Sunday, September 7, 2014

Using Your Voice

Today's Teabag Tarot: be heard

Being heard is about using your own voice to clearly express your needs, wants, desires and choices. It's about the firmness and directness of what is said. You don't have to be loud or obnoxious. You don't have to whine or chide. What you have to do to be heard is to be clear.

Of course there will always be people who will run over you with their own desires or choices. Being clear or firm with people like that may not change the outcome (like that co-worker who always follows you to lunch even when you say you want to be alone or you're meeting som). What it does, though, is remove the self-shaming, the self-blame ("Maybe I should have...."). If you''re clear about what you want, need or choose, then it's easier to accept that the response is not your fault.

Being heard is not about blaming others either. It's about personal boundaries and personal voice. It's not about giving you permission to be mean to the co-worker who follows or accompanies you to lunch without your permission. It's about giving you permission to continue to do what you need to do for yourself, to be clear that you are providing boundaries, even if they are being crossed. Eventually, even the most persistent pest understands being ignored and redirected because you are clear.

Being heard is also about speaking up for yourself. If there's a task you would like to do, ask if you could be in charge of that item. Or if there's a task you really don't feel comfortable doing, clearly state that you don't feel comfortable with it. That doesn't mean things will always go your way, but you know you're doing your best by yourself and others when you use your voice.

There are many opportunities each day for me to be heard. I can speak up on my job. I can tell my partner my meal preference. I can express without malice that a sales sign is misleading or misplaced.

How do you use your voice to be heard? How do you feel about speaking strongly for yourself? What next step would you like to take to improve your chances of being heard?

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