I am outspoken, perhaps a little too much. If you upset me, I’ll tell you. If I love you, I’ll tell you. If I don’t like you, well, maybe I won’t tell you, but I’m for sure not going to pretend to be your best friend.

Sometimes, being so outspoken can be a challenge, especially when it comes to telling people when you’re upset. When I was younger, I always allowed people to walk all over me, I was so afraid of people being mad at me and of losing them that I would bite my tongue.

Keeping it all in never made things any easier and never solved the problem. I chose to uncomfortably disregard those feelings I had, and carry on with my normal life.

It seemed easy at the time and being young, it was simple to forget the small things like someone calling me stupid or my mom not letting me stay up past ten. Once I got older, I realized it wasn’t so easy to just let things go. It’s the sad fact of life that things just progressively become more serious, with greater implications.

The tricky part is deciding what isn’t worth bringing up and what should be brought up.

The balance between the two is hard and there is rarely a strict delineation. Emotions often get in the way of deciphering big from small, purposeful from accidental, malicious from not.

So my rule of thumb is this: for small things, if it’s been bothering me, I say something. A first offense shouldn’t be treated as the end all be all, stay optimistic. If it becomes a persistent issue, the bothersome feeling you get isn’t just going to subside. You shouldn’t have to get used to something that’s irritating.

For big things, confront the issue head-on. Do NOT allow someone to take advantage of you.

Obviously, you have to find your own medium. I am far from perfect, still allowing people to use me or not confronting what needs to be, which nine out of ten times results in an unnecessary blow-up. It all depends on what you can or cannot handle.

All that said, the gnawing feeling one gets when continually being troubled is far worse than the feeling one gets when confronting their problems. I, for one, get a heinous stomach ache and repeatedly admonish myself for having been so stupid as to bring the issue up, and can still confidently say I prefer this immediate discomfort over the prolonged irritation of holding an issue inside.

Once the problem is resolved, whether in an apology, a suggestion to fix it, or the clarity that the other party does not care (or simply never takes the step to change things), you no longer have to worry about it. If the latter happens, sure, it hurts, but on the bright side, you no longer have to worry over what’s been bothering you and you now know that person has no place in your life.

Anyone who refuses a quick fix to make you happier does not have any reason to be allowed in your life.

Telling someone how you feel, positive or negative, will always be a challenge. Wearing your heart on your sleeve is no small feat, and I applaud all of you who do so. As for those who do not, the act of taking matters into your own hands and opposing those who do you wrong will make you feel more empowered and bar that perpetual weight of worry. Do not fear the repercussion of speaking up, it’s better to have the consequence of doing than the regret of what could have been done.