Advice On How To Find Your Voice and Speak Up

Hello Everone!

I found another question, on our favorite website Quora, that made me dive into the path of finding the courage of speaking up-finding your voice. If you read my short answer and Quora and found me, I thank you for stopping by. For anyone new on here, I often look for questions to inspire my writing on Quora. I try to go with the pool of questions that say a person specifically asks for my opinion. However, this topic came from a general posed question so I went with it. Let’s think about this topic and ask ourselves a few questions. How do we find our voice? Do we already have it? Is it possible that some people never have to find it? It is elusive and never found for some people? Is a person capable of taking another person’s voice? If so, for how long? It probably depends on the patience of the person who lost it. Maybe not all people care about their own voice. How do you develop the courage? Once you are able to speak up, do you work to encourage others struggling? If so, how do you do it?

As I always request, share with me your feedback on the questions I just posed. Write out your thoughts or even another question in the comments section below. Here is the posed question and my thoughts on it below.

I have decided to make this topic a podcast episode. Therefore, check out Episode #24: “Finding Your Voice” on the podcast platform of your choice and my Verbally Disastrous YouTube channel.

POSED QUESTION:

“What should I do when someone is trying to talk over me? I’m too scared to speak up.”

Quora Question

MY RESPONSE:

“What exactly is your voice and why is it so important? I believe that we are all capable of finding our voice. Finding that voice takes a looonnnggg time. You find your voice by pursuing your own path, making money with your own hands, living your best life on your own terms, not being afraid to stand up in your truth, dropping what fear you have of the opinions of others, know what truly matters to you, and systematically going after each and every goal you have in life. Being in charge of your own life is the best way to find your voice. It is important to find that confidence. Just because a person raises their voice, it doesn’t mean they are actually tough or confident. They may be merely testing you to see what you do. My friends and co-workers today would not believe that I was also a shy, quiet girl as a kid. I have since evolved into a sarcastic, fearless, opinionated woman that is gradually approaching middle age. I am the happiest now currently than I have ever been in my entire life. I know who I am, what I want, and where I am going. After years of being a shy kid who feared challenging the rules, I have since found my voice and confidence. It has taken me over four decades to get to this point. I managed to take the reins of my life and found my stride as the captain of my own ship. Ultimate power doesn’t lie within shouting the loudest. Ultimate power lies within harnessing your emotions at all times. If you can do that, you can do absolutely anything in life.

I dived into my trade as an electrician very young where my peers taught me how to work with my hands. As I was a young apprentice, I learned how to gain my confidence and shed many of my fears. I also learned how to not let a loud mouth intimidate me. My favorite lesson learned was the art of giving quick and sharp retorts to my co-workers. This served as a means of survival to fend off verbal attacks from other people on the jobsite. I watched other people in action and developed my own style of execution and delivery. In construction, we encounter all kinds of personalities in the trades. These workers will sniff out fear, weakness, and observe your quirks and take notes. Many workers will find things to poke fun of on a person and await the opportunity to deliver the nickname in a unique, comedic style. It is funny when the entire jobsite orchestrates playful attacks in unison and everyone calls you by the nickname. While most of it is playful, it comes at the expense of the recipient. At times, some people will take it all of the way serious and get angry. Then here comes the verbal altercation. Some people feel the need to speak louder over others. They hope that by speaking louder, you will back down on your position. Some people have only been taught to communicate via screaming. I have seen quite a few guys get into a screaming match then later on be pals as if nothing happened. That would NEVER happen amongst a group of women!! They would hold grudges and evoke the silent treatments. This is what I really like about the male species. Men get something that’s irritating them off their chest and then go back to normal business. Meanwhile, there are some others who are well articulated and come very well prepared for a debate. Smart folks are the ones many fear, “going down the rabbit hole” with them. They don’t want to come out looking like a fool.

