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And when we act from our most honest, sincere place, life becomes more meaningful and satisfying. It means expressing your thoughts, feelings, needs and wants in a relationship, said psychologist Julie de Azevedo Hanks, Ph. However, many of us have a hard time being assertive with certain people. Maybe it’s someone you perceive as more powerful or even “better” than you.Because that’s the great thing about being assertive: It’s a skill we can learn and practice. Dealing with intimidating people can shake our confidence and trigger self-doubt, said psychotherapist Michelle Farris, LMFT.Sometimes we find them intimidating because these individuals dominate the conversation, express their opinions as facts and expect others to back down, 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.

When you realize this, it makes it easier to be assertive.4.Either way, one thing is clear: You find yourself being passive and unable to speak your truth. According to psychotherapist Michelle Farris, LMFT, “over time, not speaking up makes you feel like a doormat.” This sinks your self-esteem, sets you up to be a victim and makes you feel powerless, she said.“You say yes when you mean no, which leads to resentment and a sense that you’re invisible.Being assertive can feel a whole lot less overwhelming when you start small.Start practicing this skill in less significant situations.