We can prevent conflict by speaking up. It is not easy especially when you fear what the other person will think. Perhaps you are scared they will react badly. Either way, it is always better to speak up when you would rather keep quiet. That is what I have learned from my past experience.
Our minds have a way of protecting us and preventing us from saying what we mean when we should. It will convince us to brush it off and set it aside for rumination later. Or it will make us believe we are bad people for speaking up and saying honestly how we feel about something. It gets trickier especially when you are a people-pleaser or a yes-girl. You always feel you must sacrifice your own needs to please others. And for those of us who struggle with a positive self-image we tend to go out of our own way to accommodate others’ demands for fear if we refuse we will just confirm the fact that we are selfish.
I am sure there was always that one time in our lives someone forced us into a corner by accusing us of the dreadful word, “Your are selfish!”, Or, “Don’t be selfish!” When they were simply projecting their own behaviour onto us. But unbeknownst to them, that undeserved label stays with us and affects all our decisions. It makes us afraid of doing anything for ourselves and cause us to self-sacrifice. You would think then we would get everyone’s love and approval but that is not the case. Even if we bent over backwards for someone, it is not a guarantee that they will like you. In fact, sometimes I have found myself in situations like that, where someone I prioritized above myself did the most damage in my life.
For this reason, I have been weary of anyone who creates inconvenience in my life. I have refused to compromise or prioritize others’ needs if they are at my expense. I have gotten overworked and rattled whenever someone threatens to rob me of my peace of mind or imposes on my personal space. However, I realized that there is always a solution which is to talk to the person about how their cations make me feel. It is better to explain why I cannot grant that favor or share that space. This way, the person does not feel offended and I don’t have to spend days getting worked up about it. Speaking up and communicating is hard for me but it is the solution for almost every conflict I tend to face in my life. I urge you to follow suit and choose to calmly talk about how you feel when something you don’t like happens instead of keeping quiet about it and suppressing it only for it to consume you for days and mess with your energy. Also, you don’t want to come off as duplicitous where you agree to something and act different later. I have been doing this for a long time without realizing it. It is best to say how you feel now and brace yourself for judgment or whatever, than hold it in only for it to come out in the worst possible way later.