Over the years, I have used my voice to speak up in a variety of different capacities. What I pull out of the tool belt of sharp retorts really depends on the situation, what has been said, and my mood. I have learned from the guys to not take anything personal. It is almost like it is a hobby to try to get the other person to crack. People are not trying to get your wife and kids involved in the battle of words. I have stood there quiet while mocking the other speaker with funny facial expressions. I have tapped on my watch glass repeatedly while tapping my foot dramatically. All the while, my hands are moving towards the sky in a “are you done yet” manner. I have waited until a person died down, asked if they were finished, then tried again to deliver my point. I have even turned my back to a person while they are shouting. With the back turned, I have the hands extended to both sides. I have also sat down and gazed up with a smirk while they are shouting like a maniac. I have even jumped up on a higher platform, arms crossed, smirking, and making facial expressions while they are speaking. The key is to get yourself out of the anger and take on a comedic stance. These are all playful in nature in an attempt to be ridiculous and stop the exchange.

To be very fair on this, you have to be cautious about the person who takes it too far via a screaming match then onto a fist fight. They must have taken the response as a challenge? Why take it to the extreme?? Meanwhile, the person was merely responding to their smart mouth. Not backing down from a discussion can up the conflict a notch higher. They then choose to resort to violence to finish getting their point across. In my career, I have dealt with other trades of people. Overall, we have worked very well all in conjunction on many projects. Thankfully, I have been rarely physically challenged. However, I almost engaged in a physical altercation on a jobsite with a guy who sprays material onto building steel. This conflict actually happened in front of a circle of construction owners and management. One of my Verbally Disastrous podcast episodes will have to be on one the times where, “my GFCI popped”. My low count of physical fights at work is because the average co-worker assesses that there is a strong chance that I will kick some ass or at least fight back. I happen to have a stocky, muscular build. I have always been able to perform work some skinny fellas cannot physically handle. Some people joke that I am built like a, “brick shit house”. My male co-workers don’t want the reputation that could come from fighting a girl and possibly losing. There is a 100% chance that I will fight back and defend myself. There is a 100% chance that if they lose, that story will always haunt them for their entire career. I am very strong and capable of handling my affairs. My physical stature is why I can get away with mocking a screamer or someone who has taken it way too far.

DISCLAIMER: I do not recommend for a person to engage in acts that escalate all of the way to violence. I am merely pointing out what can happen and what I have witnessed or heard rumors about on the job. When challenging a loud mouth, you must always be willing to have to use your fists if the situation escalates.


In my younger years, I absolutely refused to back down from a person attempting to challenge me. Then again, I didn’t go out looking for something to fight about. I was already dealing with trying to prove my worth as a woman on the job. I refused to allow a person to disrespect me in front of my peers. One major interaction would set the tone on the jobsite. It would give others, not even involved in the conflict, a pass to get in on, “breaking my chops”. There is nothing worse than an entire crew giving you grief at any given opportunity. This is all because you have displayed that you are weak and open for random attacks. Now, going out and looking for trouble is just foolish. In construction, there are some former inmates on the job. They may be hot-headed and have nothing to lose. Now the older you get; it makes sense to try to avoid conflict. Just waking up gives us aches and pains. Volunteering for some more aches and pains from a fight is just foolish!! Ideally, it is best to either be quiet and watch patiently or walk away. I believe that it is mighty powerful to give a conflict no air. Ask yourself if the conflict is really worth fighting for? Following your emotions and fighting is very easy to do. It takes great strength to walk away from conflict. Especially difficult if you perceive the other party as being disrespectful. It makes it even worse when the disrespect goes down in front of a group of peers. The other party expects you to defend your honor as well as the group witnessing the confrontation. Some may say that by sticking up for yourself, you are using your voice? But are you really? If the person started the fight on purpose, they are now pushing you towards reacting? The crowd is jeering and pushing you to react. In light of those circumstances, who is really holding the power then? It almost feels as if the opponent and crowd have you on a set of strings trying to push you to react. Perhaps this is the moment to go against the grain of society? If you can figure out how to bow out gracefully while in the midst of a conflict, I believe that you are using your voice plus controlling the narrative.

