ASSERTIVE BEHAVIOR: IDEAS TO KEEP IN MIND 1) Assertive behavior is often confused with aggressive behavior; however, assertion does

not involve hurting the other person physically or emotionally. 2) Assertive behavior aims at equalizing the balance of power, not in “winning the battle” by putting down the other person or rendering her/him helpless. 3) Assertive behavior involves expressing your legitimate rights as an individual. You have a right to express your own wants, needs, feelings, and ideas. 4) Remember: other individuals have a right to respond to your assertiveness with their own wants, needs, feelings, and ideas. 5) An assertive encounter with another individual may involve negotiating an agreeable compromise. 6) By behaving assertively, you open the way for honest relationships with others. 7) Assertive behavior not only is concerned with what you say but how you say it. 8) Assertive words accompanied by appropriate assertive “body language” makes your message more clear and impactful. 9) Assertive body language including the following: a. b. c. d. e. Maintaining direct eye contact Maintaining an erect posture Speaking clearly and audibly Making sure you do not have a whiny quality to your voice Using facial expression and gestures to add emphasis to your words

10) Assertive behavior is a skill that can be learned and maintained by frequent practice.

. taken for granted or used by others. For example: Agreeing to do things that you’re not interested in or failing to ask a favor even though you need one = represents the denial of your opinions and needs. needs. or we behave nonassertively. depression and undue anxiety in interpersonal/social situations. then you may now feel uncomfortable or uptight in situations which call for you to express yourself. Example. stomach problems.BEING ASSERTIVE Assertion is the direct communication of one’s needs. improved communication with people and less headaches. wants and opinions without punishing. threatening or putting down the other person. Question. It is also standing up for one’s legitimate rights without violating the rights of others and without being unduly fearful in the process. People who have trouble expressing themselves report feelings of low self-esteem. “I suppose we could go to the movies” or “I wish I knew somebody who would teach me to fix my car”. tense body posture and nervous or inappropriate body movements.Were you punished as a child for expressing your opinion. low voice level. That’s why we don’t express our opinions now. Being assertive is not something you are born with. positive reactions from others. When people learn to assert themselves they report increased feelings of self-confidence. NON-ASSERTIVE BEHAVIOR A person may fail to express her feelings. reduced anxiety in social situations. they feel unappreciated. People often fail to assert themselves because they have been punished either physically or verbally for expressing themselves in that situation. Behaviors.for we have been punished by parents.Avoidance of eye contact. especially opinions which disagree with others? If you were. it is a skill that you learn. Asserting yourself is expressing your feelings and opinions appropriately. hesitant speech pattern. opinions or preferences/ or she may express them in an indirect way. teachers and other people for expressing ourselves. These communications are easily misunderstood because mixed messages are being given.

. The person who uses aggressive behavior disregards or infringes on the other person’s rights. hostile manner. threatening. demanding. assaultive. The person who behaves aggressively assumes little responsibility for the consequences of her action.AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR The person expresses her feeling sand opinions in a punishing. So in aggressive behavior there is little or no consideration of the feelings and rights of the person who is the object of the aggression.

ASSERTIVENESS ASSESSMENT WHEN do you behave non-assertively? Asking for help Stating a difference of opinion Receiving and expressing negative feelings Receiving and expressing positive feelings A(check if yes) ________ ________ ________ ________ B(rate from 1-5) ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ Dealing with someone who refuses to cooperate ________ Speaking up about something that annoys you Talking when all eyes are on you Protesting a rip-off Saying “no” Responding to undeserved criticism Making requests of authority figures Negotiating for something you want Having to take charge Asking for cooperation Proposing an idea Taking charge Asking questions Dealing with attempts to make you feel guilty Asking for service Asking for a date or appointment Asking for favors ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ _________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ .

classmates Strangers Old friends Spouse or mate Employer Relatives Children Acquaintances Sales people.Other_______________________________ ________ ________ WHO are the people with whom you are non-assertive? Parents Fellow workers. hired help More than two or three people in a group Other _____________________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ WHAT do you want that you have been unable to achieve with non-assertive styles? Approval for things you have done well To get help with certain tasks More attention. clerks. or time with your mate To be listened to and understood ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ To make boring or frustrating situations more satisfying ________ To not have to be nice all the time Confidence in speaking up when something is Important to you ________ ________ .

Mechanics. raises. Confidence in asking for contact with people you Find attractive. ect. or Work under you. ect. Greater comfort with people who supervise you.Getting a new job. asking for interviews. store clerks. Initiating satisfying sexual experiences Do something totally different and novel Getting time by yourself Doing things that are fun or relaxing for you Other __________________ _______ ________ ________ ________ _______ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ . To not feel angry and bitter a lot of the time Overcome a feeling of helplessness and sense That nothing ever really changes. Greater comfort with strangers.

If you can’t convince others that your feelings are reasonable. 8. You are the one who best knows your discomfort and your needs. You have a right to change your mind or decide on a different course of action. You should respect the views of others. or maybe you are going crazy. It’s your right to protect yourself when something seems unfair. Your Legitimate Right You have the right to put yourself first. don’t rock the boat. 6. 5.It is selfish to put your needs before others’ needs. Listen and Learn. You should never interrupt people. then they must be wrong. Not so. You should always try and be logical and consistent. 2. You have a right to be the final judge of your feelings and accept them as legitimate You have a right to have your own opinions and convictions. especially if they are in a position of authority. sometimes You have a right to make mistakes. Each of these mistaken assumptions violates one of your legitimate rights as an adult individual: Mistaken Traditional Assumptions 1. Here is a partial list of traditional assumptions you may have learned as a child which now keep you from being an assertive adult. 7.YOUR ASSERTIVE RIGHTS Some people think that assertiveness training turns nice people into irascible complainers or calculating manipulators. asking questions reveals your stupidity to others. You have a right to interrupt in order to ask for clarification. Things could get worse. You have a right to protest unfair treatment or criticism. . 4. You have a right to negotiate for change. You should be flexible and adjust. others have good reasons for their actions and it’s not polite to question them. Keep your differences of opinion to yourself. It is shameful to make mistakes. You should have an appropriate Response for every occasion 3.

You have a right to not always worry about the goodwill of others. Don’t be anti-social. 18. You have a right to ignore the advice of others. you should help them. you should take it very seriously. If you don’t.9. People are going to think you don’t like them if you say you’d rather be alone instead of with them. You should be sensitive to the needs and wishes of others. Successful people are secretly disliked and envied.You should always try to accommodate others. You have a right to ask for help or emotional support.When someone takes the time to give you advice. Be modest when complimented. You have a right to receive formal recognition for your work and achievements. so keep it to yourself. 13. 16. It’s not nice to put people off. 11. even if others would prefer your company. 19. You have a right not to have to Justify yourself to others.You should always have a good reason for what you feel and do. even when they are unable to tell you what they want. give an answer. they won’t be there when you need them. 17. When someone is in trouble. 12. 14. .People don’t want to hear that you feel bad. You shouldn’t take up others’ valuable time with your problems. You have a right to not take responsibility for someone else’s problem. People don’t like show-offs. You have a right to feel and express pain. If questioned. They are often right. You have a right not to have to anticipate others’ needs and wishes. You have a right to say “no” You have a right to be alone. Knowing you did something well is its own reward. 15. You have right to choose not to respond to a situation. 10. It’s always a good policy to stay on people’s good side.