How I Stopped Walking on Eggshells

How I Stopped Walking on Eggshells

3 Ways to Stop Walking on Eggshells

Finding myself quite busy these past few weeks, I wasn’t sure what my next blog topic was going to be about.  If you know me, I’m a planner.  Yes, I have a go-to list of possible topics I could use but I wanted something different, something fresh on my mind.  As I enter a new year soon (hi 31!!), I have found myself being extremely blunt (yet respectful) with friends, associates, coworkers, and colleagues.  Simply put, I am at a place in my life where I prefer to no longer walk on eggshells.  Have you heard of this saying before?  If not, it means to be overly careful in dealing with a person or situation because they get angry or offended very easily.  You basically try very hard not to upset someone or something.  Granted, we should be sensitive to our friends and loved one’s feelings. However, “comfortability” does not make us grow.  It makes us comfortable.  There comes a point where we must simply stop walking on eggshells and stop trying to “save face.”  Is it easy?  Of course not.  Here are three ways I actively stop walking on eggshells in my life:

  1. Speak Up…

    My very first manager after college gave me some great advice.  At that time, I didn’t really understand the importance of her words.  I was the quiet, reserved, person at work.  Yes, I did my work well but it wasn’t something I’d brag about or highlight on my own.  However, my manager told me to stop being afraid of my accomplishments.  She also told me to not be afraid to ask for what I needed to effectively do my job.  She told me:  “The squeaky wheel gets the oil.”  At that time, being only 20, I got it but I didn’t get it.  Now, I fully get it.  In your life, both personal and professional, at some point, you have to stop walking on eggshells and being afraid to “hurt” someone’s feelings because you can’t do something or you intend to do something they may not like.  From a professional standpoint, my nontraditional “9-5” is highly regulated.  I have to tell managers and the-like no sometimes.  I have to tell people who run organizations of thousands of employees no.  Is it always the easiest conversation?  Nope.  However, when you know that you are right and your answer is based in regulation or some sort of policy, speak up.  Do not be afraid to be heard.  Do not be afraid to highlight your accomplishments when you know a promotion is up in the office.  Do not downplay your success because you do not want your colleague to be offended that you want that very position. Personally, do not be afraid to speak up and tell a friend or even your significant other that something is not making you happy.  They may not even know.  The squeaky wheel gets the oil.  Sometimes we are so afraid to hurt the feelings of others that we suffer and no one knows.  Don’t be afraid to speak up when something bothers you.

  2. Apologize but be firm…                                                                                                                           

    I know I’m not the only one who immediately thinks this when people start a conversation with “I don’t mean any harm, but….”  “I don’t mean to offend you, but…”  Honestly, in my mind, I’m already going you’re about to offend me lol.  However, it is a gateway into not walking on eggshells.  I’m guilty of being overly sensitive in my personal life.  The slightest thing can sometimes offend me, especially if from a friend.  However, as I continue to grow and become even more self-aware, I ask myself: Am I truly offended by what was said or are you just overanalyzing as usual?  Am I playing the game of assumptions?  If my mind is spinning, I simply stop walking on eggshells.  When it comes to speaking up, sometimes you may have to start with the typical “I don’t mean any harm but this will not be happening because….”  You have to be willing to deal with conflict.  I’m not saying go out there looking to start conflicts or disagreements.  However, if something is bothering you and it continues to linger, it will not help you suddenly get into a better place.  This goes for both your professional and personal life.  Now, at work, you are paid to walk on a few eggshells.  Don’t lose that good job trying to face an issue without being sensitive to the ramifications.  However, do not be afraid to speak up when you are within regulations and policy.  You can still be polite yet firm.  I often say no with a smile.  My smile is fixed on my face throughout the day unless you continue to challenge me.  I will try to educate you as to why I said no and present alternatives.  However, at some point, “no” does not always remedy the situation.  At that point, you must not be afraid to crack those eggshells when defending your decision or recommendation.  On a personal level, there does need to be tact when dealing with a friend or loved one, however, simply hoping a situation will go away will not resolve itself on its own.  Even if the situation goes away, are you truly okay with not addressing it?  If not, don’t walk on eggshells.  Tell your friend how their actions are impacting you or be honest with them as to why you are personally offended.  Apologize but be firm.  Your happiness is important in your life as well.

  3. Ignoring “it” won’t resolve “it”…    

    What have you been ignoring or accepting the last few weeks?  What have you been accepting all year?  People will treat you exactly how you allow them too unless you refuse to accept it.  What have you been allowing your friend to continue to do or continue to complain about without giving your honest advice?  Ignoring “it” will not resolve “it.”  The honest truth is that no matter what we say, no matter how sensitive we try to be, we may not get the answer we want.   I’ve learned to not ask a question until I am open to receiving any answer, favorable or unfavorable.  You may very well hurt my feelings even more.  However,  if I’m asking a question and looking for a particular answer, that means I am not truly ready to address the situation.  I am still basically walking on eggshells.  We have to realize that weeds untreated do not simply go away.  My homeowners know how wild weeds can grow when left untreated.  You have to pull the weeds up or at least spray them with weed killer.  If you are walking on eggshells in your own home, that is no way to live.  Address the situation.  Will it be easy?  Will you only mention it once and it immediately resolve itself?  I can’t promise that.  Will your loved-one or friend be offended?  Possibly.  However, be genuine yet firm.  Be understanding yet communicative.  Communication is effective when mixed with comprehension.  You may still agree to disagree, but for me, personally, getting things off my chest is therapeutic.   Normally, once I have spoken my mind, I am over the situation (unless it continues to repeat itself).  Ignoring it will not resolve it.  Don’t be afraid to speak up.  Do not be afraid to walk away from a friendship or relationship that no longer serves you.  Do not be afraid to advocate for your own emotional well-being.  It is perfectly okay to highlight an issue but still be willing and open to the other individuals point of view.  Who knows, you may just find common ground…

 

-Monica


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