When you are more of a reserved person, speaking up can be difficult to do. It can be quite awkward for those who are quiet by nature to take on more of an assertive persona, even when they feel like something needs to be said. I have always been more of a laid back person and I have taken more of an interest in observing the people around me rather than being the center of attention. You become a very wise person by learning others and their tendency’s and speaking when the moment is perfect, but speaking up regularly is necessary to get to you to a place where people respect you.
Do not get me wrong, it is perfectly okay to speak when the time is right, rather than blurting something out the second it comes to your mind (something which more people need to learn how to do), but it is also important to make sure your voice is heard. I feel like my time in the working world has allowed me to be more brave when it comes to voicing my opinion, but in the same token, I know there are times where I still need to be more assertive.
I have worked in a number of jobs where customer service is highly valued and I believe that you should always go out of your way to treat people with respect. I feel like I always do a great job of respecting customers and listening to them when they are happy or when they have qualms about a certain situation. This can be extremely difficult to do when people get irate and talk down to you. It makes my blood boil to even think about. I have been in too many situations over the years where people think they can talk to me however they want because they are the customer and I am the employee of a business. What they fail to realize in their disrespectful rant is that I am there to help them through their issue. I am not trying to sabotage anything or screw someone over. I am also not there to be a punching bag for their frustration. Sometimes, people just need to know how they are acting and you need to be the one to tell them. The only way to do this is to speak up.
It can be difficult and a little intimidating to stand up to someone who is “going off” on you, but all of the awkwardness will disappear if you are honest and stand up for yourself. It can be even more difficult to do so in a respectful way, when every fiber in your being wants to stoop to the other person’s level and be equally as nasty back. You have to be the bigger person and tell them how you feel. Tell them you feel disrespected. Ask the person why they are talking to you that way. Tell them you are here to help and not slight them. Honestly, it might even catch them off guard. They might not even know they are speaking that way and it may open their eyes to how they are being.
Certain people have no problem speaking their mind and being assertive, and I say God bless those people! Some of us just have a harder time doing so and that is okay. Just remember that it is important to voice your opinion and to be assertive, not just at the perfect time (which may never come), but in every day life. We all have important things to say and we all deserve to be respected wherever we are. It is important that we start acting like it.