Do you care about the feelings of your partner and others to the point that you have trouble speaking up for yourself?

If you answered yes, you're in good company.

When you focus on whether you're going to hurt your partner's feelings, the person who gets hurt is YOU. The unfortunate part is that your partner, whom you're "protecting" doesn't gain either. Although your heart is in the right place, essentially you have told some form of untruth and now your partner doesn't really know who you are, what you like, what you don't like and you become unsafe. The two of you have started to erect an emotional barrier in between you and with every protective, untruth told the wall gets bigger and bigger.

If you are the "nice" one who has trouble letting the one you love know the truth, perhaps you see how this kind of nice is actually not very nice at all.

This style of interaction, if used often enough creates a relationship that lacks in trust and intimacy. Your partner doesn't really know who you are! In the end, what's created is a relationship with a wall in between the two of you.

When you get hurt because you choose not to stand up for yourself and speak your truth, you create a situation that actually allows you to give less and less not only to yourself, but toward your relationship.

We all have an internal wellspring with an energy setting on one side and a resentment setting on the other. The ideal overall setting is overflowing with energy on one side and near empty with resentment on the other.

When you feel hurt, angry, resentful or frustrated you increase the resentment gauge and lower the energy gauge. This decreases your ability to interact in your relationship joyfully, give generously and just generally be your best self.

So how do you remedy wanting to do right by your beloved and stand up for your own needs at the same time?

I'll admit that it can be a tricky balance, but the great news is that it's definitely possible.

To right the balance, what you owe your partner is kindness and respect. What you owe yourself is permission to be honest.

A blend of honesty mixed with kindness and respect creates positive changes in terms of connection, security and intimacy.

For example, let's say that your partner speaks to you in a disrespectful manner. When you don't know how to handle this in a way that leaves you feeling empowered, it's a BIG energy zapper! It can leave you feeling anger, hurt, frustration, shame, helpless and lonely. Over time feelings like this create a lot of inner turmoil.

Remember that you aren't a victim. You may sometimes 'feel' like a victim based on your circumstances, and I get how difficult, painful and humiliating this can be, but you always have the choice to use your inner power and ability to create change.

Finding the right words to say can be challenging. If it was super easy, you'd already be doing it!

What you want to do is focus on how you're feeling and what you want. Then, express it with kindness and respect. Remember to state the obvious.

Let's look at how to speak up for yourself in the following three scenarios:

1. You seem to be a sounding board for complaints, worries and problems.

Relax, breathe deeply and say "I'm feeling uncomfortable with this conversation. I would really like to have a positive conversation where we might inspire one another." (Or something similar in your own words. Avoid using the word "you" or feelings that imply blame)

2. You aren't included in important financial decisions with your partner because your income is less.

Relax, breathe deeply and say "I'm feeling really hurt and angry. It's important to me that we make financial decisions as a team."

3. You are being taken for granted and spoken to disrespectfully.

Relax, breathe deeply and say "I'm feeling disconnected and lonely. I want to be spoken to with kindness and respect."

Instead of responding as I've outline above, we often state what we don't want, how we were mistreated, which is of course, all true! It is also ineffective. By avoiding the complaints and the focus on what we don't want we zero on on the changes we require in a clear and concise manner. You'll be surprised at how effective standing up for yourself in this manner is.

Explanations and conversations often do more harm than good when you need to speak up for yourself and remedy a situation. So again, you'll want to to focus on how you're feeling, what you desire and expressing it in a way that can be heard.

Making a continuous commitment to these type of interactions will change your life. It will get your internal wellspring back on track, increase your confidence and create a lot more love in your life.

Author's Bio: 

Susan Blackburn is a Relationship Coach, Author of 'The Power of Feminine Grace' and Founder of Practical with Heart, an integrative mind, body, soul approach to relationships that balances the logical strengths of the mind with the intuitive gifts of the heart.