Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Chicken Wings and Dragons Roars

You know it is a good day when your lunch includes chicken wings. No, not the most healthy food item, or is it best for the burning of the belly... but yummy all the same.

Publix's deli was selling these Cajun style wings- made with rosemary, paprika, pepper, cayenne and a few other fabulous herbs and spices. I just had to give them a try, and SO glad I did.

I have spent my lunch hour reading up on your blogs. Yes, I may not always comment, but I DO read every blog post that I follow. So if you wrote one today, I assure you, I read it.

What I love to see if the same theme that sweeps through during various times of year. For instance, right now - many of you are dealing with the changes/transitions/hopes/fears of a New Year.  What I find comforting in these posts is, we are all on the same wave length. We all want a new, "fresh" start - and we made our plans and are hoping for the best.

I have always prided myself on being a "strong" woman. I stand strong in my convictions, will stand up for what is right, and not afraid to speak my mind. I often encourage the passive aggressive folks or the soft spoken ones to "stand up" and "fight for what is right." What I think the hardest thing for someone that is more passive than aggressive is to understand that strength is not found in hurting others, it is in being confident. There is a HUGE difference in confidences versus being a blow horn.

The biggest mistake a person struggling with finding their "voice" is that they have squelched the fire that was burning inside of them for so long, that when they try to express themselves it comes off as a dragon roar. No one wants to hear that.. nor will they listen.

I decided to take a look at the "healthiest" way to "find your voice." Basically - how to express yourself. Being a tortured soul is one thing, acting like a caged animal released into the wild is another.

I found an article on the web that has some great advice! Written by: Greg S. Baker is a Pastor, Counselor, and Author specializing in building and strengthening relationships.
For more books and resources on how to communicate better, express yourself, and strengthen social skills, please visit his website at: fitlyspoken.org :


TIPS ON EXPRESSING YOURSELF
- Do A Lot Of Reading



Reading will help you learn how other people express themselves. Pay attention to word usage, diction, flow, voice and tone. These will give you ideas on expressing yourself.



Look up words that you've never seen before. Use them. They'll provide you with many and myriad ways of expressing your emotions. Often, I've found that a single word does better expressing what I feel than an entire paragraph of sentences. Learning new words will help you express yourself better and reading will help you to learn different ways to do so.



A wise man once said, not every reader is a leader, but every leader is a reader.


-Do Some Writing On Your Own


Do a variety of writing. Start a novel. Write letters. Keep a journal or diary. Often, you'll find that writing helps you to think your thoughts through. In the heat of an argument, you'll often say what you don't mean in a tone that creates more resentment. Writing will help you organize your thoughts. It'll give you focus and direction.



- Don't Fear People's Judgment



Social anxiety is not a disease. You can't catch it from someone who has it. It is a spiritual state of mind that is the direct result of fear. There is really only one type of fear and that is the fear of the unknown. Don't fear what other people think about you. Honestly, your imagination will create far worse scenarios than what most people will ever think.



To overcome your fear, try asking for their help. Try this, "I'm having a hard time expressing myself, and I thought maybe you could help me." Saying that will invoke an instinctual need that most everyone has-the desire to help and feel needed. Hardly anyone will be critical of you when you've asked for their help.



It also sets the stage to retract what you may say when you say it wrong. Since you've already warned them that you are struggling with expressing yourself, when you actually struggle with it, they'll just shrug it off. It's a great tool to overcoming your fear of other people's judgment.



-When You're Upset, Write A Letter


If you're furious at someone, then go ahead and write them a nasty letter. Just don't give it to them. Sleep on it. The next morning, go back over the letter. You'll find that your attitudes and perspective have shifted. I seriously doubt you'll send the letter under those conditions.



But more than that, sending someone a letter that is well thought out is a great idea when you're trying to express yourself. Look, letters can't be argued with, they can't be interrupted, and you can't derail the train of thought. In fact, even if the letter is negative, most people will read it all the way through.



Sometimes a well worded letter will allow you to convey your feelings where a conversation would not.



-Be Mature When You Express Yourself



I don't take people seriously when they rant, rave, swear, cuss, insult, deride, mock, or get stubborn. These are immature attitudes that prevent and hinder the expression process.



Here is a rule of thumb. If they are willing to talk about others behind their back, they will do it to you too. Let's stay away from the unproductive gossip, the insults, the profanity, and the finger pointing. These accomplish nothing. Think about it, when is the last time you actually made a situation better by swearing at someone? Maturity in conversation is thoughtfulness, consideration, and the willingness to listen. Show respect to others and they will respect you.

-Ask Questions


You'll be amazed at how easy it is to express yourself in the form of a question.


But the short of it is this, questions allow you to interact with others. They involve you in their thoughts, feelings, worries, and cares. This provides an opportunity to express yourself better to them. Expression is best done when there is good interaction. Thoughtful questions provide this platform.


DANGERS OF NOT BEING ABLE TO EXPRESS YOURSELF

If you have a fear of people, people will avoid you. It's a vicious cycle. You avoid people because you fear that they will hurt you. People see your aloofness, and either think the worst (that you're stuck up), or grant your desire and leave you alone. Then you wonder why it is that no one likes you.

When you can't open up to people, people will feel that you are unapproachable. You'll have a hard time getting close to people when you bottle everything up inside. Your relationships will all be shallow.

Your inability to express yourself will haunt you in times of trouble. You'll need help, you'll want help, but you won't seek it. You'll hide. So, no one helps you. Then you grow resentful and angry.

Another danger is that of isolation. You build walls around your emotions and people instinctively leave you alone. That might be what you wanted at first, but your life will be barren, and empty. Life is relationships. The stronger your relationships the more joy you'll have in life. No matter if it is with your mate, God, children, neighbors, co-workers, friends, relatives, or even yourself, you must learn to express yourself.

*****

There you guys go.. some good advice on expressing yourself. Finding your voice is what blogging is all about. It's great to have an outlet- finding a way to do it where it resonates with your audience is important. If you don't care about making connections with others- then I suggest purchasing a journal and writing in it by hand!

XOXO

Nicole














2 comments:

Leanne said...

had to print this out earlier and will read it tonight ... lots to contemplate, and lots of valuable info. You're cool.

Cassandra said...

I was talking to someone recently about sending letters to people who have seriously or unfairly wronged you. I've written many letter I've never sent. I've written people in stories to get a fictional revenge. I've written blogs about people who have hurt me, posted them, an had the intended audience stumble upon them...read them...and get pretty angry. And I've actually written very vicious, but completely professional and mature, letters to others who I've felt worthy - and sent them.

Oddly enough, when I actually take the time to write and send a private letter/email...I never get a response. If I had received those letters I would have been outraged, I would have had to say something back, but they didn't...maybe because they knew they deserved the harsh words.

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