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#50: How to Assert Yourself, Part 1

Do you find it hard to speak up for yourself in relationships? If so, this 2-part series on how to assert yourself may help you understand why it can feel so hard to ask for things or say no in different types of relationships.

In order to be able to assert yourself, you first need to know what you want and don’t want. Sometimes this is harder that it seems. If you’ve spent a lifetime minimizing or denying your needs, it may be hard to get in touch with what matters to you most. 

Once you’ve identified your needs, you have to trust that your needs matter as much as everyone else’s.

Show Highlights

  • How to know if something doesn’t feel right in relationships
  • Fears that asking for things or saying no will anger the other person
  • Every time you assert yourself and it goes well, it reinforces that you can do it
  • Fears that you are selfish if you ask for what you want and need
  • Beliefs that the way to be a “good person” is to not rock the boat
  • Shame might accompany being told no
  • Honoring cultural and gender norms that impact beliefs about asking for things or saying no
  • The common wish that other people should just know what you want and need
  • Watch out for Emotion Mind, which might tell you it’s safer to stay quiet
  • Try using Check the Facts to figure out how you will cope with what you fear most
  • Use Opposite Action to approach, rather than avoid difficult conversations
  • Build new experiences that let you know that asserting yourself is worth the effort
  • Build Mastery to help you slowly strengthen the assertion muscle
  • DEAR MAN shows you step by step how to ask for something or say no
    • Don’t forget to ask or say no directly for the “A” in DEAR

DBT Skills Discussed

Ask us a Question

We’d love to hear from you! Where are you getting stuck with your skills application? Ask us a question for the chance to have it answered on the podcast. Submit your question here.

Please note that questions, and this podcast in general, are not a substitute for individual mental health treatment.