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How to Speak Up When You See Something Wrong

Learn how to speak up for both yourself and others when you see something wrong from manners expert Faye de Muyshondt in this Howcast video.


Hi. I'm Faye de Muyshondt here to teach you how to speak up for yourself and others when you see something is wrong. There's that old saying, "If you see something, say something." And that really holds true. If you see something happening and you don't say something, there's a really big problem going on. So if you see something happening that's not right, or kind of gives you that bad feeling inside, say something. If you see something that's going on with someone else and you don't say something, it's almost an offense on your behalf to not say something. And saying something really shows your personality. There's nothing worse than just being kind of plain and never saying anything that really means something to you. So as you see something, say something.

So if something's wrong, ranging from the extreme case of, let's just say that you know that your best friend's boyfriend is cheating on her, say something. And just take time to prepare for what you're going to say. I always say that preparation is really empowerment for you. So practice what you're going to say in advance. So rather than coming across and saying, "Your boyfriend's cheating on you," you might want to soften it a little bit and say, "Your friendship means so much to me, and I've seen something that's been going on, and I really wanted to share it with you. As difficult as it is for me to share with you, I recently found out that your boyfriend has been cheating on you."

It could be a situation as small as getting to a restaurant and not being happy with your food. Or if your food isn't prepared the way you like it. You want to say something. You don't want to be stuck eating something that's not prepared they way you like it. So pull the waiter or the waitress aside and say something to the waiter or waitress. And in either of these scenarios, and generally speaking, as you express yourself when something is wrong, you might want to do it in a one-on-one type of setting rather than doing it in a big group setting. So if you're at that dinner table and your food isn't prepared the way you like it, like I said, pull the waiter or the waitress aside. Don't make a big scene at the table, because everyone's going to feel uncomfortable that your food isn't prepared properly.

Another situation is that you might need to speak up for others. There might be a situation where you're with someone younger who's not comfortable expressing themselves. And if you see something wrong, you really need to say something and step in and help that person out. In the case where you're speaking up for others, this can be a little bit tricky, because you don't want to be speaking for someone and making that person feel like they can't speak for themselves. So what I suggest here is being sure that the person who you're speaking for is not able to speak up for themselves. So that might be a younger person, or perhaps a situation where there's a disability. But be really careful speaking up for others and making sure that you're not speaking for someone else. And those are just a few ways that you can speak up for yourself and for others. And don't forget if you see something, say something.

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