Learn and practice assertive communication skills.
Using an assertive communication style can make you feel better about yourself and your relationships, and it leads others to treat you fairly and with respect. What is assertiveness? It is a way of expressing yourself and your rights without violating the rights of others. To learn assertive communication skills, take a workshop, talk with a counselor, or read a book (e.g., When I Say No, I Feel Guilty). You can also learn a lot by observing assertive people and noticing how they communicate with others. After learning the skills, you’ll need to spend some time practicing before they feel natural. Start using them in low-pressure situations first, and try asking trusted others to observe you and provide feedback on how you’re doing.