Why and When to Speak Up



So, there is a cute little boy who lives on my floor with his parents, or well, that’s what it seems like. Every so often, he comes out with an adult and plays in the hallway, very loudly might I add. Sounds kinda cute, right? Yes definitely cute, but sadly the noise can be a tiny bit bothersome at times. Gen and I never really did anything about this, because we figured it wasn’t big enough of a problem. Well, the other day, we were leaving our apartment, and saw that this little guy was out with his dad, and he had a super long toy left out in the middle of the hallway. I kinda just sighed and figured I would be able to get around it with Chandler. You know me, the “I wanna avoid conflict, all day, everyday” girl. Normally, this is Gen too, but all of a sudden, I hear from behind me, “You know that’s in the way, right?” 


Say wha?!


I was shocked, we never speak up, we never confront people, I mean there’s a reason why I call us Zen (other than because it’s our two names put together). But, there we were, confronting our neighbors. The boy’s dad immediately apologized and moved the toy. I could not have been more proud of my wonderful wife! One of the many reasons I love her, she looks out for me. We quickly told him it was no big deal, we just didn’t want to have to touch his things. Great ending to the situation! I know what you’re probably thinking, “It isn’t always that easy” or “It doesn’t always go that smoothly”, right? Trust me, I hear ya, I’m never able to figure these things out.


Yep, you called it, here comes another one of my “wannabe famous” advice posts! Some quick answers to both the “why” and “when” questions of speaking up…


Why and When It’s Important to Speak Up


Danger – Definitely most important, I think. If something’s going on that puts you or someone else in danger, speaking up is essential. Any way you can… whether it’s through talking, writing,  singing, etc, just get it out there. 


Gut – Do you just have a bad feeling? Is your gut telling you that something isn’t right? Take it from me, you should always listen to that feeling. 


You – Super important one, guys! Speak up for yourself, because you deserve it. Respect, honesty, kindness, whatever it is, you deserve it! 


Protect – If you’re like me, then speaking up for someone you care about might just be a tad bit easier than speaking up for yourself. Sad, but true. This is what happened in my story, Gen spoke up.


Self-confidence – Let me put it this way… Gen was the one who actually spoke up, yet even I was feeling super confident afterwards. Imagine how the person who actually did the speaking up would feel? 


Example – We all need a little inspiration sometimes. Whenever I need to bite the bullet and speak up about something, I have a certain person I try to channel, because I know they would do great in the situation. So, who knows, you might be an example for someone else to follow!


Random (yet relevant) fact… “the bystander effect” – 

“The bystander effect occurs when the presence of others discourages an individual from intervening in an emergency situation. “ -> psychologytoday.com

Let me explain… Often, people don’t speak up because they think someone else will do it, everyone thinks that, no one says anything, the bad situation continues, and yeah… not good.


Bigger – This one sometimes helps me. If I tell myself that the situation is bigger than just me and affects a lot of people, it somehow motivates me. Human rights? Equality? Sure, no problem, I’m your girl, but something personal to me? I clam right up! Am I the only one who’s like this?? 


Not golden – You ever hear that expression, “silence is not golden”? In some situations, if you just stay quiet,  it seems like you agree with the bad thing that’s going on. Not sure if this one is actually helpful, or if it just adds too much pressure? Please let me know if you figure it out!  


Well, there’s my little post, trying to deal with a much bigger and broader issue. Hopefully some of it helped you or got you thinking!


Please go ahead and share your thoughts, questions, concerns in the comments below!

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