Will people stop liking me if I speak my mind, being a nice girl?

Karen R Koenig

I don’t know. You tell me what will happen. Or, rather, what you fear will happen. Will some catastrophe befall you . . . or will you merely be uncomfortable as hell for a little while? The truth is that if people withdraw love, you’ll find others to love you. If they try to hurt you emotionally or physically, in most cases you can fight back or walk away from them. If they try to make you feel bad about being forthright, you can remind yourself that no one who really cares about you would want you to be dishonest and turn against yourself. If they abandon you, you’ll find others to help you and learn to stand on your own two feet by developing and drawing from inner resources.

One of the biggest problems you create by avoiding confrontation, fudging the truth, making nice with words, and allowing yourself to be silenced is that you lose respect for yourself, which leads to feeling ashamed. When you stand up for yourself, you might be frightened, but the end product is that - no matter what happens - you will always have the pride of having spoken out on your own behalf. Nothing can replace that feeling - no amount of false love or approval from someone else, no amount of security or money, no external prize you believe you’ll win by compromising your values, opinions, desires, and beliefs. Believe me, nothing feels as good as honest and proud.

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