Written by Leah Sinclair
In a TikTok posted by Lisa Bilyeu, she shares eight phrases women should feel comfortable saying that left many opening up about their own sayings and experiences.
How often have you been somewhere and you want to say something but you feel like you can’t?
Whether it’s in an office meeting where you disagree with one of your colleagues but fear the way you may be perceived for having an opposing opinion or constantly being interrupted when trying to make a point – there are times where we just want to say something with the utmost certainty and confidence but society leaves us feeling like we just can’t.
In a world that has historically told women to be submissive and not to be “difficult”, we are still spending time unlearning these toxic traits that society instils in us. Luckily, we are now seeing more spaces that allow us to celebrate and uplift one another into doing, saying and embodying how we really feel – and more women are opening up about how they do this.
In a TikTok posted by Lisa Bilyeu, the founder of Impact Theory Media Studios, a media company focused on empowering content, she shared some popular phrases that women should feel comfortable saying.
In the short clip, which has amassed over 1.5 million views, the popular TikToker lists eight empowering phrases we should all be confident saying out loud – and we’ve broken down each phrase below.
“I’m proud of myself”
While many of us can quietly acknowledge the things we do well, saying them out loud can be a struggle, especially when concerned with appearing “too cocky”– but according to Lisa, this is one of the phrases we should be saying more often.
“I deserve a raise”
A 2021 survey by Glassdoor found that only a quarter of UK women (27%) feel confident that they will receive a pay rise within the next 12 months. This is truly indicative of workplace culture for women and phrases like “I deserve a raise” are something we should feel more comfortable saying.
The fact that a simple two-letter word can be a cause of fear and concern among many women says a lot about society, but as one commentator mentioned: “No” is a complete sentence and doesn’t require explanation.”
“I disagree and here’s why”
Overcoming fear of conflict and learning to not be afraid of disagreements isn’t easy – but being able to say how you feel to someone even if it’s a contrasting opinion is something we should all feel comfortable saying and doing.
“What do you mean by that?”
There’s nothing wrong with seeking further clarity on a situation or challenging someone’s opinion – and saying this phrase is at the top of Lisa’s list.
“I wasn’t finished”
During the 2020 vice presidential debate, Mike Pence continuously attempted to overtalk Kamala Harris – and the moment she said “I’m speaking” it was something that legions of women could recognise and relate to.
Being spoken over is something we’ve all experienced at one time or another – and having the assertiveness to declare that you’re not finished speaking is something we should all feel comfortable doing.
“Don’t speak to me like that”
It’s all about boundaries – and making it clear that you have them is key.
“Yes, I can”
Saying yes might not be as challenging – but saying yes with confidence in something you know you can do well can be.
Lisa’s video gained over 161,000 likes, with many sharing their thoughts on the phrases and even commenting with some of their own that they’ve learned to feel comfortable saying.
One TikTok user wrote: “The phrases I’ve become more used to saying include ‘I don’t see you that way’; ‘I’m not interested’; ‘No, I don’t feel like smiling’; ‘My body count is not your business’; ‘I can’t and I don’t want to’. It took a long time to say these things with confidence but I’m finally at that place and it’s truly freeing.”
Another said: “I’ve been practising ‘don’t interrupt me’”.
The clip also provided a space for women to share their journey by saying these phrases and how it relates to different aspects of their lives.
“As a lawyer, ‘I wasn’t finished’ is one of my favourites when I get interrupted in court by a man,” one said. “It’s something that I say with such pride and gusto now and it took a lot of confidence-building within myself and realising my worth and what I bring to the table to say it the way I do now.”
Another said: “I’ve really learned to feel confident saying ‘don’t speak to me like that’. As an executive in a manufacturing company, I am a minority and have used this in the past when I felt I needed to and feel like I’ve experienced this less as I’ve asserted my authority more.”
A third wrote: “Saying I’m proud of myself used to be a real struggle but I state it loud and proud now. If I don’t say it and believe it it doesn’t matter who else does.”
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