We have to know ourselves and our limitations.
We cannot assume that others will consider what we need or what is best for us.
Most likely, they have a difficult enough time figuring out what they need and what is best for themselves.
We must, therefore, know ourselves and speak up for ourselves.
If we do not, how can we expect others to?
We have to be clear about our boundaries and our expectations.
And, we have to be consistent with maintaining them.
No one else is going to know what we want or need from them unless we tell them and then follow through as if we meant it.
We cannot expect to be taken seriously unless we are actually serious.
This is not an excuse to be harsh, aggressive, or mean-spirited, however.
There is no excuse for those attitudes or behaviors.
We have to find the delicate balance between saying what we mean, meaning what we say, and doing so in a way that produces harmony instead of dissonance.