I’m curious why this happens to me. I get “bullied” or walked-on. Report the problem, then panic because i don’t want to get yelled at.  My recent example –My landlord was ignoring my emails but then answering other tenants or my roommate’s emails. I finally reported the issue to what I thought was the company, but the fear that she may have got the email made me sick because I didn’t want her to yell at me (which she was the one being a bad landlord, i have no reason to feel bad for telling someone). I will admit I am a “people pleaser” I don’t like others to be upset with me, but I do not deserve to be ignored or belittled. But anytime i stand up for myself i panic because most likely that person being mean to me is going to be MORE mean. I hope this makes sense. (From the USA)

A:  It does make sense, but it is a simple skill that is missing — nothing more. You need to read a book on assertiveness and take a course in your community. I’ve read dozens of books on assertiveness and found them to be all about the same. Look for one that has good ratings and follow it.

Your community college or local high school will have adult education courses on assertiveness. I would read the book, then sign up for the training. Once you have this skill the “people pleasing” will diminish and be replaced with respectful and honest assertiveness.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral