All my life, I have been absolutely terrible at confrontations. Whether that meant telling the waitress at a restaurant that she gave me the wrong drink or telling a friend that they upset me — either scenario was anxiety-inducing. I simply did not want to be of an inconvenience to anyone else.

As a communications major, in every one of my classes, it is stressed how essential honest and open communication within one's interpersonal relationships is. Regardless, even with all of the clear benefits being spelled out for me, I still have found it incredibly difficult to confess my feelings and open up to others. This is mainly because opening up could potentially make the other upset, and quite frankly I'd rather avoid that altogether. I strive to make others happy, even if that means sacrificing something within myself.

However, I recently made the decision to confront one of my closest friends on something that had been bothering me for quite some time now. Although I was physically shaking while pouring out my heart to them, the feeling of pure relief I felt afterward was well worth it. Not only this, but our friendship has strengthened immensely ever since I took that leap to share my own feelings. If I had not talked about the problem with my friend, she would have been completely unaware of it, and it would never have been resolved.

Communication within any interpersonal relationship truly is key- and I will preach this until the day I die. A professor of mine once told our class that "competent communication doesn't always make things better, but it does make things clearer." By this, she meant that even though confessing concerns might not turn a relationship around, it will make it clearer to you what the other's intentions are. If your friend or significant other is not willing to listen to your sincere concerns, then maybe they aren't right to be in your life. As terrifying, awkward, and/or difficult it may be to speak up for yourself, in the end, it does make things a whole lot easier.

So, I full-heartedly encourage you to take action and talk to others about your feelings. Stand up for yourself and speak your mind. Even if that means telling the waitress that you ordered a Coke and not a Pepsi, the little things matter just as much! It is the baby steps that will get you to fully learn to own your feelings and emotions and let others know how you feel.