You spend all day preparing for your girlfriends to come over– cooking, cleaning, getting the perfect drinks ready for a fun soiree that you’ve planned. They text you saying they can’t make it because other plans have come up. Instead of reacting the way you actually feel, you ultimately respond with, “That’s ok! no worries, we will get together some other time!” You’re not only frustrated with you friends, but also with yourself.
Speaking up to close friends can be intimidating– especially if you hate confrontation. But, by subduing your own feelings to keep the situation steady and pleasant for everyone else, you’re jeopardizing how you really feel.
Your feelings matter. And just because you sweep your own emotions under the wrong to keep things cool for now, doesn’t mean they’ll always stay that way. Below we have 5 ways to speak up for yourself and let your feelings be heard, in a “nice girl” way.
1. Trust your gut
Stop thinking it’s all your fault for your friends flaking or being rude. If you’re upset, trust yourself. Trust your voice. Trust that you’re upset for a reason. Understanding your emotions is important and knowing how to properly communicate them is even more so.
2. Don’t feel bad for “being mean”
Because you’re not. We’re not saying to go batshit crazy on a roommate– but feeling strong about something and speaking up about it opens the door to conversation and a potential level of closeness that you never had before. Sticking up for yourself is empowering, don’t feel “mean” for having feelings and acting on them.
3. Speak up!
Sometimes it’s as simple as sitting your friend down, spilling your feelings and understanding her side of the story too. SO much is lost in translation and busy scheduling that you’ll probably find the act really wasn’t as malicious as you once thought. But you’ll never know the real situation until you actually speak up to your friends.
4. Stop apologizing
Don’t apologize to avoid confrontation. While it may seem easier to just say, “sorry” and move on, you’re putting the blame on yourself for literally no reason. So often women use “sorry” as a verbal filler. Apologizing is incredibly powerful when used at the right time. Like when you actually did something worth apologizing for.
5. Put yourself in your friend’s shoes.
Wouldn’t you be happy that your friend spoke up if you did something wrong? When you look at the situation from her perspective, you’ll find that confronting her is easier than you ever expected. After a long time of feeling pushed around, it’s hard to not get over-sensitive. But you’ll never know the truth behind what happened until you talk it out.
While being the nice friend is great in many ways like being dependable, appreciated (most of the time) and better than the crazy friend (lol), it is important to have a backbone. And it’s more than just friendships– understanding how to communicate your worth is so important for career, love and beyond.
Image via Molly Peach