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.

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

demanding. hostile manner. . assaultive. threatening. 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. The person who uses aggressive behavior disregards or infringes on the other person’s rights. 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.

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 ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ _________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ________ .

Other_______________________________ ________ ________ WHO are the people with whom you are non-assertive? Parents Fellow workers. 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 ________ ________ . 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. classmates Strangers Old friends Spouse or mate Employer Relatives Children Acquaintances Sales people. clerks.

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

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

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

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