To Speak or Not to Speak That is the Question

Everyone, especially some woman more than others, have experienced some form of unprofessional behavior at the workplace at some time or another.  Whether you work with people who are too gregarious for you, or perhaps too conservative for you, some form of miss hit in communication  has happened to everyone.  When is enough enough? Do you feel the urge to speak up or not to speak up? For many it is a struggle whether to say yea, or nay, and then put it behind them.  What happens if you are at a doctor’s office and they are too personal with you, making sexually related jokes, and perhaps even come on to you?  Is your first instinct to speak up or shut up?  While many may first sit there in shock and dismay (understandably), it’s not always clear cut and dry what to do next.  If you do nothing sometimes the feeling and interpretation is if they didn’t say anything either way the behavior can continue.  If you speak up your intentions and feelings are clear – no questioning if it’s okay or not okay behavior with you.  I’ve found that in my own experiences and what I’ve learned in Graduate school about communicating, is that speaking up is better than not speaking up at all.  Avoidance theory doesn’t solve problems or awkward situations, it avoids, or delays the closure that is always needed to resolve any feelings of hurt, sadness, dismay, whatsoever. If anything it is a temporary relief that eventually leads to grief.   It is far better to confront someone immediately after the situation than say, wait two or more years, hoping their feelings may change.  It maybe harder for some people whose first instinct is to cower away and pretend nothing happened.   But you will feel better being sincere, apologizing if you are the one who should be apologizing (and you would know this) and or making it known you want an apology over hurt feelings of one kind or another that can linger on for years.   Be strong, be sincere, and speak up.  Even if all doesn’t work out the way you would have liked it to in the end, say the one with questionable behavior never really apologizes to you or admits their true feelings or intentions, at least you did and will be able to move on from  what was once an awkward situation.


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