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Fear Of Speaking Up

Homogeneity is the quality or state of being all the same or all of the same kind of mind. Many blame the United States’ recent political and social strife on a growing trend toward forced political, socioeconomic, and biodiverse homogeneity. Whether the definition is understood or agreed upon, for the first time in decades, large segments of American society fear for themselves and/or their country. Recent political, social, racial, and ethnic scapegoating, for reasons of expediency (the quality of being practical despite being immoral) has led to calamitous consequences and a recent national survey found 62% of Americans say the political and social climate prevents them from saying what they believe for fear they will offend others. Sixty-two percent of your coworkers, neighbors, congregants, family, and friends fear exercising their freedom of speech.

How A Fear Of Speaking Up Affects Mental Health

Like other phobias, a quintessential fear of speaking up can cause, anxiety, migraines, sweating, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, and a weakened immune system. Psychologically, it can interfere with processes in the brain, cause chronic stress, impact decision making, and ignite behavior disorders. Though this fear of speaking up trends toward political and social speak, the effect on mental health and well-being is similar to that of other fears. Improving Lives Counseling Services diagnoses and treats children, adolescents, teens, adults, and seniors experiencing a fear of speaking up.

A number of diverse motivations have led to the recent disorder, dissent, protests, and political uprisings of 2020 and 2021. Many are tied to ego – “…the view an individual holds of themselves, their beliefs, ideologies, and affiliations.” Both a desire for homogeneity and against homogeneity, can lead to a stifling of voices – the fear of loss of one’s reality can be triggered by both truths and untruths. Margaret Atwood said, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” and Thomas Carlyle said, “silence is golden,” yet both of these quotations stifle the voice and can lead to the mental ailments and physical pain associated with fear.

Speaking up on one’s behalf, or feeling comfortable sharing values, opinions, and beliefs defines who you are. When you allow others to stifle your voice, you allow them to affect your physical and mental well-being. We have all heard people say, “I don’t talk about politics”, or “I mind my own business.” Many of these naysayers report experiencing stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression – alone. Living in a democratic society we are emboldened to accept the hyperbole of politics, socio-economics, and the multiplicity of society. Shannon Alder said, “..when you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation, you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval.”

Homogeneity can be a positive democratic characteristic; it can also ostracize those with different opinions, values, and beliefs – this is why your voice must be heard.

Meet With Our Oklahoma Counselors

Improving Lives Counseling Services’ team of licensed professional counselors and therapists can meet the specific needs of patients submerged in the fear of “speaking up”. There’s a lot going on in this country – politically, ideologically, economically, and socially. Let’s reduce that 62% beginning with you. More than ever, your voice matters. Call us.