyed without stating the full truth and that honesty is not always the best policy. That is, the writer of that article asked readers to consider whether it is necessary at all times to be totally honest, and that it may be a good idea to “lie a little” rather than risk causing hurt that is potentially irreparable. The writer qualified her comments by stating that there may be a necessity, at times – but not all the time – to say things “in all honesty” even though they hurt.

Speaking our minds may be considered an honest act and works for those of us who believe it is important to state what we believe and perceive and take the risks that go along with doing so. An important consideration to add is how we do so. Others of us might advocate censoring what is on our minds and saying only what we think is important to get our points across and that may not be totally honest. And then, there are others of us who do not disclose much of what we really want to convey in hopes we are heard in any case.

Considering situations when you have not spoken your mind or when someone has not done so to you, these ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may help to explore your sensibilities about this topic:

  • Generally-speaking, under what circumstances do you not speak your mind?
  • Considering one situation when you did not speak your mind, why did you choose not to?
  • What positive outcomes resulted for you from not doing so? What were not so positive outcomes for you?
  • What positive outcomes occurred for the other person by you not speaking your mind?
  • What opportunities may you have missed by not speaking your mind?
  • Generally-speaking, what, for you, are the most compelling reasons for speaking your mind?
  • When you have done so, what positive things have happened on two of those occasions? What not so positive things occurred?
  • When you discover others have not spoken their mind to you – by being totally honest – what do you think or feel about that?
  • Considering one of those situations, what different results may there have been if the other person had spoken their mind – by being totally honest?
  • What have you learned over time about the optimum ways to speak your mind (by your experience, observing others, etc.)?

What other ConflictMastery™ Quest(ions) may you add here?

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