Faced with a difficult question, our first instinct is usually to say something like, *Well I think… * or, *I just feel like…* before stating what’s actually on our minds. This verbal reflex is associated most with Millennials + it says a lot about our own indecision or lack of confidence in voicing our opinions with full conviction. In an effort to fit in with the flow of conversation or please those around us, maybe we find ourselves using these filler phrases without even realizing it. By starting a sentence with *I think,* we undermine ourselves before anybody else has the chance to.
But, avoiding confrontation by presenting our ideas in more agreeable ways only works to halt the conversation dead in its tracks. Today, college-age girls are faced with so many important topics in the world that are worth discussing, from our current political climate, to women’s healthcare, global warming, + the growing science behind fitness // wellness trends. As members of CHAARG, we all have a platform to share our voices + connect with others in productive, positive ways [even when we don’t always agree]. The next time you catch yourself saying, *I think,* remind yourself that YOUR opinion matters —
1] TALK IT OUT
Collecting input from those around us, sharing ideas, + even arguing at times is what ultimately helps us grow. In the same way that we push ourselves to step outside of our comfort zones by applying for a new job or moving someplace new, exploring different ways of thinking + challenging our own perceptions is how we learn more about ourselves // the world around us. The key to engaging in [sometimes difficult] conversations with one another is to express ourselves honestly + unapologetically, while also acknowledging that the other person’s ideas are equally as valid to them + approaching your differences with respect.
2] KNOW YOUR STUFF
A filler word is defined as *an apparently meaningless word, phrase, or sound that marks a pause or hesitation in speech.* Instead of relying on filler words to prolong your point, dive right into whatever you’re trying to say with certainty by making sure that you’re informed from the start. Subscribe to emails like The Daily Skimm, which breaks down news, entertainment, + other current events into easy-to-understand blurbs, with links to more detailed sources as needed. Staying on top of what’s going on in the world not only helps you develop your own opinion, but also gives you the confidence to engage in talks with those around you.
3] BE HEARD
At a time when we’re still only growing into who we’re meant to be, it’s easy to become indecisive or to deflect our own opinions for whatever sounds better. We need to remind ourselves that no matter how old we are, it’s okay to be wrong + it’s okay to change our minds at any point. We’re also at a pivotal moment in our lives of figuring out who is important to us, what we’re most passionate about, + how to channel these things into what goals we decide to work towards each day. If you’re unhappy about a proposed bill in Washington, call your representatives! Next time you come across an article or podcast that you really connect with, post it to your chapter’s CHAARG Facebook page + get a conversation going! Don’t *think* that you want to say something — speak your mind with confidence, because your voice deserves to be heard. <3
When it comes to inspiring others, CHAARG girls know how to do it best. Take it one step further by owning your words + exchanging new // challenging ideas with those around you.
+Alyssa [amatts_inchaarg] // UConn CHAARG