Even If Your Hands Are Shaking | #OOTD

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Something that's been on my mind this week is the idea of speaking up.



As a both a woman and a Christian in the workplace, it's easy to feel very stifled. Almost every person, at both my jobs, is not Christian, and several have completely opposing world views. And it's a struggle to know when it's right to speak up for your beliefs, without being rash, or disrespectful, and potentially getting yourself fired.



I feel very strongly about a lot of key issues, and my beliefs about those things define who I am as a person. And I definitely believe there are times to speak up, whatever the consequences. But right now I'm working to find the balance...what hill do I want to "die on" so to speak?

And as a woman, I want to be graceful, and gentle, and kind, and claim boldly that name and all that it holds...but how to be gentle and loving without backtracking on your boundaries? How to be kind without allowing yourself to be pushed around?




I'm still working through the issues, but there are a couple of things I know for certain:

1. Think before you speak. (You'll never regret it.)

2. It's okay to guard your time and your space seriously. (People will usually respect your boundaries if you let them know clearly where they are and when they are being crossed - and if they are logical boundaries in the first place. If they still don't respect them, then you know it's time to get out of the situation.)

3. The art of persuasion is one well worth learning. (Not every argument is worth having, and you will get further in life if you can learn to persuade effectively. Don't burn bridges over small issues.)

4. Sometimes you get further by not saying anything.



If you're a woman in the workplace, help me out here: how do you support and defend your boundaries? How do you hold your own, while still being gracious?

8 comments

  1. I love the topic of this post because I think it's something that a lot of us struggle with. Especially when it comes to balancing our convictions with graciousness. I think for me the easiest way is to be a leader. Lead the way toward a higher standard and toward your beliefs. You can almost never have a platform if you don't choose to lead. :)

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    1. Amen to that, Rachel. And for me I always feel lead to lead by example: less talk, more good work. Because good behavior and lovingkindness speak for themselves. <3

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  2. I've been dealing with this a lot, too. I don't think any of my coworkers (or maybe just one or two) are Christians -- if they are it certainly doesn't reflect in the way they speak and act -- and I struggle a lot with wanting to speak up and respect my boundaries and also wanting to be respectful because, you know, I like keeping my job and not coming across as a person that no one wants to talk to. :P I can't say I have a smart answer, or even one that works 100%...but for me it comes down to just being classy, y'know? I'm careful about what I say. I'm careful about what I laugh at, and what I do, and the conversations I participate in. I focus on being a good worker, on going above and beyond when it comes to my job, and letting those actions speak louder than me smacking down on people every time they say something I don't like.

    Obviously, though, there are times to hold to my boundaries, and I don't believe in compromising my beliefs just so I'm not at odds with anyone. I guess it's about picking your battles and knowing when to make a fuss and knowing when to stand quietly and let your actions do the talking.

    (To the Barricade!)

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    1. Aimee,
      You're absolutely spot-on. I'm in the exact same boat, and I definitely try to do the same: to do excellent work, to not get too involved in the sketchy conversation but to stand up when I know I need to. It's hard to find the balance between the discussions worth having and those that are just too mucky to be worth the while, but I'm working towards that. It's really nice, though, to know someone else is "there" too. I appreciate your sharing -- we got this, sister. <3

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  3. Amen and amen. I've been struggling with the EXACT same thing, and I think we need to get together and chat asap. <3

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    1. Okay, I didn't realize how many people would have this in common with me.
      And yes. Please. <3

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  4. The biggest thing for me is just learning to build relationships with people and then praying that God will open up an opportunity for you to talk with them - and He always does! I feel really strongly about a lot of issues too, and when deciding whether to say something on them, I usually ask myself "Is me bringing this up going to be beneficial in this situation? Is it going to help and benefit the other person?" If my bringing something up is just going to start conflict and cause the other person to want to resist anything I say in the future, then that's not the right time. That's why it's really important to me to emphasize building relationships, because after the person trusts you and wants to hear what you think, they are so much more open to hearing what you have to say about particular issues! And then you can do it in a way that is kind and gentle. Finally, ALWAYS be willing to listen. Listening + asking questions is how I usually interact with people I disagree with, and then usually when I've taken the time to do that, they recognize that I care and are interested in what I think too.

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    1. You are a wise woman. You're so right that listening and being calm makes all the difference - and it's so easy to forget about that and get heated/so caught up in your own desire to prove yourself right, that you miss what the other person is saying.

      Thank you for sharing; I truly appreciate it!

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