|Do you feel
now that it is worthwhile to be more assertive? What do
you think you will gain being more assertive? And where
will you start? Think of the areas or actual situations
where you want to learn to be more assertive.
Look at Appendix 5 and make you assertiveness hierarchy
(or assertiveness ladder) starting with the least
difficult and working upwards to the most difficult
change that you would like to bring about in yourself.
The following table 6, gives a sample Assertiveness
Table 6 : Assertiveness Ladder
Start at the bottom and
progress up through the list.
others : Initiative
conversation (at least two per day) with person
not your close friends.
Give others compliments,
keep increasing the number.
use of `I statements : This shows ownership,
dont be afraid to take a position in regard
to your preferences and disagreements.
: Ask for additional information.
Begin with two "Whys" per day to your
superiors and increase. Change from : `What makes
you think that? or `how is that so? to
`Could you help me to understand that
expression of feelings: Appropriately two per day
and increase gradually.
: With someone when you feel the
person is wrong. But be sure you believe in what
you are saying.
contact : Being with 2-3 seconds and
extend up to 10. Dont stare. Dont look
Many exercises have been
developed in order to help individuals to develop
assertive behaviours, through specific skills, to be used
in specific situations.
See following Appendices :
Appendix 6 : Whats
the threat ? Dealing with anger assertively.
" 7 : Right fantasy
" 8 : Non Verbal
Triads : Recognition and Congruence
" 9 : Challenges to
negative self talk
" 10 : Right thinking:
Challenging dysfunctional beliefs
" 11 : Behavioural rehearsal : Integrated practice of
In the final
analysis, assertiveness is a skill, which like any other
skill must be practised regularly in order to be
perfected. Do not be under the false idea that merely
reading a book assertiveness will magically transform
It is best to role play the exercises on assertiveness
training in a A.T. (Assertiveness Training) group, or
with close friends before you try it in your daily
interactions, till you are more or less comfortable with
being assertive. Gradually it will be a part of you and
become your natural style.
So go ahead and get angry with that mechanic who did not
repair your vehicle on time (but do it an assertive
style) or assertively refuse those people who want to
manipulate you into doing things that you dont want
Learn to be more assertive, responsible. You were born
free and you were born to be happy !