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To say or not to say? (and how to say it?)


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Hi everyone--

I think this is a classic dilemma and I want to get others' opinions.

When a person does something that hurts your feelings or makes you angry, how do you know whether to be patient and "let it go" or whether to speak your mind?

So many times in my life, I have heard people say "If someone has a problem with me, they should say it to my face." But do we ever feel comfortable doing this?

I find that a lot of the women I have known (from teenagers to adults) usually just vent to a friend when someone makes them mad. Too often, women don't feel comfortable talking to the source of the issue--whether it's a co-worker, spouse, relative, or another friend.

I have found that I am very tolerant and patient with people's issues. Years and years will go by and I will just keep ignoring things that bug me, trying to recognize that we're all human and not everything has to be addressed. "Don't sweat the small stuff."

But I have discovered a pattern with myself concerning my female friends and relatives. I have no problem letting men know when something is bugging me. But with females, I say to myself "Well, that's just the way she is, not much I can do about it." I think I fear the person will get mad at me if I say anything. (Sorry, ladies, but some girls can be that way.)

The problem with this is obvious. Resentment builds up over time. I suffer when I shouldn't have to. I should have the guts to speak up. I also risk exploding and perhaps saying too much at the wrong time.

I want to try to balance being patient and tolerant WITHOUT building up resentment and saying too much at one time. But it's hard to find that balance with the females in my life.

I have found that even when I say things very diplomatically, women get upset with me because they say "Well, this came out of nowhere! How long have you been feeling THIS way?"

Overall, I have many friends and I am doing pretty well socially. But I admit I am weak when it comes to knowing whether to just let things go or to speak up.


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Yes, practice indeed. And I do think you're on to something when you say to "aim for the moment it happens"...I used to theorize that would be over-reacting or making mountains out of molehills. But time has taught me that if something is REALLY bugging me/hurting me bad enough, it wll build up over time and it WON'T get better.

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Yes, that is one reason. The other is that feeling that when the other person brings something up after the fact they are nitpicking. If you offend me and I look you in the eye right then and say, "That hurt my feelings." then you know I am not trying to stir up trouble.

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