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05 April 2013 @ 03:50 pm
Bill of Assertive Rights  
I found this really useful when I started to work on being more assertive. It's from Manual Smith's When I Say No I Feel Guilty (1975)


BILL OF ASSERTIVE RIGHTS

You have the right to judge your own behavior, thoughts, and emotions, and to take the responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon yourself.

You have the right to offer no reasons or excuses for justifying your behavior.

You have the right to judge if you are responsible for finding solutions to other people's problems.

You have the right to change your mind.

You have the right to make mistakes -- and be responsible for them.

You have the right to say, "I don't know."

You have the right to be independent of the goodwill of others before coping with them.

You have the right to be illogical in making decisions.

You have the right to say, "I don't understand."

You have the right to say, "I don't care."

I remember finding that second one particularly powerful for me because I always felt as if I had to offer a reason--and a GOOD one--if I didn't want to comply with a request. His book pointed out this opened the door to the other person arguing with my reason. If you don't offer one, they lack material to work with. The next one, not being responsible for solving their problems (unless I CHOSE to) was closely related. I often felt bad if I could not save someone time or trouble, having been brought up to be my mother's caretaker. This book taught me it was not my job.