Have you ever noticed that some people quietly go about their business and are not concerned what others think? When faced with a situation of differing opinions or someone with a problem they just listen and empathise? They will offer their opinion when asked but respect that everyone feels and sees things differently? They are easy to be around.
Are you always trying to convince others that the way you see things is the only way to view a situation? Do you have disagreements because your opinion is right and you won’t accept another point of view? Do you always have to have your say and voice your opinion? Are you so closed off to how others feel (because you don’t agree with how they feel) that you find it difficult to have a calm conversation about it?
I have to admit this has been me for the majority of my life. I was well known for giving “The Curnow Crunch” Lol! I wouldn’t hesitate to tell people what I thought and I would never stop to think before shooting off. I thought I had convinced myself that I didn’t care how others felt or my impact on others. I actually didn’t think I had much of an impact on others hence the need to force my point of view. I used to think that I just didn’t fit in and that others were just plain stupid for not seeing things the way I did. Sometimes I would go back and give a double handed apology; standing by my opinion (because I was right) but sorry that I was so aggressive in my approach (because deep down I felt bad but didn’t realise why)
It has only recently occurred to me why I have always behaved like this and more importantly that I no longer feel the need to engage in this kind of behaviour. Phew! Already my life has become more peaceful. It’s so weird how we put ourselves under so much additional pressure!
The reasons behind feeling insecure will be different for all of us. We all carry scars from history but the important thing is to not only accept that the past is something we can do nothing about, recognise that how you behave is due to feeling insecure and work on changing your behaviour today. Not so easy when you are still feeling insecure or worse are in denial that this is why you behave that way (which was me down to a tee!) When you don’t feel good about yourself we tend to find ways to project this onto others with this weird expectation that if we make others feel inferior, if we force our view on to others then somehow that will help us feel better about ourselves. Doesn’t usually work…
So how do we overcome a lifetime of conditioning to feel secure enough within ourselves so we don’t need to be so “loud”? How do we detach ourselves from the need to always voice our opinion? Here are my top 5 tips for becoming confidently silent!
- Do your inner work – by this I mean meditating, spending time alone, journaling, get to know yourself, read inspirational books, practise gratitude, kindness and forgiveness and make the time to look after yourself both physically and emotionally.
- Respect others feelings – we all view life very differently based on our past and life conditioning. No one’s feelings or opinions are right or wrong and as I am fairly certain we live in a democratic society we are entitled to feel however we want.
- Listen – instead of jumping in with your opinion or view try listening and empathising. Practise reflective listening ie. Repeat back in your own words what you understand has been said. Keep your opinion and advice to yourself unless specifically asked.
- Don’t respond to rude, argumentative, critical comments. You don’t have to participate in every argument you are invited to particularly when the attitude is already a negative one. I find no response at all is the best option. If you don’t engage with the negativity there is nothing for the other person to feed on.
- Let go – of needing to be right, the need to win, to be superior, of your reputation, being offended, of your ego…
Respecting others begins with respecting yourself. It is very difficult to find value in others when you are blinded by your own lack of self-worth. It’s a tough one to come to terms with but I promise you once you do your life will change in ways you have only dreamed of!