Speaking from the perspective of a middle aged woman, I think it is not surprising many of us sometimes struggle to find the confidence to state what we think. It may be useful to accept there will be times we will lack confidence. It is part of being human. It also helps us empathise with those around us who have similar feelings of insecurity.
As a child I felt I needed to be quiet and blend in with those around me. I didnít want to draw attention to myself by being outspoken. If others had a different opinion my first reaction was to think I was wrong. I would think hard about the other point of view and see if I could find validity in it. Thinking about the other viewpoint was probably a good thing. However, I would be hesitant about stating my viewpoint, not a good thing.
As a middle aged woman I still consider the views of others and look at a situation or topic from more than one perspective. However, I am more likely to put forward my point of view but in a balanced way, giving credit to other viewpoints. I enjoy the challenge of thinking of another way of looking at things rather than just accepting the commonly accepted one. These days I feel I have a right to my opinion but I donít feel I have to convince others my view is the only one.
If you suffer a lack of confidence when it comes to stating your opinion, these thoughts may help-
ē Read and listen to a variety of opinions. Gather information on a topic from different sources.
ē Itís okay to say you donít know or you are still making up your mind.
ē Donít be afraid to ask another person to explain what they mean or to give you more information. Use a tone of voice that doesnít make the person feel threatened.
ē Just because someone states an opinion loudly and forcefully it doesnít mean they are right.
ē Sarcasm is the way some people try to cover up their insecurity or that they donít know what they are talking about.
ē No one knows all there is to know about a topic.
ē You will know more about some topics than other people do.
ē You are entitled to your opinion.
ē You are allowed to change your opinion. It shows you are open minded.
Sometimes you will be with a person or a group who are more interested in stating their opinion than listening to what others think. If I feel someone isnít going to even listen to my ideas, sometimes I choose to not share them. This is not because I think my thoughts have no merit. It is because I donít want to waste my breath.