Here’s my September column for my hometown newspaper, the award-winning @HollandSentinel…
I remember leading an especially tense meeting several years ago when, during a break, one of the participants approached me and whispered, “You have more power in this situation than you think you do.” And then she walked away.
It was a startling bit of coaching, but she was right. I had power at that meeting I wasn’t using. I had the power, for example, to say no. Instead, I remember feeling powerless. I had allowed myself to be taken advantage of. When the meeting resumed, though, I somehow found the courage to say no and set a boundary.
People in abusive relationships often struggle to say no. The reason, of course, is fear. When we are being abused or bullied, we fear getting hurt, emotionally, physically, or economically. But sometimes, when we can’t accept any more abuse or bullying, we find our voices and use them. “Stop it,” we say. “I’m not going to let you do that to me anymore.”
Many people in this country and around the world seem to be finding their voices and using their power. Continue Reading →