Saying no can be the ultimate self-care. Claudia Black
The more we communicate in non-embodied ways, the less resilient we become. It's harder to have difficult conversations, we just rely on our phone to make people go away. Curtis Thompson.
I cringe when I hear clients say something to the effect of, "Yeah but I don't want to tell that person how I really feel because they will take it the wrong way." My usual answer to this is, "It's not in your control how others take things and it reflects on their work on themselves." I agree with the quote above that we tend to hide behind our devices instead of facing harder conversations and others' impacts on us.
As a society, we are so tied to outcomes that our own boundaries can get really hazy here. What would be the worst thing to happen if there was discomfort after sharing how we really feel about something. The discomfort might be a gift (whether the other person can acknowledge it or not) - can you be courageous to name your truth and still be kind to yourself after the fact.
The tendency in the climate right now is that there is so much polarization on views, and people tend to make simplistic and concrete judgments about others. "So and so believes x, and x is obviously wrong, so I'm going to just never see them again." Ouch - and I hear this a lot from clients of all ages. It misses a whole side of people that we just write them off because they have different views.
In school, I highly valued our groups that met and everyone was encouraged to talk about the harder thing in the room. There's something powerful in taking up space in areas where we were previously silent or too permissive. We need more people naming the impact others have on us.
I remember the concept that a lot of us don't do a good job of holding the "both and" viewpoint. Find the part you can agree with, name it with the person, and then also have integrity to name your truth and put it out there too. We all have dignity and we all have depravity - that's just the reality of our humanity. I love the idea of advocating for what we believe in, respecting that someone has a different view, and knowing that we stepped into it the best we could at the time. It's also a worthwhile struggle to wrestle with the guilt or shame that can follow us after naming a vulnerability.