“Staying silent is like a slow growing cancer to the soul and a trait of a true coward. There is nothing intelligent about not standing up for yourself. You may not win every battle. However, everyone will at least know what you stood for—YOU.”
“A BILL OF ASSERTIVE RIGHTS
I: You have the right to judge your own behavior, thoughts, and emotions, and to take the responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon yourself.
II: You have the right to offer no reasons or excuses for justifying your behavior.
III: You have the right to judge if you are responsible for finding solutions to other people’s problems.
IV: You have the right to change your mind.
V: You have the right to make mistakes—and be responsible for them.
VI: You have the right to say, “I don’t know.”
VII: You have the right to be independent of the goodwill of others before coping with them.
VIII: You have the right to be illogical in making decisions.
IX: You have the right to say, “I don’t understand.”
X: You have the right to say, “I don’t care.”
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY NO, WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY”
MAKING A START ON ASSERTIVENESS
“I can’t know what your world contains right at this moment. But I can bet that it contains a number of things you’d like to get done. For many of them, you are dependent on other people. here is my suggestion for making a start.
- Identify one thing you would like to be different in your life. It could be anything you like – a home improvement, an increase in income, a change in someone else’s behaviour, or even something very simple like a piece of tidying up, or a small change in your own daily routine.
- Write it down. This makes you accountable for what you are saying to yourself.
- Then write down, in order, the first three actions you can think of… things which begin to make those actions happen.
- Start by doing the first thing on the list.
- If you can’t do that, break that first thing into smaller components.
This 5-stage process is designed to create momentum, forward-moving energy. It’s difficult to make a start on things you’re unconsciously afraid of. That’s why you haven’t made a start yet. But hold yourself accountable, and see what movement you can begin to create. You may be surprised.”
“Here are some tips to help you learn to be more assertive.
- Make the decision to positively assert yourself. Commit to being assertive rather than passive or aggressive and start practicing today.
- Aim for open and honest communication. Remember to respect other people when you are sharing your feelings, wants, needs, beliefs or opinions.
- Listen actively. Try to understand the other person’s point of view and don’t interrupt when they are explaining it to you.
- Agree to disagree. Remember that having a different point of view doesn’t mean you are right and the other person is wrong.
- Avoid guilt trips. Be honest and tell others how you feel or what you want without making accusations or making them feel guilty.
- Stay calm. Breathe normally, look the person in the eye, keep your face relaxed and speak in a normal voice.
- Take a problem-solving approach to conflict. Try to see the other person as your friend not your enemy.
- Practice assertiveness. Talk in an assertive way in front of a mirror or with a friend. Pay attention to your body language as well as to the words you say.
- Use ‘I’. Stick with statements that include ‘I’ in them such as ‘I think’ or ‘I feel’. Don’t use aggressive language such as ‘you always’ or ‘you never’.
- Be patient. Being assertive is a skill that needs practice. Remember that you will sometimes do better at it than at other times, but you can always learn from your mistakes.”