Have you ever felt intimidated? I have: by the appearance of a large stranger in an isolated location; or an aggressive man or woman who talks loudly non-stop; or a teacher whose good opinion I depend on. Those are the kinds of people and situations that intimidate me the most.
Psychology Today looks at this topic in the October 2019 edition.
Sometimes when I’m feeling intimidated I begin to question myself: am I really getting this right? Did I make a mistake? I often automatically suspend judgment, giving myself time to think it over (I believe) before responding. When I do this, I become silent, effectively losing my voice. And this act of voluntary silence only adds to my sense of insecurity.
For many, we were taught as children to be silent. We were taught that adult opinions mean more than our own. Then, when we become adults, instead of shaking our childhood silence off, we carry it with us – as an ingrained habit that does nothing for our own personal sense of power.
What do you do when you feel intimidated? If I’m aware of that feeling, I speak up, because speaking up, no matter how badly it might come out, is a lot better than remaining silent.
It’s risky. I might hurt someone or get hurt. But with practice, I get better at it.
You will too!
(For tools in speaking up, watch the video in my newsletter)
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Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist. To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .