Banjara Academy

Dr. Ali Khwaja

(with inputs from Sapna)

presents techniques, exercises and experiential analysis on how you can

Generally in difficult interpersonal situations, we tend to behave in one of the following ways:
1. Becoming dominating and aggressive, trying to get our way 2. Becoming passive and submissive, and giving up 3. Trying to pair up with someone for support and take help The fourth and most appropriate way of handling relationships is by “Assertiveness”. Most people confuse assertiveness with aggression or ‘getting my own way’. True assertiveness, however, is much more than that. Assertiveness considers the rights and needs of everybody. It assumes that everyone is equal. Because of this assertiveness can be thought of as a method of increasing choices for everyone. Many situations actually do not require a confrontation at all. If we are happy to accept the situation then all is well and good. If not then we must choose one of the other options. Let’s look at these more closely.

The aim of aggression is to get our own way – to win whatever the cost to other people. Aggression is not interested in the rights, wants or needs of others. Aggression is usually destructive, either physically or psychologically. It’s true that people who behave aggressively often get what they want but aggression has other results as well.
Dr Ali Khwaja presents Techniques, Exercises, Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 1/19

III. If we let people treat us like doormats they quickly learn to do just that. As soon as our backs are turned they tend to do their own thing. the only friends aggressive people have are people who are just as aggressive themselves or people who are frightened of them. Some people believe that behaving aggressively makes others respect us. In this way we can avoid conflict. Let’s look at the effects of passivity. In the end. Aggression can make us unpopular. Aggression can make us feel good for a short while but is it worth it? Submission or Passivity (Behaving as though other people’s rights matter more than our own. But is it worth it? Dr Ali Khwaja presents Techniques. People start looking for new ways to hurt each other and before you know it they’re lifelong enemies. Exercises. They’re frightened of looking stupid in front of other people they consider to be more important. Aggression discourages people from helping us in the future. Be valued. It’s as though we actually invite them to treat us in this way. Aggression often breeds aggression. It doesn’t. Not getting what we want or need. In this situation people tend not to respect us at all.banjaraacademy. Frightened people only do what we want for as long as we are watching. Most people think more highly of people who are prepared to stand up for themselves. It is easier to let people have their own way. Reduced stress in the short term. Passivity usually results in: I. This often results in real unhappiness and may even be the cause of a much more difficult situation. They may also be worried that they’ll lose friends or influence as people might assume that they are just as I. This often means they refuse to help us when we really need them. Passive people often don’t dare to join in with other people or voice their opinions. it simply makes them fear us. III. Contribute. This means that once people start behaving aggressively with each other it can be very hard to stop. This makes our aggression a waste of time. If we force people to do what we want by using aggression they will probably feel bad about us. This may be because they’re frightened we might turn on them or because they think we’ll embarrass them by behaving aggressively to other people. Once we get a reputation for being aggressive people start avoiding us. IV.) Passive people behave as though they don’t have the right to: Have an opinion. Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 2/19 . Less respect from others. II. This means that they never take the opportunity to say what they really think and may end up missing out on things or going along with others when they don’t really want to. V. As though they are completely worthless.Banjara Academy www. Sometimes people start treating them as if they really are worthless which only makes it harder for the passive person to change. Passive people often act as though they have no value. They lose out on a lot of friendships because of their hostility. If we don’t join in and tell others what we actually want we probably won’t get it. II.

We begin to feel better – more effective. We don’t need to worry about doing things we’d rather not. Pairing up is also an escapist tendency where we may lose control over the Pairing Up This requires us to seek out a third. This weakens our own self-esteem and our confidence levels. Assertiveness lets us have greater confidence in others. Exercises. We make friends who truly respect us instead of walking all over us (passivity) or fearing us (aggression). Assertiveness sees everyone as equal with equal rights and equal responsibilities. surrender to someone else. V. Also. they will remain friends. Similarly. Assertiveness brings greater self-confidence. By dealing honestly and fairly with them. we encourage them to do the same with us. to like us and to want to spend more time with us. and persuade him to stand by us. Many people feel that attending to their legitimate needs and asserting their rights translates to being selfish. The more in control we feel the less stressed we feel. Also. Selfishness means being concerned about only your rights. VI. and impair our capacity to handle difficult relationships. We can decide for ourselves what we want to do and then seek out opportunities to do it – or to do something similar. I. As we learn to take control and see what we can achieve. Implicit in your rights is the fact that you are concerned about the legitimate rights of others as well. This is because it also helps others to state their needs and wants. Assertiveness increases the chances of our needs being met. Assertiveness allows us to remain in control. We have the power to choose our own destiny. Nor do we have to worry about trying to control other people. II. Assertive people have more friends. usually unconcerned person. Reduced stress. Assertiveness The aim of assertiveness is to find the best possible solution for all people. Dr Ali Khwaja presents Techniques.Banjara Academy www. the third person may actually make matters worse by hijacking the issue. you are only solving the immediate problem. We don’t have to let other people control us. It’s about finding ‘win:win’ solutions. with little or no regard for others. if they can’t help us and we are able to accept that without becoming aggressive. the person we are confronting may feel more offended knowing that a third person has been brought into the scene.banjaraacademy. Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 3/19 . our confidence increases. not building up your own self-esteem and your interpersonal skills. Even if the third person you pair up with is knowledgeable and helpful. IV. and may also resort to getting brute force of other friends or supporters of his. III. If we are able to tell people what we want without becoming aggressive they will be more likely to help us. This in turn increases our feelings of selfworth and self-esteem. It puts us back in the driving seat. As we begin to treat people more fairly they begin to trust us.

 I have the right to make my own decisions. the more assertive you become. Remember that there are many ways to interact with others. Listed below are some basic human rights. Having a clear idea of the boundaries which you have set beforehand is extremely useful especially when dealing with aggression.Banjara Academy www.  I am responsible for my own decisions. Just because you assert yourself does not mean you will always get what you want. Most people have absolutely no idea what you are feeling inside.  I have the right to contribute. Here are a few pointers which may help. Exercises.  I have the right not to understand. Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 4/19 . that’s one thing.  I am responsible for upholding the rights of others whenever I can. But if you pick up the practical points from this book and practice them exhaustively (with proper monitoring and feedback).  I have the right to say "No". We can inform. For example if you intend to inform another person of a decision you have made.  I have the right to be listened to. It’s often useful to know in advance precisely how you intend to interact. Incidentally the more assertively you behave. These are also part of the assertiveness ethic.  I am responsible for my own actions and their consequences.  I have the right to dignity. Knowing this makes assertive interactions much easier. however. You don’t necessarily need to explain it and you certainly don’t need to discuss it with them unless you choose to. honestly and with respect for their dignity. What you see is what you get. Dr Ali Khwaja presents Techniques. Alongside rights come responsibilities. lack of assertiveness is most certainly one of the reasons why conflicts occur in relationships.banjaraacademy. If you work at maintaining these rights for yourself and for others you will be behaving assertively. nor will it solve all your personal problems or guarantee that others will be assertive and not aggressive.  I accept responsibility for my own life.  I have the right to make mistakes.  I have the right to have my needs met.  I have the right to consideration from others. and hence in your relationships. What happens to me is generally a result of my own decisions. explain. I do understand that it’s difficult to learn assertiveness from a book or handout. They only get what you give them. Try it and see for yourself. If you look and sound confident people will believe you are confident. discuss or simply have a relaxed What Assertiveness Will Not Do Asserting yourself will not necessarily guarantee you happiness or fair treatment by others. you can definitely succeed in bringing about a change in your behavior. For example:  I am responsible for treating others fairly.

tone. assertive with. aggressive. If you are under high Identify Your Assertiveness Needs Do you often find that others coerce you into thinking their way? Is it difficult for you to express your positive or negative feelings openly and honestly? Do you sometimes lose control and become angry at others who don't warrant it? A "yes" answer to any of the above questions may be an expression of a common problem known as "lack of assertiveness. inevitably get so tensed up and defensive that they react very negatively. it will be very difficult for you to behave in an assertive manner. I have dealt with stress relief in another book of mine. Become aware of the basic difference between aggressive and assertive behavior. How do they express their assertiveness? 4. i. and how do you manifest them in your day-today life? 5. 3. Who are you submissive with. Think of three people you know who are assertive. While you prepare systematically the alternatives and responses available to you. Exercises. so I am not repeating stress reduction techniques here. Identify why we tend to become submissive with some people.e. run away from the situation (“flight”). work on reducing them systematically and regularly. Remind yourself continuously that you can never predict what the other person’s responses.e. it helps you think clearer and in a calm way. do not start visualizing the worst scenario beforehand. How do you express assertiveness. Build Up Your Assertiveness Stress: First check out your stress levels. asking for what you want. Where there is opportunity. Deep breathing. or just escape. 2. taking criticism." Assertiveness is a way of behavior where you take into account your own needs and balance them with the needs of others. You will probably resort to “fight or flight”. Those Dr Ali Khwaja presents Techniques. etc. either get into an unpleasant fight. relaxation: When oxygen goes to the brain.Banjara Academy www. Gaining time always helps in giving a better and more assertive response to any type of stimulant from others. “sleep over” the issue. saying “No”. Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 5/19 . Just a few seconds can make a vital difference. i. make a habit of doing some deep breathing or any other quick relaxation technique. Don’t anticipate trouble: who build up anxiety levels by “anticipating trouble” and by mentally imagining the worst situation.banjaraacademy. and why are you different with different people? 6. If you find that your stress levels are high. Think of your close people – who are you submissive. and why? Analyze those people. When you need to face difficult situations. It is amazing how your thinking and your attitude changes when you have slept over an important issue. and how will you develop on it in future – body language. Even having a glass of water helps. ask for time and get back to the interaction the next day. What assertiveness qualities do you have. It can be developed: 1. words or actions will be.

" o "I have a different opinion. such as "I don't want to break up over this.. By suggesting that someone is wrong or bad and should change for his or her own Replace thoughts: If the negative thoughts are refusing to go away. The best way to face a situation that will require you to be assertive is to bring yourself into the Adult (logical) state. but you can modify them or create your own. you will only foster resentment and resistance rather than understanding and cooperation. you will probably want to take control. Do not lament over it or spend time feeling guilty or ashamed. advise the other person.. you know"). Exercises. When you are in the Parent state. do not tell a group. Then you will have a balanced mind when you actually approach the person or the situation. of which Anita happens to be a member. Once it has seeped into you. we are in one of three mental states all the time: Parent. I think that. and feel. 2.. If you want to tell Anita something. then allow your mind to visualize the worst-case scenario. think. your perceptions. or expect the person to obey you. tell Anita. Techniques for Assertiveness 1. you will expect others to pamper you.?" o "I liked it when you did that.. your conception of good vs. Deliver your message to the person for whom it is intended. bad or right vs. Making up: Despite your best efforts. do not tell everyone except Anita. Check your mental state: As taught by the Transactional Analysis (TA) gurus. You can acknowledge ownership with personalized ("I") statements such as "I don't agree with you" (as compared to "You're wrong") or "I'd like you to clean the room" (as compared to "You really should clean the room. to fulfill your needs and to give in even when you are wrong. Acknowledge that your message comes from your frame of reference. where you can balance your needs with those of others. wrong." o "I have mixed reactions. "Own" your message." It can be helpful to explain exactly what you mean and exactly what you don't mean. Stop and close your eyes. but I am disturbed about these aspects for these reasons.banjaraacademy. Use the incident as a learning lesson and fortify yourself to prevent a recurrence. When you are in the Child state. but I'd like to talk it through and see if we can prevent it from happening again.. Below are only some of the proven techniques. you may at times lose control and find yourself behaving in a manner that is more aggressive than assertive.. Let that also sink into you. Adult or Child (P-A-C). Dr Ali Khwaja presents Techniques. Be as specific and clear as possible about what you want. Think of the most positive response that the other person could give you. I agree with these aspects for these reasons. Try and see if you can make up after the argument is over and things have cooled down. based on your own needs and what suits you best. then start forcefully visualizing a good outcome of the same interaction. A simple apology can work wonders at times..Banjara Academy www. and take in that situation slowly and calmly.. Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 6/19 . Be direct." o "I don't want you to. The following statements project this preciseness: o "I want to." o "Would you.

Banjara Academy www.…. there are no swear words. tone. Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 7/19 . Note there are no such attributions as 'You are deliberately annoying me'. gestures. and specific in their feedback to you. but it is not easy and demands skilful conversation control. This technique enables you to confront the other person with your concern without being personally aggressive. reasons and benefits to the other party. it is often helpful to have accepting relationships and a supportive environment.. specific and direct in what you say If necessary. acknowledge diversion tactics. then again repeat your message Adopt appropriate body language to back up your assertion Keep calm and stick to the point Always respect the rights of the other person Dr Ali Khwaja presents Techniques." (benefits to the other party) Here the person relates the behaviour that causes offence. People who understand and care about you are your strongest assets. Some More Assertiveness Techniques There are many techniques to develop assertive behaviour.…………. As you practice your techniques. you might say: "When you.(state requirements)…………." (state feelings) "I would like………. keep repeating your message if you encounter objections If necessary ask for clarification if you are uncertain about something If necessary. Most are based on ‘the three-line assertion message’. For example.. Learning to Become More Assertive As you learn to become more assertive. but also how you communicate nonverbally with voice. eye contact. Here are a Few Guidelines for Assertive Delivery          Acknowledge and be honest about your own feelings to yourself Adopt new positive inner dialogue for situations where you need to be more assertive Be clear. direct. if appropriate. or desire rather than a demand. The emphasis is on indicating how you feel and thereby seeking to gain a positive rather than an aggressive response from the other person." (state facts) "I feel uncomfortable …. facial expression and posture that will influence your impact on others. Encourage others to be clear. "Am I being clear? How do you see this situation? What do you want to do?" Asking for feedback can encourage others to correct any misperceptions you may have as well as help others realize that you are expressing an this way we will be able to work together more productively because……………. says how he/she feels and then gives a 3. Ask for feedback. You must remember that it takes time and practice. as well as a willingness to accept yourself as you make mistakes. It is not just what you say to someone verbally. there are no put-downs of the other person. feeling. Exercises.banjaraacademy.. Assertion normally comprises this three line assertive message. in which:  you understand and summarise the facts of the situation  you indicate your feelings towards the situation  you state your requirements. to reach the goal of acting assertively. remember to use your assertive "skills" selectively.

'You're getting far too many complaints from members of the public recently. probably because you have been spending more time on telephone sales than we planned. seek solutions. Exercises. For example. rather than. Perhaps we should discuss how you should allocate your time in future?' Don't use praise as a way of manipulating people into doing something for you. Another example is 'You missed the deadline for that report'. This is helpful whether the comments are positive or negative because we need to know what we are being praised for if we are to know how to use it as helpful feedback: 'You missed the deadline for that report. and at the same time stick to my message? What body language will I use to back up my message? How to Give Praise and Criticism Comment on specific actions. Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 8/19 . e. aren't you?’ The second comment was too general. 'You handled that awkward customer very well by listening to her argument instead of interrupting’ rather than. 'You're quite good with difficult people. 'You are the most hardworking member of the department and I really appreciate the effort you put in for the meeting this afternoon. ‘Absolutely hopeless’ is not a good starting point for developing specific time-management behaviours. or criticism in situations which will cause And Always Ask Yourself These Questions      How can I express my message more clearly? How can I be more specific about what I have to say? Am I likely to have to repeat my message? Will I feel comfortable doing this? Am I prepared to respond to their red herrings. Do you know what the problem is?' Above all. What the heck's the matter with you?' is very unhelpful. When giving criticism. it didn’t give the other person specific feedback about what she/he did well.banjaraacademy.Banjara Academy www. Follow this up with reasons for your comments. 'You're absolutely hopeless at managing your time.’ Again the second statement is too general and subjective.g. avoid public put-downs. Perhaps you could just write up the minutes for me?' This manipulation makes the praise insincere. Instead say: 'You seem to be getting complaints from members of the public in your section at the moment. Dr Ali Khwaja presents Techniques. rather than commenting on somebody's personality.

Exercises. slow dull. In this conversation the other person will respond as the appropriate character.  Ask the other person what you did well. Work through the following steps. At the same time you will experience the other side of the assertive approach.  Use role-play to talk through the situation.Banjara Academy www. talk through the situation again. swap roles .banjaraacademy. responsive Practice Your Assertiveness Consider typical situations at work or at home which require assertive behavior and practice your approach.  Dr Ali Khwaja presents Techniques. and what you could improve. briefing him/her about whoever you will be talking to.this will give you the opportunity of picking up other ideas from the other person. Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 9/19 . proud Assertive steady free movement straight neat & clean upright & brisk Body Language Your body language plays a very important part of your assertiveness. If it will help. shabby shuffling. Make your points clearly. withdrawn Aggressive glaring fidgeting chest out showing off swaggering leering. Explain the situation to a friend or colleague.  Finally. This is how the body language of a person differs depending on whether he is: Passive Eye contact … Hands … Posture … Dress … Walking … Expression … minimal limp stooped baggy. Typical situations might include:  giving criticism to a close colleague  having to refuse to accept additional work  asking help from a notoriously ‘difficult’ colleague.

which should be useful in increasing your awareness of your own behavior in situations which call for assertiveness. Are you openly critical of others' ideas. do you ask the person to stop? 0 1 2 3 4 17. Exercises. Be honest in your responses. thing of value) and is overdue in returning it. in a movie or a lecture. Attitude Assessment: Write down how you feel about your right to behave Assertiveness Inventory The Assertiveness Inventory provides a list of questions. Dr Ali Khwaja presents Techniques. When a salesman makes an effort. Be honest with yourself. do you call it to their attention? 0 1 2 3 4 2. Do you usually behave confidently in your own judgement? 0 1 2 3 4 7. If a person has borrowed money (or a book. and 4 = practically always or entirely. do you find it hard to say "NO" even though the merchandise is not really what you want? 0 1 2 3 4 10 When a latecomer is waited on before you are. garment. The only "score" is your own evaluation of how you measure up to what you would LIKE to be able to do. 3 = usually or a good deal. Do you find it difficult to keep eye contact when talking with another person? 0 1 2 3 4 Since this is a self-assessment exercise. All you have to do is draw a circle around the number that described you best.Banjara Academy www. Are you disturbed if someone watches you at work ? 0 1 2 3 4 16. There are no "right" answers. Do you insist that your spouse/roommate should take on a fair share of household chores? 01234 8. and not the “ideal” behavior that you would like to have. Do you find it difficult to make decisions? 0 1 2 3 4 3. 1. Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 10/19 .banjaraacademy. 1= somewhat or sometimes. please ensure that you have answered truthfully based on how you actually behave. The following questions will be helpful in assessing your assertiveness. If someone keeps kicking or bumping your chair. When a person is highly unfair. to respond to criticism. do you mention it? 0 1 2 3 4 13. (Sample log given at the end of the inventory). Key : 0 = no or never. Only then will you get a proper feedback and will be able to work towards a change for the better. Are you reluctant to speak up in a discussion or a debate ? 0 1 2 3 4 12. Are you prone to "fly off the handle"? 0 1 2 3 4 9. Do you often avoid people or situations for fear of embarrassment? 0 1 2 3 4 6. by keeping a log to monitor your progress. behaviour? 0 1 2 3 4 4. After you complete the inventory you can use the results to help plan your own program of growth. Do you continue to pursue an argument after the other person has had enough? 0 1 2 3 4 14. There is no formal scoring procedure. The Inventory is not a standardized psychological test. Look at the various situations and people noted in the situations described in the Assertiveness Inventory. do you call attention to the situation? 01234 11. for example. 2= average. Do you speak out in protest when someone takes your place in a line? 0 1 2 3 4 5. Do you generally express what you feel ? 0 1 2 3 4 15. opinions. What we’re getting at here is simply to determine how you feel about whether it’s even okay.

Assess your particular strengths. If you work with greater focus on your areas of need. You would: a. b. You are a customer waiting in queue to be served in your busy lunch hour. lack of skills (I don’t know how to meet girls. roommates and others have an interest in making it difficult for you to change. friends. Be completely honest with yourself and write down how you would naturally react in each situation.banjaraacademy. Pull her out of line and. body posture. If you monitor your own behaviour carefully for a time (a week or more) and record your observations regularly in your log. c. c. Record in your log those obstacles which you feel are making assertiveness more difficult for you. what do I do to express a political opinion? I never learned how to show affection). Exercises. Calmly indicate to her that you are also in a hurry and have queued. there are some typical situations below. then point out where it begins. Accept it without comment because you sometimes like it lukewarm Behaviour Assessment: This refers to the `Components’ of behaviour. in a loud and angry manner make her go to the back. After you have kept your log or journal for a week. a frail old lady steps in line ahead of you and claims that she is in a hurry. and weaknesses. It will probably help you if you make it a point to watch some other people whom you consider effectively assertive. or maybe I’ll make a fool of myself or maybe I’ll fail to get what I want. and the others. Assertion Self-Analysis To test your assertiveness. examine carefully the entries: attitudes. there are barriers which seem to make assertion more difficult. Suddenly. You will find that the results will pinpoint quite specifically what you will need to do to increase your assertiveness. b. You would: a. behaviors. maybe the other person won’t like me. the results will be far better than if you work generally. Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 11/19 . Let her stay in front of you since she is already in line and it would be rude to speak out. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 2. Common obstacles: anxiety (fear of the possible consequences).Banjara Academy www. Call the waiter and indicate you ordered your soup hot and would like your soup to be heated to your requirements. you will have a good idea of your own effectiveness with eye contact. or will hit me. but it is served to you not very warm. Look for patterns. You are in a restaurant and order a hot soup. which are the key to any assertive act. obstacles. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Dr Ali Khwaja presents Techniques. even if they believe they want you to be more assertive). Angrily refuse the soup and insist on seeing the manager to complain about the poor service. However. and to note in your log some of their behavioural qualities as well. Obstacle Assessment: We know that many people want to act assertively. or will think I am crazy. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1. other people in your life (parents.

SCORE INTERPRETATION KEY In general. Then you would finish your work at home that evening. They are very uncomfortable expressing anger and usually deny or suppress this feeling should it occur. c. Let it go since you are already out of the store and have no proof you were shortchanged. You are in the middle of watching your favourite TV program when your partner asks you for a non-urgent favour that could mean missing the rest of the show. then return to the program to finish watching what is left of it. and c) Assertive. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 6. the more "b" choices you made. b. do it then. Exercises. Do not answer. but you don't know the 3. You would: a. A colleague asks you a question about your work. the more "c" choices you made. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 5. for fear of offending others. b. c. The "b" choices in the quiz are representative of the Aggressive style. Go to the manager and argue that you were cheated by the assistant. but unwilling to stand up for their rights. then demand the proper change." then finish watching your program. c. the more aggressive you are. Dr Ali Khwaja presents Techniques. You would: a. the more assertive you are. a) The Passive style of interpersonal behaviour is characterised by inaction and indecision. c. Say "No way. Do the favour as quickly as possible.banjaraacademy. Let him stay because you don’t want to upset him. preventing you from finishing an important project. there are three broad styles of interpersonal behaviour. Your friend is unaware that he is interrupting your work. Tell the person to stop bothering you and to get out. b.Banjara Academy www. These are: a) Passive. People using this style tend to be easy to get along with and pleasant. the more "a" choices you made. but offer to give him/her the information later. As a result. After all it’s only Rs. Thus. but attack your colleague by asking a question you know he/she could not answer. Indicate to your colleague you are unsure just now. The "c" choices in the quiz are representative of the Assertive style. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 4. but is staying too long. A friend drops into your office to say hello and catch up on the latest office gossip. b. The "a" choices in the quiz are representative of the Passive style. resentment can easily build under the surface producing stress and tension. I’m not missing this. You would: a. After walking out of a store where you purchased some items you discover you were shortchanged by Rs. if so. b) Aggressive. but plausible answer so your boss will think you are on top of things. Ask if it can wait until the program is over and. 5. You should have asked me earlier. the more passive you are. Return to the clerk and inform him/her of the error. Thus. Give your colleague a false. You are in a group discussion at work which includes your boss. Explain your need to finish your work and request that he/she visit another time. You would: a. 5. Thus. Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 12/19 .

Assertiveness is one of the essential skills in the modern working environment. Look at the "c" answers again. Dr Ali Khwaja presents b) The Aggressive style is characterised by intrusiveness. trusting. Their angry. There are many benefits of being assertive such as. Thus. This is the best style for minimising stress and maintaining long-standing intimate relationships. It takes courage. but remain sensitive to the rights of others. in time. but are honest about their feelings. better time management.banjaraacademy. c) The Assertive style is characterised by both fairness and strength. It means expressing opposition. you will likely experience an increase in feelings of self-esteem and a decrease in feelings of stress. Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 13/19 . Some find it harder than others because of their natural easy-going style and therefore more practice is required. However. increased self-esteem and the ability to negotiate more effectively. may seek to oppose them. and also for good and harmonious relationships at home. Aggressive individuals are usually suspicious of others and are often on the look out for infractions or violations of their rights. People who choose this style are usually relaxed and easygoing. dominating manner tends to alienate people who. Assertive individuals are able to stand up for their rights. the Aggressive style produces stress and prohibits the development of close. but are unconcerned about how this will affect others. the aim should not be just to gain a win. Exercises.Banjara Academy www. Assertion means standing up for what you want. People who use this style tend to go after what they want. and caring interpersonal relationships. It means confrontation. The aim should be to solve the problem and get the best result. If you move your everyday behaviour closer to the "c" style of response.

now see how well you fit into the Characteristics of an Assertive Person 1. An assertive person always has a calm and controlled voice. 3. scared 2. He has a relaxed posture. You have specific blocks 5. You are timid. 2. He has respect for others. He is a clear communicator. despite their faults.banjaraacademy. He is happy to be himself. 7. Exercises. and work specifically on overcoming that area of your non-assertiveness): 1. BEING ASSERTIVE WILL HELP YOU TO:        Handle difficult situations and people Become more self-confident Understand yourself. You have communication difficulties Indirect communication Dishonest or flattering Inappropriate talk If you have been able to imbibe the necessary habits. 4. 6. shy. 5. You are assertive with selected people 4. He always maintains direct eye contact. Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 14/19 . your needs and rights Communicate your wants better Have better self-esteem Gain respect of other people Balance your needs with those of others In a world full of aggressive and passive people. An assertive person has self-esteem.Banjara Academy www. how does one become an assertive person? A few practical hints: KNOW YOUR RIGHTS         I have a right to be me I have a right to be treated as an equal I have the right to ask for what I want I have the right to an opinion I have the right to disagree I have the right to take decisions I have the right to be wrong I have the right to say "I don't understand" ASSERTIVE PROBLEM TYPES: (check and see which category you belong to. You cannot change habits Dr Ali Khwaja presents Techniques.

Handling Arguments and Confrontations 1. 2. Try not to lose your temper at any point. Think about what the other person has said. ASSERTIVE DEFICITS: a) Identify SITUATIONS where you cannot assert yourself. 11. I'll look like a trouble-maker. 8. 3. 12. Discuss and try to reach a joint solution.banjaraacademy. State your opinion. eg. do not criticize the person. Be sure of what you are talking. Know your facts. Know what you want when you start arguing. Saying something may cause more trouble. shaking hands. talking about yourself Speaking loud & clear. What will the rest of the family say? They depend on me. Accept your mistakes when they are pointed out. 7. I don't want to offend someone. 4. d) Identify the deficits in your BEHAVIOR. Your Assertiveness training can be divided into three levels as follows: First level: Opening a conversation. rejection. Clarify doubts. For example. Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 15/19 . I don't really have any right. Listen to the other person with an open mind. Check and see if you keep giving EXCUSES FOR NOT BEING ASSERTIVE: * * * * * * * * * He/she will become abusive. gaining attention Second level: To be able to say no To be able to ask for favours To convey completely without hesitation Third level: Handling criticism Maintaining close relationships Dr Ali Khwaja presents Techniques.Banjara Academy www. Tell clearly what you feel and what you want. failure. 5. Exercises. 6. c) Identify your FEARS. your inability to speak clearly and loudly or your difficulty in maintaining eye contact. b) Identify PEOPLE with whom you cannot assert yourself. greeting a stranger Looking into the eyes. It won't make any difference anyway. They're old/sick/depressed/have work problems. Don't get into arguments when you know that you cannot convince the other person. Argue on situation. 9.

you have to face consequences such as: 1. compare notes. (Such a grudge could be due to jealousy that you cannot make such demands. and you have the right to refuse. It also spoils interpersonal relationships. try to spoil pleasure. Pay a compliment to a person of the opposite gender 7. Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 16/19 . Ask a personal clarification from your boss 6. You should know whom to say “No” to and whom not to say – including your dearly loved ones. You lose respect for yourself for doing things that you don't like. It may actually lead to frustration. Not being able to say NO produces a lack of communication between you and the other person. and a sense of injustice. The other person has the right to ask. Because you waste your time and energy doing things that you don't like. Confess something personal about yourself SOME MORE RELEVANT EXERCISES:  Make a check-list of those to whom you cannot say “No”  List out how they are different (usually it will be manipulation)  Retrospect what happened when you did NOT say “No”  Fantasize with partner (or on a paper) what is the worst that can happen  Review what the consequences were when you did manage to say “No”  Do you really need the relationship with the manipulative person? GUILT TRAP Emotional blackmailers create feelings of guilt. play upon our sense of obligation or duty.controlling money or promising rewards Dr Ali Khwaja presents Techniques. You end up doing things that you don't like to do. Don’t hold a grudge just because he asked.banjaraacademy. Look at a number of items and not buy 3. 1. How to Say “NO” Is it good to please all people all the time? Is it possible? Can one be happy giving in all the time? Turning the other cheek? Perhaps not. Talk to an unknown senior colleague in office 8. when you feel you are doing the right thing by saying so.two persons who want to be assertive and who will help each other. You should not sound very apologetic while you say it. It is OK to hurt others occasionally by saying NO.playing on our feelings Physical -. and not accompanied by a long explanation. make us believe we are being selfish or uncaring. 5. you do not have time and energy for doing things which you like.arrogance and put-downs Financial -. Ask for a glass of water in a restaurant 4. Ask for change from a shop 2. Others take you for granted. Exercises. 6. TO TAKE THE FIRST STEP Use the "partner" system -.using physical strength to win Intellectual -. Remember you have the right to say NO. giving in to wrong people. Stop a stranger and ask for direction 5.) Your NO should be firm. developing parasites. 3. They misuse power by blackmail: Emotional -. When you cannot say NO. clear.Banjara Academy www. that is more than the situation warrants. 2.

Fogging Responding to unwanted criticism by using a reply which implies that there may be a probability that the critic could be right. Negative Assertion Responding to criticism by calmly agreeing with the truth or element of truth. Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 17/19 .Banjara Academy www. 3. or not to do What you would like the other person to do. Negative enquiry Responding to criticism by asking for clarification or directly inviting criticism. 4. Broken Record State directly or concisely what you want or need or feel What you are prepared to do. without adding a defensive justification that could fuel an argument.banjaraacademy. Dr Ali Khwaja presents Techniques. Scripting Prepare a concise assertive opening ‘speech’ and rehearse it so that you sound authoritative and confident. or stop doing Continually repeat a one-sentence summary of this message over and over 2. Then stop the flow by using fogging or negative assertion. 5. A Few More Practical Techniques for Assertiveness that Have Proved Effective 1.

15. No. TOTALS Win/Lose 1. I beat the other person 6. 2. I compromise 10. 9. I get my own way 4. 11. When I am involved in a difference of opinion. 5. TOTALS Ignoring it 6. Always=3. 12. I find out what the other person’s needs are 9. I push for my point of view 13. I come up with new ideas or solutions Now you can check out YOUR CONFLICT HANDLING STYLE Score yourself as follows depending on how often you react in difficult situations: Never=0. I smooth things over and avoid the conflict. Sometimes=1. I withdraw from argument 8. Exercises. Statement My score Statement My score Statement My score No. TOTALS Splitting Difference 4. 13.Banjara Academy www. or a conflict… 1. No. TOTALS Giving in 3. Often=2. I work with the other person to solve the problem 5. 14. I find a mid-point between us 2. 3. 8. I don’t tell my own point of view but go with the other person’s 11. Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 18/19 . I give a little and take a little 14. TOTALS Cooperation Dr Ali Khwaja presents Techniques. I wait and deal with the conflict another time Transfer your scores to the grid below: Statement No. 7. My score Statement My score No. I let the other person have their way 7. I give in 15. 10.banjaraacademy.

etc. Adj. this book deals with very practical aspects of human behavior. counselling. If we learn to balance our needs with that of others. and who found two stacks of hay at opposite ends?* Or the story of the people who were given a lavish dinner. – Ali * Instead of pulling each other to opposite ends. Every suggestion and exercise is based on practical experience and success.banjaraacademy.banjaraacademy. and you will slowly be able to transform yourself. that comes out of co-operation or collaboration The needs of every individual are different. Banjara Academy has published over a hundred books on all aspects of human behavior.Banjara Academy Every conflict situation has a “win-win” Assert and be Happy !! Dr Ali Khwaja presents Techniques. RT Nagar. children. Banjara Academy 1st Main. Bangalore 560032 Ph: 23535787 / 23535766 84. 1st Block. which are available at very low cost. we can work out a solution where both are happy. Experiential Analysis on How You Can Become Assertive 19/19 . RV Road. Basavanagudi Medical Centre. Remember the story of the two donkeys who were tied together with a rope. family. they decided to both eat one stack of hay. and is meant as a guide to help you improve your relationships and the quality of your life. Follow the techniques given. Refer to our website or call up for details. Exercises. Bangalore-4 Ph: 26575101 www. but were told that they had to eat with three-feet long spoons holding them at the end only?** Make the world a happy place for yourself and for others. and then together walk to the second stack and eat that jointly too! ** Since they could not reach their own mouths holding a three-feet long spoon at the end. they decided to lean across and start feeding each other! As with all Banjara’s books.

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