I have a confession. One that will probably baffle and bewilder you. I confess that even though I am in the field of communications, I am a terrible communicator. Yes, I admit it, but here's the beauty in the revelation: like all great things in life, I have the power to change it. All it takes is implementing some new habits. So, here is how I plan to say exactly what I mean in every situation, and how you can too!
Everday Remind Yourself What YOU Want
Most of the contributors and readers of this site are probably in their early to mid-twenties. This is precisely the time that we are trying to figure out what we really want out of life. This is the most selfish time that we have to ourselves. Why relinquish that power? Live for you. Make the decisions that will bring you that much closer to your hopes, goals, and dreams. I know it's hard to "let people down" when the answers that we give don't always align with the things that people want to hear. But sometimes others' vision for ourselves doesn't align with our vision for ourselves either. If they truly care about you, that's won't matter. The people that care about you will support most of your decisions (unless they're really bad decisions). Internalize that your thoughts and opinions matter, as well as your desires and needs.
Pause and Think Before You Give a Response
Sometimes we respond way too fast, and in that way, we say things we really don't mean. This is especially true when we're angry. I think taking the time to think is super important. Take that little bit of extra time to again decide what do YOU really want. You don't want to agree to anything that doesn't align with what you aspire to do or even who you are.
Speak Slowly and Clearly
Choose your words carefully, as black mommas are prone to say. Feel the weight of your words. Rushing through them doesn't allow the power of your words to really reach the other person. Don't you want them to really hear what you have to say? Of course, you do! Make sure they feel what you're saying.
Stand by Your Word
I think words are powerful (precisely why I am a writer and in the communications field). Words are our way of communicating not only our thoughts but by extension, our values and morals. We must stand up for what we believe in, the importance of this might be super obvious now due to today's social and political climate.
Another example why this is so important: I was in a really bad relationship when before, I always told myself, "Oh, I'll never be one of those girls to stand by and let a dude dog them out." I didn't stand by my words. I told him three times that I was through with him before the situation finally ended. Ultimately, I didn't stand by my word the first time.
Ladies, stand by your word. You know in your heart what is and isn't for you. Communicate that in all ways, always.