If you’re one of those confident people who always tells it how it is, I wish I’d been like you sooner. I was always too polite to say what was really on my mind and it wasn’t until I started speaking up for myself that I realized how much better things are this way. These days, if I think or feel something, I come right out and say it. Why didn’t I start doing this earlier?
- Being shy made it so much harder. I wasn’t bold enough to ask all those questions early on in the relationship, which in hindsight would have saved a lot of wasted time and energy. I’m not talking about asking whether he’s a cat or a dog person but the real questions that could’ve helped earlier on tell whether we were compatible. There’s nothing wrong with asking what his career goals are, what sex means to him, or how he feels about kids earlier on, but I thought there was for a long time.
- There is a time to say no. I used to find it hard to reject someone. I’m empathic and that means I’m conscious of hurting people’s feelings. When it came to dating, being too polite to say no was often to my own detriment. Oh, the time I wasted on dates that I knew wasn’t going anywhere only because I didn’t know how to say no when they asked me out. I’ve kissed being agreeable for politeness’ sake goodbye now. I can say no to a dinner and movie if I’m not into him and even if he tries to convince me to give him a chance, I’m able to walk away.
- No one likes predictable. Being too polite is so much more boring than having the confidence to speak your mind. It’s almost too predictable in that people know they can get away with all kinds of crap because you’ll never speak up. I want to be the girl who has everyone hanging onto her every word and wondering what she’s going to say next. I want to be the girl who challenges my friends and partner in conversation, not for the sake of arguing but because we want to push each other to be better. Speaking up is really spicing my life up a bit.
- Things seem more real. To be honest, I feel like I’m being more genuine when I tell it like it is. There’s no more pretense that everything is fine just because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or step on their toes. In fact, I think being honest is appreciated by everyone. These days, I speak up when I don’t like something my guy or my friends are doing. I’m no longer hesitant to tell my friend that she deserves much better than her cheating boyfriend. I don’t want to hurt her feelings, I’m doing it out of love.
- I’m so much more relaxed. Now that I’m not so concerned with being polite all the time, I don’t have to bottle up my feelings. I’m so much more relaxed about everything. If there’s something I don’t like, I can come out and say it. It’s amazing how many sleepless nights this has saved me. I feel so much better. Seriously, speaking your mind helps!
- Now I do exactly what I want. Gone are the days when I would do something because I felt like I had to. If I don’t feel like going to the birthday party of a friend who never calls and who I haven’t seen in two years, I don’t have to. If I don’t want to play video games with my boyfriend, I don’t. I’m done doing things just to be nice. Now I do things that I genuinely want to do.
- I’m no pushover. I think the terrible thing about being a nice person is that whether they realize it or not, people take advantage of you. The fact that you’re always there when needed makes you the friend everyone runs to with their problems. You’re the girl who will answer the phone at 3 a.m. just to hear your best friend complain for the 100th time about the latest terrible thing her boyfriend has done even though you know she’ll never leave him. You’re the girl who will cancel your plans for the friend who never prioritizes you. You do it because you’re a nice person and there’s nothing wrong with that, but sometimes you have to put yourself first, and telling it exactly how it is totally helps.
- There has to be a balance. One thing I want to stress is that I’m not advocating the no-filter approach. Yes, you should still think about other people’s feelings and be empathic. Yes, you should still be a good friend/girlfriend and give up your precious time to be there for those you love. What I’m saying is that you don’t have to be Superwoman while being Supergirlfriend while being Superbestie while being Supernicegirl because all that does is make you super tired and super burnt out. Recognize that there are times when you need to put yourself, your needs, and your ideas first. There are times when you should speak what’s on your mind—those who love you will be happy to listen.