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Speaking Your Truths

 

Techniques Assertiveness > Speaking Your Truths

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Say what you believe when you want to do this. Speak your truths quietly and clearly. Whether or not it has any or absolute truth, you still have the right to say what you believe and that others listen to you.

One truth that can never be denied is how you feel. If you say you are happy, sad or angry, then nobody can challenge this. Only you truly know how you are feeling. By the same chalk, you cannot say definitively how others are feeling, although you can say that they look sad or appear angry.

When your truths are difficult for others to accept, you may make them easier to accept in how you say them, but it does not mean you must not say them.

Also listen to others. They, too have their truths which may be different from yours. Explore the differences, seeking to understand how they come to believe these things without judging the person. Also help them understand your thinking.

Know that when others do not understand or accept your truth, that does not mean that it is not true. Even if they disagree, you are not obliged to change your mind.

Example

I believe that if we continue in this way, the company is going to fail.

Sorry, but I don't think that dress suits you.

I am very disappointed with how little you have done this week.

Discussion

There is, arguably, no such thing as an absolute truth. Truth is a human construction. We believe things in order to understand and live in the world. Our beliefs are true to each of us, and it is valid that you and I can hold different and conflicting beliefs. Each of our truths is founded in our complex thought processes and memories. We can speak our truths, even though they may not be true for others.

By sharing what you believe to be true and listening to what others believe to be true, you can find other truths in between. You might also be able to persuade them to change their truths -- and you can also be open to having your truths changed by their arguments.

Sometimes truths can be uncomfortable, both for you and for other people, but this need not be reason not to speak those truths. You can be tactful in helping others to accept a truth that is difficult for them. It is surprising how often the hardest truths are also the most valuable. Remember the story of 'The Emperor's New Clothes': speaking difficult truths can have great power when all others are colluding in a larger lie.

Speaking assertively does not make something true (this is the assertion fallacy that teenagers and others sometimes try to use).

See also

Beliefs

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