So many of my clients struggle with speaking up when they need to.  And time and time again it comes down to staying quiet out of fear.

People in their lives have been loud and angry.  Or, they have had periodic bouts of angry spewing themselves.  The resulting fear of voluminous communication stops them in their tracks.

They design their lives and relationships around staying calm and quiet.  They live with the false belief that to voice an opinion or make a request of another human being requires yelling or anger.  They, thus, choose to stuff the words they’d like to say, resigning themselves to silence.

I call it the fear of the volcano Effect.

These poor souls stay silent for so long and retain so much frustration that over time it builds and builds and builds until finally, there is an explosion.

The explosion may be focused at an offender or might be spewed at a completely random target.  A work frustration may become an at-home tantrum, road rage, or an overzealous reaction to a dog’s bark.

The explosion becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that motivates them to lock their feelings tighter when the reality is that to let feelings out as they come, before they fester, grow and collect, is the real path to meeting their objective of calm communication.

Quiet and submissive or loud and angry; there is a happy medium and it’s where you want to live.

The goal, the gold standard of communication, is assertive communication.  It’s a great way to live.  Speak your mind and feelings as they come.  Not from an aggressive place.  Don’t wait until the pent up frustrations boil to the surface.  Instead speak your feelings and needs as they arise.

I encourage my clients to make requests when they have a need or just share when they have a feeling.  Both are softer than a demand and still communicate the same thing from a different place.  There is no attachment to a specific outcome.  You just calmly let your feelings and needs be known.

If fear of the volcano effect keeps you quiet begin to practice calm communication today.  Start small.  Begin to share your feelings or make a small request of a colleague or family member as they arise.  You can do it!  If you need additional help contact me and we’ll get you there!  It’s a great way to live!

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[Photo by photographic 1980]