Q: I always feel that whenever I speak my mind, that I upset people. I feel like I can’t say no, and I worry every time I express my opinion. Why do I do this? Why do I always feel like I upset people?

– Nic, Australia

Related: Grounding meditation

Eva’s response: Feeling like you always upset people is a sign of not feeling whole. You are depending on other peoples’ approval and happiness to make you feel happy. This is not sustainable, as true happiness comes from within.  There are four possibilities at play here. It’s either them or you who has the issue, and there is either a justified reason for feeling this way, or there isn’t.

I’ll go through each scenario:

* It’s them (and they’re justified)
In this case, you have in fact upset the person you’re dealing with, and an apology might be in order. However, you need to clarify what is is that they are upset about, and decide whether you take that back or not. (Hint: This is usually with a person that you get along with very well, and these issues only crop up once in a blue moon)

* It’s them (and they’re unjustified)
This is the person that you always need to walk on eggshells around. No matter what you say, you piss them off. Or, maybe they just took what you said the wrong way. In any event, you need to ask for clarification. Are they upset, and why?

You will need to evaluate the importance that this person has in your life, and whether their opinion matters more than your own (hint: it doesn’t.)

* It’s you (and you’re justified)
If you’re an asshole and you know it, clap your hands! (Sorry, I had to.) This happens when you just say whatever you want, whenever you want, to whomever you want. And now it’s catching up with you. You’ve suddenly developed a conscience as well as some empathy for all those people you’ve upset.

(Hint: I doubt that you fall into this category. If you care enough about whether you’ve upset someone, then you’ve cared enough to think before you speak.)

* It’s you (and you’re unjustified)

If you ALWAYS feel paranoid that you’ve upset people (not just one person, but anyone and everyone), then I’m sorry to say that your issue comes from low self-esteem.

Feeling this way will cause you to retreat into your shell and avoid social interactions for fear of stepping on someone’s toes. But you can’t go on like this forever.

If you feel this way, I suggest that you do some work on your solar plexus chakra, this is the energy centre just above your belly button. After grounding yourself, close your eyes and picture this chakra in your mind. It should be bright yellow and spinning gently. If you see cobwebs or darkness over it, gently blow them away, until this chakra is nice and clean.

The other way is to get outside of your comfort zone and just express your opinion regardless of how the other person might feel. If you need to say it, and they need to hear it – then it’s your right to express how you feel.

I hope that helps!