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The Assertiveness Inventory provides a list of questions, which should be useful in increasing your awareness of your own behaviour in situations which call for assertiveness. The Inventory is not a standardised psychological test. There are no "right" answers. There is no formal scoring procedure. The only "score" is your own evaluation of how you measure up to what you would LIKE to be able to do. Be honest with yourself. After you complete the inventory you can use the results to help plan your own program of growth, by keeping a log to monitor your progress. (Sample log given at the end of the inventory).
The following questions will be helpful in assessing your assertiveness. Be honest in your responses. All you have to do is draw a circle around the number that described you best. For some questions the assertive end of the scale is at 0, for others at 4.
Key : 0 means no or never; 1 means somewhat or sometimes; 2 means average, 3 means usually or a good deal; and 4 means practically always or entirely.
1. When a person is highly unfair, do you call it to their attention? 0 1 2 3 4
2. Do you find it difficult to make decisions ? 0 1 2 3 4
3. Are you openly critical of others ideas, opinions, behaviour ? 0 1 2 3 4
4. Do you speak out in protest when someone takes your place in line ? 0 1 2 3 4
5. Do you often avoid people or situations for fear of embarrassment ? 0 1 2 3 4
6. Do you usually behave confidence in your own judgement ? 0 1 2 3 4
7. Do you insist that your spouse or roommate take on a fair share of household
chores ?
0 1 2 3 4
8. Are you prone to "fly off the handle"? 0 1 2 3 4
9. When a salesman makes an effort, do you find it hard to say "NO" even though
the merchandise is not really what you want ?
0 1 2 3 4
10 When a latecomer is waited on before you are, do you call attention to the
situation ?
0 1 2 3 4
.11. Are you reluctant to speak up in a discussion or a debate ? 0 1 2 3 4
12. If a person has borrowed money (or a book, garment, thing of value ) and is
overdue in returning it, do you mention it?
0 1 2 3 4
13. Do you continue to pursue an argument after the other person has had enough? 0 1 2 3 4
14. Do you generally express what you feel ? 0 1 2 3 4
15. Are you disturbed if someone watches you at work ? 0 1 2 3 4
16. If someone keeps kicking or bumping your chair, in a movie or a lecture,
do you ask the person to stop?
0 1 2 3 4
17. Do you find it difficult to keep eye contact when talking with another person? 0 1 2 3 4

Attitude Assessment : Write down how you feel about right to behave assertively. Look at the various situations and people noted in the situations described in the Assertiveness Inventory. What we’re getting at here is simply to determine how you feel about whether it’s even okay, for example to respond to criticism.

Behaviour Assessment : This refers to the `Components’ of behaviour, which are the key to any assertive act. If you monitor your own behaviour carefully for a time (a week or more) and record your observations regularly in your log, you will have a good idea of your own effectiveness with eye contact, body posture, and the others. It will probably help you if you make it a point to watch some other people whom you consider effectively assertive, and to note in your log some of their behavioural qualities as well.

Obstacle Assessment : We know that many people want to act assertively. However, there are barriers which seem to make assertion more difficult. Common obstacles : anxiety (fear of the possible consequences) may be the other person won’t like me, or will hit me, or will think I am crazy, or may be I’II make a fool of myself or may be I’II fail to get what I want; lack of skills (I don’t know how to meet girls, what do I do to express a political opinion? I never learned how to show affection); other people in your life (parents, friends, roommates and others have interest in making it difficult for you to change, even if they believe they want you to be more assertive). Record in your log those obstacles which you feel are making assertiveness more difficult for you.
After you have kept your log or journal for a week, examine carefully the four entries : situations, attitudes, behaviours, obstacles. Look for patterns. Assess your particular strengths, and weaknesses. You will find that the results will pinpoint quite specifically what you will need to do to increase your assertiveness.


Assertiveness Log from ______________________ to ____________________

Situations :
Attitudes :
Behaviours :
Obstacles :

Progress / Problems / Comments :

Source : Alberti and Emmons. op. cit., pp. 40-42.

2000 Dennice is solely responsible for the opinions expressed 


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