Voices of Native Youth

Have Something to Say? Learn How to Speak Up without Offending

Learn to speak up

Do you sometimes feel like you aren’t being heard? As a Native American young woman, I feel that I’m not being heard at times. But I feel with more experience I can learn to become more outspoken. I also think that other Native youth can learn how to speak up and explain their point of view, too. These few suggestions can help you grow to become more outspoken: follow protocol, avoid needless conflict, and use social media as a resource.

One way of being outspoken for Native youth is to follow protocol. According to WikiHow, you should follow three steps when you want to speak up on a controversial topic.  The steps listed are find your voice, interactwith others, and be effective. Following these steps can be a bit difficult at first, but these steps can help guide us on how to speak up for ourselves.

Why Speak Up at All?

Outspokenness can help you voice your opinion on something that you feel strongly about. My English teacher, Anita Ojeda, says that in order to promote civil discourse, we have “to have an intelligent conversation with others without offending someone who may have different views from you. You can’t change peoples’ opinions, but you CAN give them new information that helps them understand different viewpoints.” This is important to becoming outspoken, especially for Native youth. Being honest and polite can keep conversations going. Using a civilized manner toward others is useful to becoming outspoken and is also following protocol.

Things to Avoid

When following protocol there are also some things that you may want to avoid. Ojeda cautions against “letting your emotions take control.” When your emotions take control, you might say something that you later regret. Another thing to avoid is an outburst of things unrelated to your topic or your position.

In order to use social media wisely, one should use proper grammar and not have any random, unprofessional outbursts. This goes for all social media platforms. When using social media, look for any errors before posting. Be sure that the topic you are presenting is relevant, necessary and appropriate. In short, following protocol helps avoid going off-topic and reduces the possibility of huge uproars on a public figure’s lack of education.

Check out these questions to ask yourself before posting something on social media. Click To Tweet

Speak Up and Join in Conversations

If you have something important to say, you might want to learn how to speak up effectively in ways that don't offend and win people over to your side. #ownvoices #socialjustice #outspoken #speakup #nativeyouth #nativeamerican

Although social media may be full of false information, I believe it can be a great way of sharing ideas and thoughts on things. You can use Twitter, for example, to share your opinion. Native youth can use it to help raise awareness regarding their lives on the reservations across the country.

Social media can help build self-confidence. Instagram can help people connect as they talk about their aspirations and goals. When you connect with other people with the same goals and mindset, you inspire each other to reach your full potential. Social media can benefit our generation by encouraging users to be outspoken and connect around the world. 

I think that Native youth should be more outspoken about their opinions. Using civilized manners toward others is useful to becoming outspoken, and good manners follow protocol. Following protocol is important because it helps avoid going off-topic and reduces any conflict.

Using social media can benefit our generation by encouraging users to be bold and outspoken. Therefore I think it is important that Native youth share their opinions and be outspoken about it. 

Cherie is a member of the Navajo tribe. She loves music and all things Korean. One day she hopes to become a psychologist in clinical counseling or a forensic psychologist. Her peeves include listening to people chewing and popping gum loudly, and seeing people touching her belongings.

2 thoughts on “Have Something to Say? Learn How to Speak Up without Offending

  1. Cherie, This is information people young and old need reminded of! You have done a great job sharing good communication skills we should all use. “Being honest and polite” can be the difference between a conversation and an argument! Such a great point.

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