Do you feel you must be cautious around other people about what you do and say? Are you censoring your thoughts, opinions and behaviors? Ask yourself, “What is it I fear will happen if I speak my mind?”

You may fear the other person’s anger, disagreement or ridicule. So what? Why must it be necessary to be in total agreement with some of the people in your relationships? Why must you defer to their ways of seeing things? There are two people in every relationship. That means each person has a viewpoint or opinion. Rarely will there be complete agreement. And, if there is total agreement all the time, one person is not thinking.

Furthermore, if the other person belittles you for your opinion, do you want to be in this type of relationship? Bad emotional effects come from walking on eggshells not only from your holding back but also for the other person. He (or she) will begin to believe that only his viewpoint is the one to be considered when he hears no other opinion from you. He will think he’s right about everything he thinks and does, not only for himself but for you, too. You and the other person are undoubtedly acting in emotionally conditioned ways you both learned from your parents. But, if you can gain some self-understanding, you are free to change how you think and behave.

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