Ever heard this saying by Abbie Hoffman? Plenty of room for thought!
Well, I’m sure you’ve heard this one “I have the right to freedom of speech?”
Maybe it was from your kids. Or your friend. Or the well-meaning lady who disagrees with your opinion on social media.
But what does freedom of speech really mean? And does it even exists?
The short answer is no. [think about it what if you did shout out “fire” in a crowded theatre?]
Australia does not have explicit freedom of speech in any constitutional or statutory declaration of rights, with the exception of political speech which is protected from criminal prosecution at common law.
Now, regardless of the bill of rights, let’s delve socially…Do we feel we can say what we want without judgement? Or do we feel bad if we voice ‘our truth?’
What about freedom of speech within our relationships?
Do you hold off?
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For some of us, we may struggle to say what we really feel to our husbands or wives, in case it creates conflict. We may even feel as though we continually bite our tounges with our friends in order to save face. There may be an underlying unconscious belief that silence is golden. While you may want to add your two cents or your opinion, you may avoid saying anything in case someone disagrees with you.
Can you really say what you WANT to, rather than what you THINK you should say?
Perhaps it is a lack of confidence or fear of being laughed at or judged. We worry about whether our opinion is valid or if someone might take us the wrong way. Sometimes we feel as though we could be labelled with a certain brush, due to a belief or experience we have. For example, can you still love animals if you eat meat? We feel as though we can’t share our opinion with our loved ones, in case we offend or cause an argument.
Does expressing freedom of speech mean we need to lose friends?
I believe you can allow others to have an opinion, that is not the same as our own, without drawing damaging conclusions. Now, you may believe you are unable to voice our thoughts or feelings as it may upset our partners or friends. But what does this mean for our self-preservation? What does this do to our individualism? We are all unique, all coming from different experiences and belief systems. Without differing opinions, life would be pretty dull!
Alternatively, some people enjoy always expressing their opinion; however, feel angry if people decide to oppose it. If you don’t like how other people react, what does that say about you and your ideas?
We should be able to say something – not to change another person’s mind – but to simply have an input.
For some people, this may mean working out how to word your opinion, while leaving frustration at the door. For others, it may be about reading the room and working out whether the other person will perceive your opinion as a personal attack.
Now, if we are in a volatile relationship, either husband or wife or even a friendship, where we feel that we cannot speak up because of fear…What can we do about it?
Or perhaps at school, you spoke up many years ago, and it turned out badly, so ever since then, you have kept in the background. You believe that your view doesn’t matter.
This is simply not true!
We all should be able to reach out and make the changes that allow you to speak with confidence. We should also be able to receive feedback without taking it personally. Everyone should be able to communicate with their partner in life or business and know that our ideas matter.
If this sounds like something you would like to work towards, please get in touch for a free Discovery Call. We can work out if you are compatible then start identifying what’s not working- and what needs to be done to ensure you are in a place you want to be.
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Personal Life Coach, Business Coach & Change Mentor
Hi, I’m Kylie-Ann, it is not the things that happen outside yourself that affect you the most. What goes on inside your head is the most powerful indicator of your success as a person. So, if your thinking becomes clearer and more empowered, so does your life.
Now is a Good Time for Change!
Book a 90 Minute Pathfinder Session today… and set your feet on the pathway to your goals and find the solution to your biggest problem/s.