How To Be More Direct
I’ve never been that great when it comes to asking for something directly—especially the “owning it part.”
It involves a tricky balance of figuring out what you want in the first place, and then there’s the whole part about communicating that in a way that’s both clear and concise, not to mention compassionate.
A lot of the ways we are socialized to communicate with others are based in our identity. So as a young woman, sometimes it can be intimidating to speak my mind clearly and firmly ask for what I want without feeling like I’m being “too much.”
There’s a lot of research to back this up. Particularly in the workplace, it can be hard to speak up—not because of people’s personalities, but rather because of environments that aren’t necessarily conducive to open conversations.
The key to changing that? It lies in what we call “compassionate directness,” aka speaking up for yourself and your needs but with a dose of kindness along with it.
Elisha Mudly dives into how to put compassionate directness into action in our 3 Days to Being More Direct meditations, now available in the Shine app.
Here’s a bit about what she gets into:
Understand What You Want
The key to being direct is knowing what you want to say.
For me, that means writing down what I want to say before I say it. That helps me process my thoughts and emotions, and clarify exactly what I want to say.
Elisha guides you through a super helpful exercise that gives you space to think, clarify, and simplify what it is you’re wanting to get across. That way, once you understand your own thoughts, you’ll be in a much better place to share them with others, too.
Figure Out Your Approach
In the challenge, Elisha breaks down the difference between “cooperative approach” and a “competitive approach” to getting your thoughts across in a direct—but compassionate—way.
Spoiler alert: cooperative approach is the way to go.
When we're mindful of the way that we approach someone, and if it’s being done with solution-oriented approach, we can create space from conflict and move forward with the best intentions.
That might mean waiting for the perfect moment to flex your directness, or finding the perfect medium (verbally, via email, etc.) to share your thoughts.
Protect Your Energy
Being direct can take up a lot of energy! In these meditations, Elisha points out that the best way to protect your energy is by saying "no."
There’s a lot of power in a no—and it’s the foundational element of boundaries, which we know can impact a lot when it comes to your mental and emotional health.
Start the 3 Days to Being More Direct series to learn even more about how you can put compassionate directness into practice.
Got a tough conversation coming up? Put your learnings in practice: