I have a brilliant son. Okay, I know, I'm a mom and all moms think that about their children. AND, I do have a brilliant son. And once again, he taught me something during our conversation on the one hour road trip to the baseball game last night (go Rays!)
One of my biggest areas of focus as a motivational speaker is communication. I'm crystal clear that the quality of our communication affects every single aspect of our lives. And I'm also clear that never being allowed (or never giving yourself permission) to express your thoughts and feelings compromises your health, your relationships, professional aspirations and overall happiness in life. But last night Miles gave me another distinction that I hadn't really thought about.
I was talking about this friend of mine who had gotten rather cantankerous as he got older. Having been known most of his life as someone who was very pleasant, easy-going and agreeable, in his last years he got snappy, cranky and rather negative. And then Miles hit me with a blast of insight.
"Mom, it takes a LOT of energy to repress feelings. It's exhausting. And sometimes, when people get older, they just don't have the strength any more. They simply can't push down those feelings they have repressed for so many years. They just come pouring out. And, by that time, they're also really pissed off."
My brain opened up. This was yet one more reason why speaking up early on, when you can do it calmly and without blame and anger, is a very, very healthy thing to do. You develop a lifelong habit of saying what you need to say, speaking up for yourself, of being honest and straight, WITH RESPECT FOR YOURSELF AND THE OTHER PERSON – that will serve you very well in old age!!! You are developing a muscle that will be strong for you in later years. You won't be that cranky, mean lady down the street who snaps at kids when they come to the door selling magazine subscriptions. People will LOVE you. They will want to be around you. They'll erect a statue to you in the town square!
Save yourself some pain down the road. Express yourself now.