I have shared this phrase a million times with my son’s peers while growing up as teens. The phrase “success is the best revenge” has been my key phrase of advice for young people struggling for many years. You find your own voice from pursuing exactly what you want in life. I was fond of one teen who shared that she had a rough, abusive childhood. In her childhood, she had no voice. She was at the mercy of the rules and her family environment. One parent was not present in her life and it caused her great pain. I used to sit with her and tell her to avoid the temptation to slip into drugs and alcohol and tell her she is smart and capable of doing anything that she wanted in life. It is a total waste of time and can make problems even worse. Instead, think about and focus on 10-50 amazing short- and long-term goals. Figure out the process on exactly how you can proceed to smash them one at a time. Write them out so you see them. Go ahead and even create a vision board so they become a visual representation of what you want to achieve. To my pleasant surprise, she created a decorative, framed picture of the phrase and gifted it to me one year. We did discuss that living at home had its positives and negatives. For the price of listening to your mother’s rules, you get a roof over your head and your basic needs met. When you break free and move on our own, you are on the hook for every expense that comes your way. She moved out on her own and is navigating adulthood to the best of her ability. When I checked up on her, she is figuring out her independent life and actively chasing those goals. I invited her to dinner to catch up with her. She was enjoying her freedom of choice yet was feeling the wrath of the budget and those limitations. She dished about the long hours she had to work to keep the ship afloat. I will be genuinely thrilled for her when she smashes the goal of owning her own salon in the future. She is a fighter who survived a rough childhood and now a young adult navigating life without a safety net of generous parents.

In conclusion, I believe that when you blaze your own path and chase our goals, you find your own voice. You find your voice through gaining confidence. You gain confidence from no longer allowing others to intimidate you. We all find our voice differently via a variety of different life experiences. Do you need to be the loudest person in the room to have your voice? No. Besides, what is really accomplished by screaming louder than the other person? Just some strained vocal cords. Then again, are you really heard? There is much power in controlling where you place yourself and how you react. Just know that if a person must shout to get the word out, they are a shitty communicator. Attempting to communicate with them is a complete waste of time. Try your best to surround yourself with like-minded people. Avoid people who try to stop your success or do not celebrate your victories with you. Work on being happy via doing exactly what you want to do in life. There are pros and cons plus a price to pay for everything in life. If you don’t back down, you have to be willing to pay the price. Is your success where you find your voice? Does finding your voice guarantee happiness? These questions can only be answered by you. I wish you much luck on finding your voice and your best life!”

Leslie M. Jasper

https://www.quora.com/What-should-I-do-when-someone-is-trying-to-talk-over-me-I-m-too-scared-to-speak-up/answer/Leslie-Jasper-3?prompt_topic_bio=1

What do you think about my view on finding your voice? How did you find your voice? Are you still on the quest to finding your voice? Have you felt that you have always had your own voice? Leave your feedback down below. I thank you kindly for stopping by on my side of the world. You have many options and I am honored that you have dedicated your time to peep my content. Now that we are friends, you need to come by more often. Okay? As stated a million times previously, I appreciate your feedback, comments, and suggestions to improve my content. I wish you a peaceful evening or morning on your side of the world, depending on your time zone. You are appreciated and I hope you get a laugh or two our of my tall tales and detailed observations. I shall harass ya again soon enough so have a fabulous Tuesday afternoon now that we got past our holiday weekend. It is back to the grind people. Try to keep cool and safe this week people! Peace out, Cub Scout! 😛

Cheers!
Leslie M. Jasper

-Author And Host of the #VerballyDisastrous podcast now alive on many platforms that include: Acast, Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Deezer, Google Podcasts, I Heart Radio, Listen Notes, Overcast, Pandora Podcasts, Player FM, Pocket Casts, Pod Bean, Podchaser, Podcast Addict, Podcast Gang, Radio Public, Soundcloud, Soundtrap, Spotify, Stitcher, Tune In, and YouTube.

-The Audio Blog: Verbally Disastrous Podcast And Construction Tales Blog. Now available on: Acast, Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Deezer, Google Podcasts, I Heart Radio, Listen Notes, Overcast, Pandora Podcasts, Player FM, Pocket Casts, Pod Bean, Podchaser, Podcast Addict, Podcast Gang, Radio Public, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and Tune In.

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