Speaking Up Will Increase Your Self-Esteem

May 9, 2012 Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Speaking up and the ability to act assertively is a common challenge for anyone struggling with self-esteem. Assertiveness is expressing ones needs and desires in an effective and respectable manner. When we avoid speaking up and expressing how we feel or what we need, we are sabotaging our self-esteem and allowing negative feelings to build up internally.

The way we communicate with others is a direct reflection of how we feel about ourselves. When you don’t speak up for yourself, it gives others the impression that you have little self-respect. The same is true when you express yourself in a flippant or aggressive manner, people stop listening and lose respect. However, when feelings are effectively communicated, others hear you. This creates healthy relationships and increases confidence to manage feelings, thus building self-esteem.

Are You Speaking Up?

Speaking up, communicating your needs, is key to your self-esteem.Passivity, not expressing yourself, is a killer when it comes to building self-esteem. Holding it in, fearing what others will say, letting others control what you say, do or want to do, is essentially allowing them to walk all over you like an emotional “doormat”. Over time, passive individuals become tired of not being heard. They can chose to act assertively, stay in their self-deprecating shell or take it out on others. With the right tools, assertiveness can be your go-to method and chances are your self-esteem will improve tremendously.

Assertiveness Techniques: How to Speak Up

The Sandwich Technique

Put your request in between two positives; think of it like the sticky peanut butter in between two slices of bread. For example, expressing your feelings to a friend about feeling ignored:
Positive: “Hi ______ I have really missed you lately, your friendship really means a lot to me.”
Request: “I would really love to spend more one-on-one time with you. Can we try to set some time up in the next week or two to have dinner?”
Positive: “We always seem to have a great time together.”

The “I Feel” Technique.

This classic technique is extremely effective in expressing your feelings to another person.
I feel ____________, when you ____________could you please ____________ (request).

Don’t forget, you have an opinion, you have feelings and you have needs. Try something new this week and speak up with these assertiveness techniques.

Emily is the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are.You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

APA Reference
Roberts, E. (2012, May 9). Speaking Up Will Increase Your Self-Esteem, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 18 from

Author: Emily Roberts MA, LPC

Emily is a psychotherapist, she is intensively trained in DBT, she the author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are. You can visit Emily’s Guidance Girl website. You can also find her on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

November, 11 2015 at 2:32 am

Hello, thanks for this wonderful article. I have a problem express myself for fear of doing it in unacceptable way. I feel people will look down on my opinion. I really want to break free, cos I believe there is a great me that wants to be let out.

Destiny kid
February, 25 2015 at 11:17 pm

I have came to learn d secrets of effective communication from this article

June, 7 2013 at 9:42 pm

It takes practice to learn the balance of speaking assertively and not coming across aggressively or too passively.If you have never been able to speak up to others for fear of what they may say or do then you are putting to much pressure on what others think about you. Learn to use your voice. Just practice speaking up for yourself. How others interpret it is their own perception. If you come across as sincere and not aggressive, others will listen. Not everyone will agree with what you have to say but it may be more important for you to learn the skill of getting your statement out and learning to build your self esteem. Don't be so concerned with how others take it, if it comes from a good place. Just practice and soon you will learn the art of effective communication.

April, 17 2013 at 6:41 am

Hello there. Thanks for sharing this, its really nice. Just to share with u, i've been struggling with low self esteem. I hardly speak up in front of people, but i can be really different with friends that i'm really close with. I can feel that people look down on me.. I dont know why, but i dont feel self worthy. I'm not beautiful or attractive enough in any way, i have a really dull personality, so to speak. Thats why i dont mingle around with those people because i'm afraid if they hate me. But i really want to change u know. I dont want to sit in the dark corner any longer. But how??? If that means to change myself, i dont know.. I desperately need help, please.

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