Here’s what I know for sure…when you’re non-confrontational and a little bit of a passive aggressive…people will speak all manner of crazy to you because they know you won’t verbally respond. They may have their work/project sabotaged later but you wouldn’t dare speak your mind because somehow it’s not Christ-like to be confrontational but sabotage/getting even is OK?
If you’re a Christian, you’re probably aware of the Bible’s teaching on the power of tongue and what an unruly member it is and how truth should be spoken in love.
For the non-confrontational group, speaking up is equivalent to the introvert having to deal with a whole lot of people at once. You’re so outside of your normal that you want nothing more than to get centered again and back to your own place of normalcy.
I was a non-confrontational person and could mess you up with some passive aggressive behavior. I never forgot and waited for an opportunity to lower the boom. [Sidenote: Might I add that this behavior can set you up for a divorce if left unchecked because you’re not fighting fair. You’re not dealing with what’s present but an infraction that may be days, weeks, months and even years old.]
I felt like a fish out of water, almost sinful when I had to defend myself because you know you’re supposed to hold your peace and let the Lord fight your battle.
Here’s what I’ve learned…loving me means I unashamedly (sometimes with my knees knocking though) get to speak my truth.
How so and how is that biblical?
I’m glad you asked.
Let’s take a look at Jesus.
Jesus pulled no punches when it came to the Pharisees and Sadducees. Remember his diatribe that started, “Woe you vipers and hypocrites?”
Jesus seemingly threw shade (slang for hurling an insult) at his disciples when he asked them, “Are you still so dull?” (Matthew 15:16) That one still makes me say ouch!
Then there’s his moment when he called folk “children of the devil” because they would not listen.
Jesus didn’t hold his tongue. He spoke His truth as needed and with lots of wisdom. You’ll notice that whole, “woe you vipers and hypocrites” speech was made in the presence of many (Matthew 23). Who does something like that in a private setting…when there’s more of them than you?
Yet there are also times he kept silent…like just before the crucifixion.
So what am I saying? Speak up? Be quiet?
I’m saying this, loving yourself means you speak your truth as needed.
You don’t go looking for fights but you have an answer for any man who asks you something.
You don’t back down from your truth because it feels uncomfortable or is seemingly controversial.
Some people are just outright combative and look for opportunities to shame the non-confrontational.
Speak your truth and walk away or hang up the phone or change the subject or go get some punch if you’re at a public function. You won’t win against someone who has spent their entire life out to win every argument. The Apostle Paul says some folk have an “unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words.” Let them go find someone else to spar with.
When you speak your truth, you don’t get in your car or get home and say, “I should have said.”
When you speak your truth, you don’t beat yourself up and talk crazy about yourself to yourself.
When you speak your truth, you release truth and it’s not bottled up inside making you physically ill.
Speaking your truth is one of the most loving things you can do for yourself. Then you’re not choking on words that you should have said. Those words don’t then become poison to you because you needed to release them.
It’s OK to give voice to your truth.
Lisa N. Alexander is the author and founder of This Woman Knows and What Million-Dollar Brands Know. She is an award-winning filmmaker, director, producer, and writer and is the owner of PrettyWork Creative.
Great read and it is so true. I’be really been working on this.
I completely agree with your post. Especially the importance of the negative effects of passive/aggressive behavior. The only thing you didn’t address that I feel is important . . . is the way we speak the truth. Tone, word choice, body language are all very important. I believe it’s important to speak the truth with strength, but equally important to have a firm but respectful demeanor. I want to stand up without tearing down. Thanks for sharing an important discussion.
Deb, thanks for the detailed and we’ll tought out response. The person not used to speaking their truth definitely needs wisdom in how, where and when that truth gets disseminated. Between being Spirit led and a learning a few communication tools they should do just fine. Thanks for sharing!