How To Say What You Need To Say (Without the Fear of Sounding Pitchy)
I’m blessed to know a lot of women who are educated, confident, and are as tough as nails. I know women who could probably form a league of their own and rule the entire world if they wanted. But many of these extremely well-adjusted superwomen seem to have a problem: They all live in the fear of being called that one word.
You know the one. It’s the word that rhymes with stitch, kitsch, and pitch. That’s right.
Here’s the thing–as women we’re supposed to be the ones always carrying the olive branch and making sure everyone plays nice. If we’re ever the source of any behavior that might possibly disturb this wonderful, shiny, happy situation we’re immediately considered as horrid creatures who are just born to raise hell and toil. In short, we’re called ‘pitchy‘ with a b. (How’s that double-talk working out for you?)
As someone who has recently fallen into this fear (and possibly been called a few of those endearing words) let me tell you how to get over it and actually say what you need to say, when you need to say it:
- Figure out what it actually means to be ‘nice’: By that I mean, reconsider if NOT saying what you want to say would be the ‘nice’ thing to do. You may think you’re being nice and understanding by keeping your emotions to yourself and not letting people know what’s bothering you, but the reality is that you’re just making sure that no one else around you knows how you feel and you could be misleading people left and right. As a rule of thumb, most people who actually, you know, care about you (friends, family, partners) wouldn’t ever want to knowingly or intentionally be a cause of hurt or discomfort to you. Also, there’s no reason for you to make your relationship with someone close go sour by bottling your feelings up and, eventually, being resentful. So, when you think about it, confronting people or sharing feelings of yours that might cause some temporary disruption is actually a loving and, oh yes, very nice thing to do.
- Practice, practice, practice: Personally, I find this part of any serious talk/sit-down scenario absolutely key. Speaking from experience, when you just barge into a confrontational situation, with your emotions at a boiling point and your tongue traveling at a hundred miles per second, you’re only going to create one big, horrifying mess even if you are justified. You’ll end up throwing out some unnecessary verbal blows, sound flustered, choose the wrong timing, and will not know how to make your point come across clearly. In response, the person you’re unloading this emotional baggage onto might feel defensive or crazy confused and end up wanting to smash your head through a wall. Trust me, I’ve been on both sides of this story and I’m just trying to save you the heartache. So make sure you thoroughly think about what you want to say before you say it. Make sure you figure out the best time to do that. And make sure you take enough time to verify to yourself that your feelings are real and valid (not just some hormonal, momentary upswing) before you start voicing them.
- Show a little love: Look, I’m all for you emoting and letting your true colors show and all–but that does not mean you have to be a class-A jerk while doing it. And I’m not saying that its your job to make sure that everyone is happy all the time, but there’s nothing wrong with cushioning a blow with some loving and appreciative remarks. Hell, those harmless side-comments actually make your point a lot easier for the receiving end to digest. BUT! Make sure you don’t get too carried away with your appreciative comments and start losing track of what you’re actually trying to say. These remarks are only supposed to form a pretty frame around the bigger picture (which might not be so pretty). As Mary Poppins’ would advise all you need is a mere “spoonful of sugar” to help that tough love medicine go right down.
So, there you have it ladies (and gents, of course): a full-proof way of making sure you stand up for yourself, say what you need to say, and feel as (emotionally) light as a feather, all while keeping away from receiving that cringe-inducing, unjustified, and somewhat sexist title.
You know, the one that sounds like stitch, kitsch, and pitch (with a b).
All my love!