Remember a time when you felt that you weren’t being listened to?
Maybe your friend didn’t agree with your plans after college, or your parents think you should be a doctor instead of a store manager. These are important decisions and can make you feel a sense of frustration and unfairness. Right?
It’s important to speak up, and make sure you’re being listened to. But you might not be sure how to do this.
Here’s 5 tips to help you out!
Trust your gut – If something someone has said or done doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t right. Trust that you know unfairness of any kind when you see it.
Be confident but respectful – When speaking up for yourself, speak in a calm and clear voice. Walk away for a few minutes if you feel frustrated. This will help you stay calm and think about what to say.
Remember to listen to the other person – The other person may have a different opinion, but they always have a right to be heard. That way, you can better understand different people and different ways that people think about things. Sometimes it’s okay not to agree on where to go to college or a great company to work in, and that’s okay.
Make sure you approach the conversation from your personal point of view – Use “I” at the beginning of your sentence. Saying stuff like “I feel that it wasn’t nice to interrupt me while I was speaking just now” is better than “What is wrong with you? Don't interrupt me”. Remember that people respond better when they don’t feel targeted.
Talk about what kind of changes you want to see – Explain these in a calm way. For example, maybe you would like your parents to consider your choice of college. Explain that to them in an honest and respectful way.