Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say

"Self-expression must pass into communication for its fulfillment."
~ Pearl S. Buck

Kind of like you are what you eat, you are what you say.

Your words express your thoughts, feelings and experiences. Your words also create your reality, and so you have great power and responsibility in your words.

It can be hard to figure out exactly what you are feeling, thinking or wanting, let alone how to express that accurately to another. I want to offer you a few tools for powerful self-expression, not only in what you express, but the intention in that expression.

Say What You Mean

Your emotions, thoughts and feelings are all signals, and it is necessary to decode them, so that you understand what they mean to you, and so that you are able to convey them to another.

Emotions, thoughts and feelings that go unacknowledged, wither, like a limb that atrophies. Emotions, thoughts and feelings that go unexpressed – to yourself or to others – become figurative scar tissue, they limit your emotional flexibility and resiliency.

Expressing yourself is an attempt to capture and convey your thoughts, emotions or feelings. Expression can be frustrating sometimes because at the end of the day, it is an approximation, not exact.

If you've got a particularly sticky or elusive thing going on, it might help to talk to someone neutral who can ask you questions and draw it out of you. Or it might help to write it out, journal on it, or to speak it into a tape recorder.

Although you may never perfectly convey what you mean, you want to develop the skill to be able to get as close as possible in expressing what is your truth, your experience, your want, desire, confusion, request. The clarity of knowing yourself in this way unburdens you, has you show up as the real you, and gives you fluidity and flexibility in communication.

Mean What You Say

Meaning what you say is having clarity, conviction and commitment in your words. You are what you say, and you are what you say you will do. If you say it, but know you don't really mean it, or say it and are not sure that you can do it, you are mis-aligned: you are not being as grand a person as you can be, nor as powerful.

It might start out good: you've figured out what you want to convey, but somewhere in the communication of it, you say other unrelated things, often out of reactivity or anger.

You fall short of saying what you really intended to say, and you also end up saying things you don't really mean, that were not in line with your original purpose for communicating.

Be careful what you say. The saying of something makes it so – it is the first step in its manifestation into being.

That might sound a bit woo-woo, but trust me when I say that your words are more powerful than you give them credit for. Being reactive, or lashing out is like being a bull in a china shop – you don't know your own length and girth, your don't know your own power.

It isn't an easy thing to communicate consciously and powerfully, but is a necessary skill and an asset for successful relating. I go more into depth into the dynamics of communication in Communication: 5 Vital Points.

But it is helpful first to understand a bit more about Upset, Anger and Conflict: why you get reactive or lash out and what it is that turns your originally well-meaning self-expression into a hurling of insults and perpetuation of misunderstandings.

Go on to On Upset, Anger and Conflict
Back to Relationship With Others

Share this page with your friends!

Join my mailing list

Relationships got you hot and bothered? Let me help.

Start with the FREE Report:
Keeping Cool: Top Ten Ways To Diffuse Reactivity

It's sweetly simple:


You can also anticipate:

  • Bare With Me: my stimulating, saucy, quarterly newsletter
  • Weekly Mini's: juicy, bite-sized relationship tips
  • The Skinny: zesty, compelling upcoming events
  • PLUS: a Second Bonus Report: "A Strict Diet of Self-Appreciation"

Sit back, relax and enjoy it all, chilled!

To help with email overwhelm, I promise you'll hear from me no more than 4-5 times a month!

Twitter Updates