Say your piece, speak your mind, or tell your truth.
Any of these phrases have essentially the same meaning. You are seeking to get something off your chest. In other words, you want or need closure.
Despite your best efforts, the outcome of saying your piece doesn’t always end up making you feel better — as in you lack the peace part.
Perhaps if there is something you need to get off your chest, it is better to change your approach. As in, do a letting go ritual or ceremony instead of actually speaking your true, vulnerable thoughts.
Why Say Your Piece?
There are likely many reasons why you feel as though you need to say something. To help articulate the internal debate to determine if it is worth saying your piece, I’d like to first offer a story.
Earlier this year, I shared a story in a blog post earlier this year about listening. Instead of telling you to read that first, I’ll give you a quick summary….
I had a less than desirable conversation with the director of my daughter’s club sport team. It resulted in this person shutting me down, not listening, and then jumping to conclusions about what I would have said. This resulted in my storming off and now my daughter plays for a different club.
While I would love to revisit the conversation with this person, and work things out, that won’t be happening. I am the type of person who genuinely wants to help others so that everyone can have a positive experience. However, not everyone has the same viewpoint.
Below, I’ll walk you through my thought process in determining this situation was not saying my piece.
1. Growth versus past behavior as a predictor of future
Growing up, I was taught we do not change. You are who you are and that is it. In other words, a fixed mindset.
However, I now know that is not the case. A growth mindset is the belief that we can evolve, change and, well, grow! That said, not everyone wants to change. Some people are perfectly content with their current situation. Therefore, it is important to know your audience when considering whether or not it is worth saying your piece.
Relating this back to the story from above (refer back to Why Say Your Piece?): Over the past several
months years, I’ve done a lot of work on myself. As a result, I feel prepared to have an open conversation without conflict.
If you haven’t heard about Crucial Accountability or Crucial Conversations before, I HIGHLY recommend it. Talk about a life changing concept for me!! Though I will admit reading the book is a little dry. A workshop is a better approach. (Not an affiliate link)
While I have done the work and feel comfortable having a difficult conversation without issues, that doesn’t mean others are in the same place. (Also, it doesn’t guarantee the other party will actually listen). If this is the case for you, saying your piece may not result in a resolution but only more conflict. Proceed with caution.
2. Desire for closure and the ability to move on
In some cases, we believe that saying our piece will help to bring closure to the situation.
Yes, it would be amazing to have closure (or a resolution). It could be therapeutic to revisit the conversation and reach a mutual agreement. But, there is a key word here… Mutual. It is a two-way street here.
If only one party has a desire for closure, it is best to move on. If you are seeking closure, but hesitant to say your piece, scroll down to How to Find Peace Instead.
3. Feeling compelled to help others
Ok, we kinda touched on this one within the first point. We may feel as though saying our piece can help the other party to improve the situation for themselves. But, again, the other party must want the same thing.
In my story of the club director, it feels as though I might be able to help prevent others from having similar struggles. In others words. I’m a big picture person and even though my experience was less than desirable, I’d like to make it better for others in the future.
That said, a crucial conversation (or saying my piece) could potentially help the organization as a whole. Then again, I have to remember not everyone wants things to change…
As you can see, in my situation, it feels as though there are reasons to say my piece. Just as there are reasons to just put my head down and move on.
After talking it through with a confidant that knows the other person, the decision was to leave the matter alone. That said, I am going to scroll down to the end of the article and do one of the alternatives as a way to make peace with my feelings on the matter.
In your case, it might actually be better to pursue the conversation, and that is ok. Either way, it will be helpful to keep reading this article.
What Actually Happens When You Say Your Piece?
While everyone’s experience will be different when saying their piece, there are some things that could go wrong. Those may include the following outcomes:
a. Message Not Received
I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure that you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.Robert McCloskey, US State Department
- This quote exactly summarizes my thoughts here. You say something, but the other person doesn’t hear what you meant. In other words, the message is not received as intended. As I previously mentioned, this is exactly what happened to me earlier this year, check out my blog post on You’re Not Listening.
b. Reality is Rarely Like our Dreams
- Another way saying your piece can result in a lack of peace is when you you have a specific outcome desired. As an example, you dream up the conversation in your mind ahead of time. And, in your daydream, you reach a mutual agreement or the person responds in such a way to put you at ease. Then, in reality, the response is completely the opposite of what you imagined.
- Please tell me I am not the only one to experience this…. A friend of mine had this happen when telling her father her future baby’s name. His reaction was lackluster compared to her daydream. It resulted in hurt feelings on her behalf. But, had there not been a desire for a specific outcome, perhaps it would have been a better experience.
- Full disclosure, it is possible that the outcome is better than you anticipated. So, stay open. But, don’t expect any particular result.
c. Will it Actually Make You Feel Better?
- While we think saying our piece will help us to feel better, that isn’t always the case. Personally, I couldn’t even count the number of times I had something that I needed to “get off my chest” and when it was all said and done… It didn’t make me feel better.
- I’m just going to guess I am not the only one to have experienced this before — not that I am wishing that on you, but something tells me it is a common occurrence.
What to Do Instead of Saying Your Piece to Find Some Peace
First point, it is probably better to just not say your piece.
In many cases, the outcome probably won’t be what you desire. In fact, it may ignite more issues.
If you still feel as though you need to say your piece, make sure you do it only after careful thought and for the right reasons.
If you really feel as though you need to say something, it may be helpful to reach out to someone that can guide you through the process, especially if it is a particularly heavy issue. You might consider discussing with a mental health professional or therapist, if you don’t have someone you trust to be a neutral part,. And, it wouldn’t hurt to check out Crucial Learning website shared above. (Not an affiliate link)
How to Find Peace Instead
If you are going to forgo saying your piece, here are some ways you do just that without sacrificing your peace:
1. Write it down.
This could be a typed or hand written note. It might be an email. Either way, write out what you are feeling, your thoughts, and emotion attached to the issue at hand.
IMPORTANT NOTE: What ever you do — Do NOT send the message to the person. This is an exercise in expressing yourself. It is not intended to actually be sent.
2. Role Play the Conversation.
Ask a close friend or family member to be the person you need to say your piece to. Then, role play. Say what you need to say and let it go.
This is particularly helpful if the person role playing knows the individual you need to say your piece to. They can react or respond in a way that would be similar to the actual situation. Or, you can guide them to respond in a specific way to help you find closure.
3. Give it up to the Universe — or your Higher Power.
Imagine saying your piece or releasing your thoughts to the Universe. Find a quite place and calm your mind. Take some deep breaths and imagine you are in a room with the other person. When you see them, think of all the things you want to say. In the process, allow yourself to find the closure you need. If you need some help letting go and trusting the Universe, this might be a good article for you to read.
4. Burn it.
Write down your piece and then burn it in a fire pit. Or, write it on a rolling paper (like for smoking) and burn it in a candle. Of course, use caution around fire and while burning things; never leave an open flame unattended, especially when you are burning something… and all that sort of disclaimer stuff.
There are all exercises in letting go. When we desire to say our piece to someone, remember it is likely you are really seeking closure for a specific event, circumstance, or situation.
Allow yourself to find peace in letting go. Of course, letting go can be easier said than done, that is why I’ve offered these ideas to help you find peace instead of saying your piece.
Well, I hope this article helped you out. If so, drop a comment below!
The links contained in this article are not affiliate links.
I do not receive any compensation for mentioning them; they are simply there as a resource to share with you — the reader.
Last Updated on March 21, 2022 by Kristi Coughlin