It is a common experience to feel more comfortable to speak up with some people in our lives, and less comfortable with others. Perhaps those we have known longer and have earned more trust with; those we know it will be ok even if we disagree with one another.

However, even in long-term friendships, collegial or romantic relationships, there can sometimes be challenges to ask for what we truly want, or to set limits when other’s needs seem to overpower ours.

Here are five signs that there may be a need to speak up more often:

  1. Feeling resentful of someone else, and experiencing frustration that “they always get their way”
  2. Feeling an urge to avoid time with someone else because it is often not balanced conversation/interaction
  3. A strong urge to always say “yes” to someone else, no matter what, and to avoid conflict at any cost, even if we repeatedly put ourselves out in the process
  4. An overall sense of not feeling control of our own schedule for the coming week or month because “others always throw curveballs the way no matter how well I plan ahead,” and
  5. Noticing we feel voiceless or overpowered by someone else’s louder opinions.

A psychologist can be very helpful in supporting the process to set more limits with others in our lives, and comfortably speak up and ask for what we may need. This focus on assertiveness often causes people fear that they will lose friends in the process, but good friends will often support and welcome speaking more honestly and assertively. These healthy boundaries can lead to greater life satisfaction and a sense of empowerment with our family, friends, colleagues and romantic relationships.

If you’d like to speak to a registered psychologist, please contact the Downtown Psychology Clinic at 647-508-1111, or email us at or complete the referral form here.