Learning to be Assertive

I am not an assertive person, but I want to be one. I want to be confident, sure of myself, be able to say to others what I want to say. This is something that I have always wanted from the time I discovered that I am not very good at saying what I want to say in front of others.

My Assertive Rights

I have been reading the book When I say no, I feel Guilty written by Manuel J Smith. This is my second reading of it. One of the topics in that book that I found to be most useful to me in my current stage of learning to be assertive was the statement of my assertive rights as a person. I am listing the assertive rights identified by Smith down below.

My Fundamental Assertive Right

I have the right to judge my own behavior, thoughts and emotions, and to take the responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon myself.

Assertive Right # 2

I have the right to offer no reasons or excuses for justifying my behavior.

Assertive Right # 3

I have the right to judge if I am responsible for finding solutions to other people’s problems.

Assertive Right # 4

I have the right to change my mind.

Assertive Right # 5

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

Assertive Right # 6

I have the right to say “I don’t know”.

Assertive Right # 7

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

Assertive Right # 8

I have the right to be illogical in making decisions.

Assertive Right # 9

I have the right to say, “I don’t understand”.

Assertive Right # 10

I have the right to say, “I don’t care”.

Being Persistent

In this book, Smith, says that one of the most effective ways of being assertive in my communication is being persistent in sticking to my point of view. He says that if I want something, I should ask for what I want without trying to explain why I should be given what I want. I may or not get what I want, but that is one of the consequences of being assertive, things may not go like I want them to. But, even if I don’t get what I want, my self respect remains intact.

Self respect is the ultimate outcome that I can expect by being assertive. And self respect can pave the way for me to up my self esteem, treat myself with more importance and become more self confident. What is what I want in the first place.

Long Way to Go

I have taken the first step. I am now internalising my assertive rights. I need to start communicating more assertively from right now.

Written on August 5, 2015