When we fail to share our truth with the world, we rob it of the opportunity to know us and our experiences. The truth requires us to be honest even when what we have to say might cause others discomfort or displeasure. It can be hard to hear that the world is not an ideal place for someone we care about. It can be hard to hear that our own words or actions have caused someone pain. Yet, is it not important for us to know these things? How can we make the world better for anyone if we don’t? How can we expect to be better, kinder people if we aren’t told the ways in which we are wrong?
On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“We live in a time of intense information exchange so rapid that it boggles the mind. We are constantly bombarded with news items, new scientific information, new ideas, and new possibilities. Where do we fit? What is our place in all this?
As women, we often discount our knowledge and try to skew our information or our perceptions so that they are acceptable to others. In so doing, we rob the world of our accumulated knowledge. Accurate information is important to the world. Accurate information from a variety of perspectives is essential.”
As women, we tend to conceal the true nature of our feelings when we know they might upset someone. It can be hard to tell the truth when what we have to say is unpleasant or difficult for others to hear. We don’t want to be labeled as difficult or overly sensitive—women struggle with such stereotypes already. Often when we do make our voices heard, we are told that our opinion doesn’t matter or is incorrect. If we voice displeasure at a comment someone has made, for example, they will claim it was “only a joke” and tell us not to take things so seriously. This negates our feelings and brushes us aside, while at the same time making us feel as though we are somehow proving them right. We are too sensitive! It is a frustrating and demeaning experience.
Yet, how can we expect our place of work or anywhere else for that matter to accommodate all types of people when we hold back expressing our truths? If women never speak up about the treatment we receive, how will people know to treat us any differently? They won’t. It takes telling the truth about the circumstances we face and how they make us feel to make people realize there is a problem. To bring about change. The world deserves to know everyone’s truth, not just the palatable version that is acceptable to others. We owe the world our truth. It is part of the complete story of humanity, and we are human too, after all.