Day 2754: Reasons you should speak up

Are you ever in situations where you don’t speak up, and you’re not sure why you are silencing yourself?

I’ve noticed this in myself and in others. And this tendency to not speak up is especially critical these days, when silence can equal violence.

Besides that article about speaking up against racism (linked to in the previous paragraph), I’m also looking at a helpful article by Kevin Daum that discusses 5 Reasons You Should Speak Up (Even When You Think You Shouldn’t).  For me, the highlights of that article are that

  • Silence is deemed approval and is not an effective way to avoid conflict.
  • Many stay silent because they don’t want to do any harm by criticizing or offending someone.
  • It’s important to show your commitment to the process by being vocal.
  • Honesty builds trust, especially when combined with tact and empathy.
  • What’s obvious to you might not be obvious to others.
  • You may not be alone in your thinking.

Are there other reasons to speak up? What might get in the way of you speaking up about that, here?

For me, what gets in the way of speaking up includes:

  • fear of doing harm,
  • fear of being misunderstood,
  • fear of feeling alone,
  • fear of being attacked for my opinion,
  • fear of exposing myself or others,
  • fears that are difficult to describe but which have lived in my heart for a long time,
  • wanting to maintain harmony whenever possible,
  • internalized sexism,
  • internalized ageism,
  • the saying “silence is golden,”
  • not being sure, in the moment, of what I want to say,
  • wishing to hear all sides before I decide what I want to say,
  • denial about what is going on (if the situation feels uncomfortable),
  • believing that the time  to speak up has passed,
  • distraction,
  • exhaustion,
  • mind-reading, catastrophizing, and other cognitive distortions.

However, when I don’t speak up, I usually regret it. It’s helpful for me to

  • remember that I CAN  speak up next time and
  • forgive myself for my past silences, because guilt and shame are silencers.

Are there reasons to speak up about my pictures from yesterday?



























Please don’t be afraid of those right and wrong buzzers and speak up in a comment, below.

I also want to speak up about my friend Megan


… who gives me the courage to speak up. Yesterday, we spoke up to each other about the pandemic, racism, privilege, our work as therapists, the death of a shared patient from COVID-19,  difficult people, uncertainty, masks, politics, hopes, our children, the past, the present, the future, and our long-time friendship.

Here‘s “Speak Up, Speak Out” from Melinda Carroll:


Nothing gets in the way of my speaking up  about my gratitude to all who help me create these posts and — of course! — to YOU.

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Categories: cognitive behavioral therapy, friendship, life during the pandemic, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

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27 thoughts on “Day 2754: Reasons you should speak up

  1. Kelly Haran

    Eggplant parm looks SO good! Having my morning coffee- but have an immediate craving for that. Your meals always look delicious.

    • It’s SO good to see you here, Kelly! Thanks for speaking up. Yes, my husband Michael makes delicious and nutritious meals every day.

  2. In this part of the world, we were taught not to speak up. We were told to just accept the things we are not okay with. And it took me years before I learn to speak up and you know what….it feels good!

  3. That young girls’ mask co-ordinates very well with her purple shoes. Summery!

  4. Speaking up is often the easy part. First comes the hard work of understanding. And then comes the hard work of solving real problems, the kind where you don’t even get a chance to complain that racism or some other kind of -ism is at play. I’m trying to help someone find a male refugee from Africa find work and a place to rent (the fourth time in a year that I’ve assisted a newcomer in this way) and it’s frustrating to run into barriers that we can’t prove are there. It’s surprising that this is a problem in such an ethnically-diverse area but it is.

  5. growing up, I never felt my voice was valued. it took many years for me to find my voice and be comfortable with airing my opinions, feelings, and ideas, and to be my own, and others’ advocate. finally, after many years, I found my voice at last and have never stopped talking.

  6. I love the Melinda Caroll song and have made a note of it so I may use it in a future Song Lyric Sunday.

  7. My hubby has decided to speak out against someone very damaging to our industry and I’m afraid. The person has insulted, ripped off and abused everyone in our industry. For all accounts his bark is annoying and his bite non existent so I should be proud that hubby is standing up to a bully. I’ve been taught to vote with my feet but sometimes you have to stand your ground.

    • I understand the fear, Christine. I have dealt with bullies before, too. It helps to acknowledge that fear, reduce their power in your mind, think rationally about the actual damage they are likely to cause, protect yourself as well as you can, and then speak out!

  8. I often feel I don’t know enough to speak up, and just as often I find myself in situations where someone else has already said what I’m thinking, sometimes more clearly, and I feel ridiculous for saying, “What they said.” Still I’m glad when I can speak up in someone else’s defense. We’ll never overcome racism, transphobia, or other prejudices if people like me don’t speak up.

  9. A bloody great post speakking up isn’t always easy

  10. puella33

    I feel as though I’m not strong enough to speak up. I feel as though instead of being heard, I will be put down, because I have been in the past. Not feeling free to speak up has held me back in many aspects of life. Thanks for listening and sharing

    • Those old feelings are difficult to put aside, but the first step is recognizing them. Thanks for having the courage to speak up here!

  11. Really good photographs – I have to say so.

  12. Thank you, Ann, for sharing your vital voice.

  13. Pingback: Day 2795: This feels relevant for me | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  14. Pingback: Day 2813: Silently Correcting | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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