Anyone who knows me, knows that I am frank. As a matter of fact, one of my sisters has an endearing nick-name for me; Frank. She admires my genuineness, how I cut to the chase and don’t mince on words. I’ve told her that I don’t know how else to be, other than to be frank.
Looking back at myself as a kid, I don’t remember speaking up or out very much. No one called on me for my opinion or point of view. Having five older brothers and sisters, my ideas about anything did not count very much in comparison to theirs. Being a quiet kid didn’t bother me because I was left to myself. I was obscure, never the center of attention and no one asked me to take their side in an argument. Being obscure was an easy gig.
Getting a little older though with some of my siblings having grown up and gone away from home, it became harder to be invisible. It seemed the more I grew up, more was expected from me. People waited to hear what I had to say. They wanted to know my point of view, to respond to what they said and to no longer remain mute.
Sometimes that meant going toe to toe with Mom, one of my older sisters still living at home, or a teacher at school. Voicing my thoughts concerned me, especially when they didn’t always align with the thoughts of others.
It was awkward just hearing the sound of my voice, let alone my ideas. But, there was no turning back. I knew that I was no longer that obscure, quiet and indifferent little girl I used to be.
Sometimes, the stance I took was not based on much of anything, but I did like holding my own in an argument. Debates were adrenaline inducing. But, over time, with experience and maturing, I’ve become a bit more graceful with my words.
First of all, I think and listen well before I speak. Then I am careful in choosing how to respond. Not everyone is interested in knowing what we think, rather, they may only want us to know what they think.
Secondly, it is not up to me to change anyone’s mind, but it is up to me to hold my ground. There are those whose main aim in life is to dominate, intimate and overpower. Encountering one of these individuals makes my heart race and my mouth go dry, but someone I remain standing in my truth after they’ve blasted me theirs.
Finally, I remember those who do appreciate and respect me for who I am. It doesn’t matter that they amount to the fingers of one hand.
Why bother being candid? Being forthright, sincere, direct and unshrinking is not for the faint of heart, but it is good for the heart.