Speaking Up is Hard

This post is inspired by autumnskiesblog’s post on The Bipolar Writer. She wrote about how it is difficult for her to speak when somebody asks her a question or for her input. I relate to this so much so I wanted to share my experience too.

All throughout school I would almost never raise my hand to answer a question. Getting called on out of the blue was a fate as bad as getting yelled at by the teacher. Teachers felt like they had to call on me because I rarely raised my hand. I either didn’t have anything to say or I was nervous that my answer was wrong.

In college it was the same. One of my professors actually confronted me about it. Her name was Dr. Simcox, very smart and serious woman, who wondered why I never contributed in class. I flat out told her the truth.

I said, “I don’t have anything to say and I don’t want to get the answer wrong.”

I have always been afraid of sounding stupid or saying the wrong thing in front of a lot of people. Oddly enough I didn’t have those worries when I performed minor roles in the plays in high school.

Those fears have stayed with me all of my life. The fear of speaking up (even if it would mean something positive could happen for myself) has held me back. I often leave a situation regretting that I didn’t say something that I wanted to.

I’ve worked with my therapist to try to speak up in meetings at work or in general conversations with other humans. The conversations with my cats go very differently.

Yesterday I found the courage to speak up in a meeting. I don’t know where it came from but I opened my mouth and gave my opinion. My idea was shot down but I think that was good practice to realize that if I’m wrong about something, I can survive it.

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