Assertiveness

assertiveness

Assertiveness is based on balance. It requires being forthright about our wants and needs while still considering the rights, needs, and wants of others. When we practice assertiveness, we ask for what we want and realize that other’s needs and wants are equally important. Assertive people practice fairness and empathy with themselves and others. The power we use comes from self-assurance and not from intimidation or bullying. When we treat others with dignity and respect, we are likely to get that same treatment in return.

The following “Personal Bill of Rights” is from Edmund Bourne’s assertiveness exercises:

  1. I have the right to ask for what I need.
  2. I have the right to say no to requests or demands I can’t meet.
  3. I have the right to express my feelings, both positive and negative.
  4. I have the right to make mistakes and not have to be perfect.
  5. I have the right to change my mind.
  6. I have the right to follow my own values and standards.
  7. I have the right to say no to anything when I feel I am not ready, it is unsafe, or it violates my values.
  8. I have the right to determine my own priorities.
  9. I have the right not to be responsible for others’ behavior, actions, feelings, or problems.
  10. I have the right to expect honesty from others.
  11. I have the right to be angry at someone I love.
  12. I have the right to be uniquely myself.
  13. I have the right to feel scared and say “I’m afraid.”
  14. I have the right to say “I don’t know.
  15. I have the right not to give excuses or reasons for my behavior.
  16. I have the right to make decisions based on my feelings.
  17. I have the right to my own needs for personal space and time.
  18. I have the right to be playful and frivolous.
  19. I have the right to be healthier than those around me.
  20. I have the right to be in a non-abusive environment.
  21. I have the right to make friends and be comfortable around people.
  22. I have the right to change and grow.
  23. I have the right to have my needs and wants respected by others.
  24. I have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.
  25. I have the right to be happy.

Bourne, E. J. (2005). The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook, 4th Edition. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.

Posted on: June 29, 2015, by : admin