I've been learning something recently. It may be common sense to most of you, but it's been a revelation for me:
It's important to establish boundaries for myself. It's important to maintain those boundaries and not allow other people to trample them out of control, manipulation, or for their own personal gain.
You see, I've always thought I had to bend over backwards for others, often putting myself in situations I didn't want to be in. I've always caved to make others happy, depriving myself of value. I thought it was unChristian to say "no," or to value myself. I thought that doing things to appease others, even though my heart wasn't in it, was the Christian thing to do. Not so.
I've realized that God values me. He values the way He created me to be. He expects me to fulfill the purpose for which He created me, and sometimes that means saying "no" to what seems right to everyone else or to what makes others happy with me.
The hard part of it all is finding the voice to make those boundaries clear to others. I've been so accustomed to muting my own feelings, desires and needs that it's hard to vocalize them now. In fact, what I've spent most of my life vocalizing has been self-degrading. I'm understanding that God values me, and expects me to value who I am in Him. And in understanding that, I have to vocalize it to others so they understand and respect my boundaries.
I guess a whisper is a good starting place.
For more on this topic I recommend reading Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.