When discussing a subject that you feel strongly about, there is nothing wrong with stating your thoughts and feelings on the topic. Even if others disagree with your views. You need to have the confidence to air your feelings. It is not always easy but if you want to live a happy and healthy life, you must be authentic.
By airing your views to others they may see you in a different light. They might not even agree or understand where you got your point of view from. But there should be no judgement from either side. You are definitely entitled to your views, as are they.
It takes confidence to be the one to be in opposition to anything. It is much easier to stay silent or just nod your head in agreement. It takes guts to speak out, but when you do you will feel so proud of yourself for doing so.
While it is easy to allow others to influence your life you should not let anyone do this all the time. To get out of this scenario you want to surround yourself with people who are open to everyone just being themselves. This might be dressing the way you want to, having different views or only eating specific foods. No one should judge you for your actions. They should just appreciate that your actions are only an extension of the real you.
Of course there will always be times when others will provide a positive influence on your thoughts and feelings. This is fine but if you are being influenced to think, say or do things that you don’t agree with, you need to take action.
Here are some simple steps to reduce the influence that others exert over you:
1. Know your own thoughts and feelings
When it comes to subjects that you care about, it is imperative that you are fully aware of your own thoughts and feelings about it. Take the time to reflect upon the issues that concern you. Explore your thoughts and feelings and try to understand why you think the way you do.
All of this will help you to feel more confident in your views and, in your right to hold those views.
2. Keep a journal
To help you think through the issues which are important to you, there are few tools better than a journal. On a daily basis, you can write about what is on your mind and how you feel about it. When you write these things down, it actually forces you to think through them thoroughly.
You do not need to evaluate and judge as you write; just write whatever is going through your mind .You will soon find though that your thinking on each subject becomes clearer and as it does, it becomes more difficult for others to influence your thinking without a coherent and convincing argument.
3. Practice saying ‘No’
Despite the fact that it only contains two letters, many people find ‘No’ to be the most difficult word in the world to say. This is usually because they so rarely say ‘No’ to others. If you don’t say it when needed, then you are giving others control over your life, your decisions and your time.
If you find that you are like this then you need to get some practice saying ‘No’. Every day, you deal with a number of issues which are not that important to anyone. These issues can provide you with an opportunity to get some practice at saying ‘No’. The more accustomed you become to saying that little phrase, the easier it will be for you to stand your ground and say it when something important pops up.
I am not suggesting that you become a total pain in the butt but adding the word ‘No’ to your vocabulary, just a few times a day, will have a positive effect on your confidence, your time management and more.
4. Don’t excuse or justify
It would be an incredibly boring world if we always agreed with each other. If you disagree with others; that is perfectly acceptable. There is absolutely no need to excuse or justify yourself for disagreeing. Others should be well able to accept that you differ and, if they cannot do that, then the problem lies with them, not you.
It is the important that you hold yourself to the same standard i.e. if somebody disagrees with you, you should not require them to excuse or justify their opinion.
If somebody is demanding that you justify your opinions, it can be a sign of Passive Aggressive Behaviour.
5. Choose your peers wisely
There are people in this world who will always try to pressure you into agreeing with everything they say. They will strive to make you feel guilty for having the audacity to express an alternative view point. These people cause more headaches than any sane person can handle. They love the sound of their own voice and have little, if anything, to offer to a mutually beneficial relationship. You really don’t want people like this as friends or peers.
Alternatively, there are many people who will always be delighted to hear your opinion, even if they don’t agree with it. They will value your thoughts, values and beliefs and they will actually be happier when you stick to what you believe rather than seek agreement for the sake of agreement. Not only do these people make better friends and peers; they also make great role models.
6. Call them out
When somebody attempts to pressure you into changing your view point; it is unacceptable. You should feel free to call them out on it e.g. ‘You just want me to agree with you but on this occasion I cannot do so’. In many cases, they won’t have realised that they have crossed the line and this will bring them to their senses. In others cases, they will realise that you are not going to bow to their pressure.
Clear communication is critical in helping you to defend your position and abstain from bowing to the demands of others. How To Talk So Others Listen will help you to communicate more effectively.
So if you are feeling as though you are not living the life you were meant to. Stop allowing others to make your decisions. Take a stance and stand up for yourself. Choose your own path and be prepared to accept any consequence, good or bad that this might involve. You can be the person you truly want to be by taking action, starting today. This requires that you become more aware of who are and what you believe. You then need to learn to express and defend your positions. When you do, you will be much happier and more focused on creating the life you want. Read more…