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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Have You Found Your Voice Yet? 

Have You Found Your Voice Yet? 

Are you clear in your mind about what you really think about things, your own opinions, wishes, your voice?

You may have spent months, or even years immersed in establishing your business or career, or attending to family responsibilities with little or no time for you.

It can seem almost impossible or even selfish to take a stand and claim time, money or space to speak up and say what you want, when other parts of your life are so demanding of your time and attention.

‘We’ as a Couple

Plus, if you’re part of a longterm relationship, conversations and decisions often revolve around what ‘we’ as a couple want, think or decide to do.

Yes, cementing that a, ‘us’ mindset, can be okay, quite comfortable in fact.

When things are good it can be lovely to be part of a couple and relax into an ‘us against the world’ mentality.

Being taken care of, not having to think too much about decisions and choices can be quite compelling, especially if we’re busy, tired or overwhelmed in other parts of our lives.


But, over time, we may find that we’ve lost the ability to think for ourselves, have become discouraged from speaking up and are gradually losing our personal identity.

Once a relationship starts to break down the cosy ‘us’ approach can become less attractive as we feel increasingly stressed and unhappy.

Our individuality may struggle as we become preoccupied with keeping the peace in an ‘it’s easier to say nothing’ mindset.

In those situations we maybe don’t even know what we want, think or feel anymore.

We learn not to ‘rock the boat’, not wanting to exacerbate any underlying tensions and create further stress.


Being a people-pleaser may result in us being perceived by friends as a little flakey, with no real opinions of our own.

Friends may even feel that we ‘blow with the wind’ and don’t know our own mind, always seeking approval, echoing the most recent thing we’ve heard or whatever’s been recently said.

Being busy, stressed and overwhelmed can prompt us to react with uncaring indifference, where there’s a sense of being emotionally and mentally drained, no space in our head to process another thing, much less risk adding any additional stress.


But that reaction can also be symptomatic of us being in an overbearing, controlling relationship.

Our partner may have started accusing us of being disloyal or disrespectful if we offer alternative ideas or pull away from sharing the same viewpoint as them.

A gradual erosion of our confidence, self-belief and self-worth can slowly evolve into a bullying, gaslighting situation where we never speak unless given ‘permission’.


It may ultimately dawn on us that we’ve been discouraged from having external friends or interests, repeatedly told that family members are too unpleasant or difficult to engage on a regular basis, perhaps been persuaded not to work ‘for now’, with the justification that we can take some time to consider our future options.


It can be compelling to prefer to smile, agree and keep the peace if navigating an alternative path has become too fraught or difficult.

At first being looked after can be an attractive proposition, but, as it loses its appeal, the coercion may escalate and it can become easier to stay silent and lose our voice.

Or we find ourselves increasingly saying what we think the other person wants to hear.

‘I don’t mind, whatever, you choose’, may become our usual, go-to phrases as we hardly dare venture to air our own preferences any more.


But, it’s important to remember to enthusiastically take opportunities to practice speaking up. We may startle friends or family when we first start to find our voice!

They may have not heard us speak up for some time!

Being clear about our boundaries and knowing what we want can take a while to identify, recognise and value, even by ourselves.

Finding Your Voice

Tentatively finding your voice and giving your views and input can start with using phrases like, ‘have you thought of this, why don’t we, I’d prefer to, would you like to try’, all low-key ways to introduce alternative opinions and options that suit you better.


Introducing boundaries and being firm about what you will and won’t accept, discovering your tastes and preferences can result in you starting to appreciate that compromise and negotiation are part of healthy co-existence with others.

All these are essential components in living an adult life in today’s world.

Why wait to find your voice, your personality?
Be ready now to let it show.    

Susan Leigh – Counsellor & Hypnotherapist lifestyletherapy.net 


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Susan Leigh
Susan Leighhttp://www.lifestyletherapy.net
Susan Leigh, counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer & media contributor offers help with relationship issues, stress management, assertiveness and confidence. Author of 3 books, ‘Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact’, ‘101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday’ and ‘Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain’, all on Amazon. To order a copy or for more information, help and free articles visit www.lifestyletherapy.net

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