How You Can Speak Up for Your Needs During Let's Talk Month
You deserve to be listened to.
Everyone should feel comfortable expressing how they’re feeling! Speaking up for your needs—no matter who you’re talking to—is essential for protecting your mental and physical well-being.
In honor of Let’s Talk Month—a time to celebrate open conversations about sex and sexuality—here are some steps to follow to make sure your voice is heard. For answers to your specific questions, or for free or low-cost access to all the methods of birth control, make an appointment to talk to a provider at your nearest The Right Time health center.
When you go to see your provider, you should feel welcome and safe, and they should make sure you’re comfortable asking questions or voicing concerns.
You also deserve to be listened to. We suggest bringing a list of the questions to the appointment that you want answered and be prepared to stick up for your perspective! The providers at your nearest The Right Time health center believe you know your body best, and are there to help you by providing you access to the birth control methods of your choice.
Not everyone is going to get along fantastically with their parents or want to tell them every detail about their personal lives, but every young person should feel comfortable speaking up to their parents about their needs. If you need support on the logistics of your life, try setting a time each day for going over important updates about school, sports, and weekend plans. If you need emotional support from the adults in your life, initiating an honest conversation about what you’re struggling with can help open the door for future discussion.
Every relationship has its own boundaries. In a healthy relationship, both partners should feel heard and understood, but also comfortable speaking up about their needs and desires. It’s important to find someone who is willing to talk about their expectations for a relationship, such as the amount of time you’ll spend together, how often you want to text, how you feel about PDA, and so much more. Additionally, remember that being around someone you love should feel comfortable, so you shouldn’t have to worry that they’re going to judge you or criticize you for voicing your needs.
While some people might think that it’s easier to speak your mind around friends, that’s not always the case—peer pressure can stand in the way. With friends, you might be inclined to go along with the group, even if your gut is telling you not to. But when it comes to friendships, those who you want by your side for the long run are those that, for example, respect your curfew, don’t pressure you into partying, and understand when you need alone time. To set yourself up for success, you can try to be clear about your expectations in the group chat before hanging out and making it clear which parts of the plan are non-negotiable for you.
Updated September 2022
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