Speaking Up without Fear

Clamming up is normal. What is not normal is when we shut up in fear of losing something or someone. That gathers over time and finally, when the volcanic eruption occurs, we have lost ourselves the most. No doubt that eruption provides a significant release and even relief as we feel that we are back in our own space and empowered once again. But why let it get to that point of losing it all in the first place?

I battled with this for over a decade. Till my early 30’s I was very vocal. To a point where I was rude and didn’t much care for the way, my words and energy landed on others. You could call me arrogant and callous.

One of the first things I was hammered into looking at was my spoken word. I was shown the number of people I had hurt, pushed away, made to shut down around me and I realized that I had invalidated so many over the years.

But instead of that part having healed, it leads me to operate from guilt and I started to keep quiet. Preferring to say nothing least something nasty comes out. And that became the habit.

This habit then found reasons to stay. But that part inside had never healed, you see? In the past year, I met someone who is vocal. Just the way I was many moons ago and I began to reconnect to that part of me I had pushed into my shadow side. But this time I started seeing where I was stuck. Some interesting realizations hit home.

Why shutting up in fear works:

  • It can get us more love, attention, and approval (being a wallflower perhaps?).
  • If I opened my mouth and spoke my truth, I would lose these people, because I figured I’d go back to my old way of doing it. So better to remain in fear and be inauthentic to have people love me.
  • Keeping my mouth shut allowed me to observe others more deeply and learn how to manipulate them with words that came out at the right time so they would be guilty enough to do what I want them to do (a form of control that sickens me that I did this and still do unconsciously at times)
  • We gather enough proof to blame someone for something that they did and we didn’t like it the first time they did it. So they think it’s ok to keep doing it as we say nothing to stop them the first time. Keeping quiet lets us gather instances, proof, examples against them to throw at them in one finality so they feel the entire brunt of our collective upset in one go. The ultimate blame game to push someone away.
  • Shutting up makes us look wiser, even though we may be nowhere close to it. Yeah but looks matter the most in this world, right? Who cares whether it’s true or not?
  • We sound more intelligent when we have kept quiet and let others talk first (also more patient with other rights?) and then when it’s our turn, we use very few words to deliver the punch line. More like a punch in their gut.
  • We always get to hold the other person responsible for all the screw-ups between the two involved. I mean who wants to take responsibility by speaking up their truth so things can flow smoothly right? When we can sit tight and let it all go down and then point the finger there and say “You did this, I was a saint all along”.


If we truly desire to have nurturing, loving, authentic and wholehearted relationships, there is no place for shutting up in fear. We lose us, we lose them, we blame and shame, feel guilt and anger and eventually creating the very scenario we were always trying to avoid.

Being disconnected and alone.

After all, who are we truly without our relationships?

Who thinks about how much money they made and their job, and private plane on their day of 


Aditi Nirvaan

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