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ASSERTIVE BEHAVIOR: IDEAS TO KEEP IN MIND



1. Assertive behavior is often confused with aggressive behavior; however, assertion does not involve intentionally hurting the other person physically or emotionally.

2. Assertive behavior aims to equalize the balance of power, not in "Winning the battle" by putting down the other person or rendering him/her 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 and/or problem solving.

6. By behaving assertively, you open the way for honest relationships with others.

7. Components of assertive behavior: Maintain direct eye contact Maintain erect posture, Speak clearly and audibly, Facial expression agrees with message; Voice tone agrees with message Time of assertion Listening to the other person's view Content.. know what you are saying

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


THE BASIC TENANTS OF AN ASSERTIVE PHILOSOPHY

1. By standing up for our rights we show we respect ourselves and achieve respect from other people.

2. By trying to govern our lives so we never hurt anyone, we end up hurting ourselves and other people.

3. Sacrificing our rights usually results in destroying relationships or preventing new ones from forming.

4. Not letting others know how we feel and what we think is a form of selfishness.

5. Sacrificing our rights usually results in training other people to mistreat us.

6. If we don't tell other people how their behavior negatively affects us, we are denying them an opportunity to change their behavior.

7. We can decide what is important to us; we do not have to suffer from the tyranny of the "should and should not".

8. When we do what we think is right for us, we feel better about ourselves and have more authentic and satisfying relationships with others.

9. We all have a natural right to courtesy and respect

10. We all have a right to express ourselves as long as we don't violate the rights of others.

11. There is more to be gained from life by being free and able to stand up for ourselves and from honoring the same rights of other people.

12. When we are assertive everyone involved usually benefits. * (By Charles Thomas Company, Jakubowski; Self-Assertiveness Training Procedures)


ANTECEDENTS OF NON-ASSERTIVE AND AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIORS WHY PEOPLE BEHAVE NON-ASSERTIVELY

- They think they have no rights.

- They mistake assertion for aggression.

- They fear negative consequences (others may reject them, disapprove of them, or get angry with them).

- They never learned the skills for being assertive (making requests, saying no, asking others for a change In behavior, giving and accepting compliments,

- telling others they care, etc)

- They do not know how to communicate their wants and needs to others, and they assume that others should know these.

- They were socialized to always be compliant accepting, accommodating, non-demanding and selfless.


CONSEQUENCES

- They avoid conflict, but often appease others.

- They lose self-esteem.

- They develop a growing sense of anger and hurt.

- They may develop headaches, ulcers, backaches, depression, and other symptoms.


WHY PEOPLE BEHAVE AGGRESSIVELY

- They anticipate being attacked and overreact aggressively.

- They are initially non-assertive. Their anger builds until they explode.

- They have been reinforced for aggressive behavior. It got them attention and/or what they wanted.

- They never learned the skills for being assertive.

- They do not know how to appropriately communicate their wants and needs to others.

- They were socialized to be in charge, be competitive, achieve, and be top dog


CONSEQUENCES

- They get their own way but often alienate others.

- They are often lonely and feel rejected.

- They receive little respect from others.

- They may develop high blood pressure, ulcers, have a heart attack, or other related ailments.