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Updated: Feb 5, 2023





Non-assertiveness is allowing other people to treat you, your thoughts

and feelings in whatever way they want without your challenging it. It means doing what others want you to do regardless of your own desires.

​Assertiveness is thinking and acting in ways that stand up for your

legitimate personal rights. It is the act of giving expression to your own thoughts and fedings in a way that defines your own human perspective without subtracting from the

legitimate human rights of others.

​Aggressiveness is standing up for what you want regardless of the rights and feelings of others. Aggression can be either physical or verbal.

​Problem is avoided.

Problem is attacked.

​Person is attacked.

​Your legitimate rights are


Your legitimate rights are claimed.

​Your rights are claimed.

​You view the rights of others as superior to yours.

You recognize the rights of others as equal to yours.

​You view your rights as superior to others person's rights.

​Establishes a pattern of others taking. advantage of you.

Establishes a pattern of respect for future dealings.

​Establishes a pattern of fear and avoidance of aggressor.

​Lets the other person guess how you think and feel.

​Lets the other person know how you think and feel.

​Lets the other person know how you feel.

​Hopes goals will be achieved.

​Works toward goals.

​Works toward your goals only.

​Lets others choose activities for you.

​Chooses activities for self.

​Chooses own activities and the activities of others.

​Builds anger and resentment.

​Deals with anger.

​Acts out of anger.

​Talks to others with respect for the other person.

​Talks to others with respect for that person and yourself.

​Talks to others with respect for self only.

​Lacks confidence.


Cocky; hostile.

​Hopes (for favors, service, etc.).

​Requests (favors, service, etc.).

​Demands (favors, service, etc.).

Center for Rational Living from Your Perfect Right and Psycho Cybernetics

Definition of Assertiveness: The ability to stand up for oneself following the premise you're as worthy, not better or worse, but as worthy.

Assertiveness Model

Describe the behavior that it bothering you...

"I know it wasn't your intention but when you do/say .... "

Effect it is having on you, both behaviorally and emotionally.

"I feel...."

Specify what you would like to change.

"l would like...."

Consequences of this change, how will you feel if the person does what you request?

"Then I'd feel..."

*Remember you are responsible for your delivery only-

Active Listening-Responding to what you just heard

Pace-"I can understand that you feel...(validate the feeling(s))

Pace-"Because... (Reiterate the identified problem)

Lead-"I will work on... (Take responsibility and if warranted say "I'm Sorry") OR

"What can we do to work on (Problem Solve)

Guidelines for Expressing a Complaint

  • Complain only to the person, not to anyone else.

  • Never complain/confront in front of others.

  • Don't compare a person's behavior with someone else's.

  • Make your complaint as soon as it is feasible.

  • Don't repeat a point once you've made it.

  • Address only the things that the other person can change.

  • Identify behaviors only; do not infer motives, intentions, attitudes, etc.

  • Try to bring up one issue at a time.

  • Communicate in an assertive, conversational tone. Don't raise your voice.

  • Don't use sarcasm.

  • Don't overstate the problem by exaggeration or over-generalizing. Avoid words like "always" and "never."

  • Don't expect an immediate apology. Let your partner acknowledge your feelings, but give him or her time to reply: "I hear you. I need to think about it."

Guidelines for Receiving a Complaint

  • Generally, try to develop an attitude toward a complaint that is an opportunity for personal and interpersonal growth.

  • Hear the person out completely without interrupting.

  • Resist the temptation to launch into a counter offensive.

  • Don't' shift the blame for your actions to someone else.

  • Don't change the subject.

  • Don't justify your actions until the person has completed their thoughts.

  • Don't jest; show respect for the other's feelings.

  • Don't' attribute negative motives to your critic's actions.

  • Don't caricature, exaggerate or otherwise distort the complaint.

  • After giving the presenter an opportunity to say what's on his or her mind, let the person know you have heard and understood by restating the feedback in your own words.

  • Clarify for yourself what harm you did. Determine what feelings were evoked in the presenter.

  • Ask with sincerity what you could have done differently and how, it would have been better.

  • Keep in mind that your most objectionable traits are the ones which you may be the most defensive about.

  • If you think the criticism is unwarranted, say so, but only after you have validated the other person's feelings.

  • If you feel the criticism is justified, acknowledge the fact and apologize. Indicate that you will work to not repeat the offending behavior. Say, "Thank you," for the opportunity to grow and improve yourself via the constructive feedback/criticism.

Best Practices, Yale University - Adapted from Sharon and Gordon Bowers - "Asserting Yourself'


List below the qualities that need to exist in each relationship





Write the names of the people who support you in the appropriate circles below:

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