That's how a middle aged man described his difficulty taking a stand in relationships. It was our Thursday evening mindfulness group at the Unitarian Church, Hamden, Connecticut. We had just finished reading a page about how not to hate. He had identified his reason for hate as born of frustration. That, in turn, was seeded by his inability to assert himself verbally, at least at the right time.
"I have the words. I'm a writer, after all. For me it's that they won't come out or at least they didn't. Until recently I lacked the strength to say what I meant."
That's what I replied. Every member of the group had something, in fact a lot of somethings, to add about the words not coming or coming out. The results ranged from anger to, yes, hate.
Given this widespread problem, it might be a relationship saver if some entrepreneur invented small flashcards we could carry with us, like the old business card before websites. They would be printed with what would become universal symbols for phrases like "R hurt," "So alone," "Voice 2 loud," "Words R hurtful," "2 sorry," and "U unfair." As with business cards, we can just leave them behind. No, no need to hang around.