Each conversation has its time and place. I make conscious decisions as to when it is an appropriate time to voice my opinion.
As a person with a valuable opinion, I feel like it is my duty to get my point across. However, I realize that, in many situations, it is best to simply bite my tongue and express my opinion at a later time, if at all.
Generally, if the situation can take its course without the expression of my concern, I opt to mind my own business.
Over the years, I have learned that most situations work themselves out just fine without the injections of extraneous opinions. I prefer to position myself out of the line of fire, because the messenger is generally the one that gets burned.
When I have only a negative opinion to share, I keep my opinion to myself. Of course, if expressing my concern will directly help another person, I tactfully say my piece and try to get my point across in a productive manner that affects the situation in a positive way.
If I am able to mend a broken circumstance, I consider it an opportune time to express my concern.
I find that the best way to assess whether it is an opportune time to express my concern is to put myself in the other person's shoes. I only proceed to share my concern if I feel that it can result in a constructive outcome.
Today, I assess whether I express my concern to be helpful or to simply be "in the loop." My new motto about speaking up is, "When in doubt, go without."
1. Do I make it a point to deliver criticism gently?
2. Does expressing my concern cause conflict within my friendships?
3. Is it necessary to express my opinion in all situations, or should I be more selective?