Q. Every year when it’s time to discuss my raise, I chicken out and don’t ask for as much as I deserve. At 43, I should know better! How can I get past this?

Bassam Tarazi: Isn’t it crazy that we work hard all year hoping to be compensated for our efforts, but when it comes down to the 10 minutes spent fighting for ourselves in a yearly review, we fold up like a lawn chair.

And why is it that many men seem to thrive on negotiating while a lot of women need anti-anxiety meds just to stay upright?

While gender gaps and glass ceilings certainly contribute to women earning less than men, Linda Babcock, an economist at Carnegie Mellon, created a study  revealing that typically, women are afraid to ask for more money because they worry about “violating social expectations that they’ll be warm and kind.”

See also: More Hours, No Raise?

In the study Babcock conducted with recent graduates, men were 8 times more likely to negotiate their salaries than women were. Those who did negotiate (both women and men) earned 7.4% more than those who didn’t.