“You say yes when you mean no, which leads to resentment and a sense that you’re invisible.
This can lead to feeling depressed and devalued.”It might be harder for you to be assertive because you fear “being challenged, shamed, ignored, disregarded or socially excluded,” Hanks said.
So if you’re just starting to act assertively, she said, it helps to start small.
Instead of being assertive with your boss or parent, practice with less challenging people in your life, she said.
This is because we fear being rejected or losing the relationship, she said.“The stakes are higher with people you care deeply about, so expressing a difference or a preference can more intimidating because the risk of loss is higher.”“[I]ntimidation, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder,” said Diann Wingert, LCSW, BCD, a therapist and coach with a private practice in Pasadena, Calif.That is, each of us finds different people intimidating. Wingert helps her clients realize that they can choose to feel secure (instead of intimidated), “regardless of the situation and who else is in it.” Here are six tips to try.1. The first step to being assertive is knowing yourself and your values, said Hanks, director of Wasatch Family Therapy and author of .She’s found that most people who have a hard time acting assertively haven’t reflected on what they think, feel, need and want.“If you have uncertainty or don’t have conviction about what you want to express, it’s really difficult to behave assertively.”To get clarity, she suggested simply asking yourself questions, like the below, on a regular basis: Hanks also recommended using a feelings word list to describe how you’re currently feeling.
To clarify your values, read through a list of values, and pick three which matter most to you.
“Write them down and post them on your fridge, your mirror, your computer and ponder them to make sure they ‘fit’ for you.”2. Most of us find it hard to set boundaries in general, because we were taught to seek approval and please others in childhood, Wingert said.