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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 Ladder :

Table 6 : Assertiveness Ladder

Start at the bottom and progress up through the list.









  1. Greeting others : Initiative conversation (at least two per day) with person not your close friends.
  2. Complimentary statements: Give others compliments, keep increasing the number.
  3. The use of `I’ statements : This shows ownership, don’t be afraid to take a position in regard to your preferences and disagreements.
  4. "Why" : 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 better?’
  5. Spontaneous expression of feelings: Appropriately two per day and increase gradually.
  6. Disagreement : With someone when you feel the person is wrong. But be sure you believe in what you are saying.
  7. Eye contact : Being with 2-3 seconds and extend up to 10. Don’t stare. Don’t look down.

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 : What’s 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 assertion skills.

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 you.
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 don’t want to do.
Learn to be more assertive, responsible. You were born free and you were born to be happy !



2000 Dennice is solely responsible for the opinions expressed