When to Open Your Big Mouth

In a world where smartphones rule and everything we do, say, or Tweet has the potential to become permanent record online, it can feel like a scary place to express any kind of opinions. As young professionals (YPs) in particular, we are often in a position of listening and learning, rather than opining and expressing. In fact, in a past Notable article we talked about those particular circumstances when speaking up can really screw us (like when we’ve been drinking). But today, on the other hand, we are feeling just a little more confident, a bit more free, and lot more eager to blab. So we’ve come up with a few examples of those times when opening our big fat mouths is called for and can normally be done without any fear of online or public retribution. If you feel like standing on a soapbox, letting your mighty thoughts be known, here are some instances when it’s all good to let ‘er rip.  

Genuine compliments
So often we think it and never say it: Wow, my coworker looks amazing today, or I sure love that guy’s shoes, or what an amazing idea. Why is it that when we think something nice about another person we tend to keep it to ourselves? Because oftentimes they are someone we aren’t that close to, or a total stranger, and so we think that it might be a bit awkward to let them know our random thoughts. Well, we say forget that! There is never a bad time to compliment someone if done genuinely and platonically. You may just turn someone’s bad day around, and you will certainly be remembered. The world needs more positivity, so the next time you have a good opinion about someone, let it be known!

When asked
There is no instance more appropriate to express those honest opinions than when outright asked for them. When asked, “What do you think?” we are being openly invited to impart our wisdom to someone who is actively seeking it directly from us. What an honour! Still, many of us tend to filter or mold our thoughts or advice to appease the other person. Sure, we always have to consider our audience, their feelings and our particular type of relationship (see: Advice for the Advice Givers), but if you are someone looking to have your opinions heard, take the occasion of having them requested as your giant green light. Go ahead, they asked for it!  

When it’s right  
Finally, we think the most significant situation that YPs face when our opinions are not only welcomed but required, is when they are strongly, morally compelled. We are lucky to live in a country where we are legally permitted to speak freely, and so as Canadian YPs we must make good use of that right. If you see something that just isn’t right, a person, an animal, or property being mistreated in a way that deeply compels you to speak or (safely) act, do it! Of course, time and place do have to be considered, and sometimes we must calm that drive until a more appropriate setting, but in the end we have to do what’s right for us. Also, keep in mind that our moral motivation is only part of the statement when speaking up for a cause. Do yourself a favor and educate yourself on those things that really matter to you so that you are both emotionally and intellectually armed when you come to the fight.

Cover Image: Rock4Less