You Are to be Seen and Not Heard!
Throughout my childhood, I was told, “You are to be seen and not heard! Don’t do as I say, do as I do!” These messages can be confusing enough as an adult. As a child, they can mold and shape you—and that’s what happened to me.
As an adult, I did the “you are to be seen and not heard” gig for years. I lived a corporate life and kept my mouth shut—well, sort of. I was driven and climbed the ladders and quite frankly, very successful. Let me tell you, I had to speak to get myself to this position, but I held a lot back
Women are told so much in society: “Oh you must dress a certain way to be feminine, you must sit and talk a certain way. If a woman is high up in her position, she must be a bitch. Keep your mouth shut and do not ruffle feathers.” This is all a form of a voice, and a choice, and here is what I chose for years.
Going with the Flow
First, I let my Hag in the Attic control every move and thought to the point of exercising myself into the ground. I thought I was fat and didn’t have the PERFECT body. OMG no-one does. As I climbed those corporate ladders, I spoke, of course, but I said what I thought was “supposed to be said.” I went with the flow for fear of not being accepted or getting fired. You know, ruffling feathers. This hindered my health in a huge way. In a mixed gender meeting, men were dominating, over-ruling and downright mean! And I didn’t speak up. Women were just as threatening and nasty, and I still didn’t speak up.
Fast forward to another lifetime, being a business owner. I fell back into this trap. In the beginning, I idolized others, I spent too much money, and I was following a tribe that didn’t not only fit well for me but didn’t feel well either.
In the corporate world, I was a top leader and was fired. I didn’t even see it coming. This devastated me to the point of deep depression and embarrassment. My worth was wrapped up in my title, and how much money I was making and yet I never spoke up, I NEVER SPOKE MY TRUTH.
In the early years of my business, I followed and idolized only to compromise my health and bank account.
My point to all of this:
Speak up in a non-emotional way. Now hold on, I’m not saying get rid of those emotions, but speak up with a firm yet factual stance. This takes WORK. Here is what I mean and what I could have done in the past (not dwelling here, just learning for the moment and future):
- When someone is speaking to you in a manner that is unacceptable, you can say, hold on, this is unacceptable. Let’s reconvene later when the both of us have a better handle on what is going here.
- When speaking to someone, remove the blame; as a society, we point our fingers and lack responsibility. I am guilty of this when I speak in an environment that is hitting my emotions. It can sound something like, “You did this or that, or You made me feel this way,” Okay, first of all, no one can make you feel a certain way. I know this is a hard one to swallow, but seriously folks, we need to stop taking everything so personally and putting the blame on others. Nothing gets accomplished this way.
- A dialogue can be like this, “I feel, I need to…I feel we need to…The facts stated here are…”
With all of this being said, it involves a lot more than I could fit in one blog post. The Hag takes a lot of training and management. When our emotions come into play, it becomes a no-win situation that leads to finger-pointing and a lack of resolution. My way or no way conversations only leads to pain loss.
When Your Bold Voice Speaks, it will allow you to support others without having to be the victim.
Our voice and words can either harm or heal. You chose.
Peace & Love,
The power and effects that words have upon us if we allow them too. When I learned that taking offence was keeping me shackled to Satan himself I started working on how not to be and to learn patience every day and live by it. We are surrounded by too much of pressure and we can either be a slave to the pressure and react or kick it to the kerb and respond.
Yes slave or manage all of this. No controlling involved!
Love this Kim. I am with you that changing our track (patterning) takes work. Speaking up and speaking our own truth is not for the weary, but for the soul who seeks to know herself and to truly honor herself in every way.
Yes it is Evelyn and you are one woman that walks and leads this as well! Thank you
I find it really difficult to speak up without showing high levels of emotion and words are so powerful, if they are said with the wrong tone it can be really detrimental to relationships. I know.
Yes indeed, Tiffany! That is why having our emotions managed is another huge thing.
I think this is one of your most powerful posts! So many of us, especially when young, are conditioned to be “good girls” by being quite, cheerful and accommodating. I *still* struggle with ruffling feathers and people not liking me as a result. After all these years! Thanks for the reminder that my opinion is just as important as anyone else’s opinion. Cheers!
Thank you so much, Thea! Yes your voice counts and is very important!
This is one of those things that is often easier said than done, so any reminders like this are great to read!
Yes Rachel, practice is progress!
Absolutely Kim. Totally agree with the disconnecting the emotion and also owning what you say, rather than it being confrontational and a personal attack. I’ve always expressed the importance of this to my daughters, I feel rather than you’ve done this / you are etc. Being real and true to yourself are so important but not an easy place to get to.
So cool you implement this stuff to your daughters. I wish I had that when I was younger.
I love how you refer to that negative voice as the hag. She is such a hag though! Having a voice is so powerful, and I love seeing that you are using yours to help people.
Thanks for the reminder to be “radically honest” so that I don’t feel insignificant by not speaking my truth. Radical Honesty is a process developed by psychologist Brad Blanton. He says that if you are radically honest you will never have issues weighing you down.