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ASSERTIVENESS


HISTORY OF ASSERTIVENESS TRAINING: Assertiveness training ("AT" for short) was conceived out of a radical approach to changing behavior--an approach with the premise of: "WHAT YOU DO INFLUENCES WHO YOU ARE AND HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOURSELF!" While Freudian analysts were asking: "WHY" are you this way?, behavioral analysts were asking: "What" can we do to change? (Behavioralists took the individual's problem as it exists "in the present", identified the specific behaviors that needed changed to resolve the problem, and systematically proceeded to change those behaviors.) Behaviorialists believe:

  • If you "learned" a set of phobias (Ex. riding in a plane--impersonal; fear of rejection--interpersonal)
  • You can "unlearn" them.

Ivan Pavlov (Physiologist) taught us about the "conditioned reflex": The ability to learn new behaviors so as to "adapt" to our environment (the salivating dogs--food stimulus transferred to a bell).

Andrew Salter (Psychologist) founded Behavior Therapy. Using Pavlov's concepts, Salter found that people who allowed themselves self-expression were action-oriented and emotionally free: "Excitatory Dominant". People who "inhibited" their impulses were low in self-sufficiency and often did things they did not want to do. (Health needs a balance between these two.) The way Salter used this information was: Ask a person to "deliberately act" in an "excitatory manner". It was found that doing so increased the excitation in the cerebral cortex until there was more of a balance between excitation and inhibition.

Joseph Wolpe (Psychiatrist) laid the corner stone for Assertiveness Training. He defines AT as "The 'proper' expression of any emotion...toward another." Wolpe states, "If a response inhibitory of anxiety can be made to occur in the presence of anxiety-evoking stimuli, it will weaken the bond between the stimuli and the anxiety." Thus, Dr. Wolpe began teaching people to respond to social situations with any emotion. He did this by way of "role-playing". The person is trained to express feelings (anger, pain, joy, fear) during the role-play. And each time he does so successfully, the bond between the anxiety-provoking stimuli and the anxious response is weakened.

Arnold Lazarus (Psychologist) sees Assertive Behavior as: "Emotional freedom to stand up for one's own rights." (And this also involves recognizing and respecting the rights of others.)


Before we go farther, lets define some terms.

  • NON-ASSERTIVE: The behavior of one who does not know or does not claim his rights--lack of entitlement.
    • Behavioral (Placater)
    • Thinking...low self-concept
    • Feeling..feelings of worthlessness
  • ASSERTIVE: The behavior of one who knows his rights, applies his rights, recognizes and respects rights of others.
    • Behavioral (Feet firmly on ground, loose gestures, head level, relaxed face, congruent facial features, fluctuating tone of voice, direct and to the point with words and often uses "I" statements)
    • Thinking I'm important and you're important
    • Feeling of value, entitled, and values others as well
  • AGGRESSIVE: The behavior of one who knows his rights, claims rights; and ignores the rights of others.
    • Behavioral (Blamer)
    • Thinking defeative thoughts
    • Feels lonely and unsuccessful; lacks feelings of self-worth



A COMPARISON OF NONASSERTIVE, ASSERTIVE AND AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR


Characteristics of the "behavior":
Nonassertive

Does not express want, ideas and feelings; or expresses them in self-depreciating ways

INTENT: to please
Assertive

Expresses wants, ideas and feelings in direct and appropriate ways


INTENT: to communicate
Aggressive

Expresses wants ideas and feelings at the expense of others


INTENT: to dominate or humiliate

Your feelings when you act this way:

Anxious, disappointed with self, often angry and resentful later

Confident, feel good about self at the time and later

Self-righteous, superior, sometimes embarrassed later

Other people's feelings about "themselves" when you act this way:

Guilty or superior

Respected, valued

Humiliated, hurt

Other people's feelings about "you" when you act this way:

Irritation, pity, disgust

Usually respect

Angry, vengeful

Outcome:

Don't get what you want; anger builds

Often get what you want

Often get what you want at the expense of others; others feel justified at "getting even"

Payoff:

Tension, avoids unpleasant situation, avoids conflict, avoids confrontation

Feels good; respected by others; improved self-confidence; relationships improve

Vents anger, feels superior



Now, lets make this a little more personal ASSESSING YOUR BODY LANGUAGE.

  • Assertive body language is congruent with what is being said verbally, adds strength and emphasis to what is being said and is generally self-assured.
  • Aggressive body language conveys an exaggerated sense of self-importance, overbearing, strength and/or an air of superiority.
  • Nonassertive body language conveys weakness, anxiety and lack of self-confidence. It softens the impact of what is being said verbally to the point that the verbal message loses most of its power. This is particularly true when the person's verbal message and body language are in conflict with each other, for example: laughing when saying, "I'm really angry with you." In general, when there is such a discrepancy between a verbal message and a body language message, other people seem to take the body language message more seriously.

ANOTHER EXERCISE: Use the following chart to check your body language: (Coding to use: "OK" = Satisfactory level; "S" = Some improvement needed; "L"= Lots of improvement needed)




CHART TO AID YOU IN CHECKING YOUR OWN BODY LANGUAGE


EYE CONTACT:
Nonassertive

  • __looking away or down
  • __blinking rapidly
Assertive

  • __comfortably direct
Agressive

  • __looking down nose
  • __staring off into distance with bored expression
FACIAL EXPRESSION:
  • __constant smiling
  • __smiling, laughing or winding when expressing irritation
  • __biting or wetting lips
  • __swallowing or cleaning throat
  • __tensing and wrinkling forehead
  • __open, frank, relaxed
  • __clenching teeth
  • __flaring nostrils
  • __jutting jaws
  • __pursed, tight-lipped mouth
VOICE AND SPEECH EXPRESSION:
  • __overly soft
  • __mumbled
  • __whiney
  • __monotone
  • __overly slow
  • __appropriately firm
  • __appropriately warm
  • __expressive, emphasizing key words
  • __clear
  • __overly rapid
  • __deadly quiet
  • __overly loud
  • __sarcastic, condescending
GESTURES:
  • __covering mouth or lower face with hand
  • __excessive head nodding
  • __tinkering with clothing or jewelry
  • __constant shifting of weight
  • __scratching/rubbing head or other body parts
  • __wringing or rubbing hands
  • __wooden body posture
  • __well balanced
  • __erect
  • __relaxed
  • __hand gestures, emphasizing key words
  • __pounding fists
  • __stiff and rigid
  • __finger waving/pointing
  • __shaking head as if other person isn't to be believed
  • __hands on hips


There are a series of confusing environmental and conditioning factors that make "Assertiveness Training" for most of us essential. It would be good to know what our rights in this area have been found to be.

ASSERTIVE BILL OF RIGHTS

  1. The right to be treated with respect.
  2. The right to act in ways that promote my dignity and self-respect.
  3. The right to say no and not feel guilty.
  4. The right to experience and express my feelings.
  5. The right to take time to slow down and think.
  6. The right to change my mind.
  7. The right to ask for what I want.
  8. The right to do less than I am humanly acapable of doing.
  9. The right to ask for information.
  10. The right to make mistakes.
  11. The right to feel good about myself.
  12. The right not to share reasons or explanations for my behaviors.
  13. The right to choose whether or not I am going to solve other people's problems.
  14. The right to make mistakes and be responsible for the consequences.
  15. The right to say "I don't know."
  16. The right to deal with others without having to get them to like me.
  17. The right to be illogical about my feelings, likes, and dislikes.
  18. The right to say "I don't understand."
  19. The right to say "I'm not interested."
  20. The right to judge my own feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.

Early in life, many of us had loving fathers and mothers who censored the child that decided to speak up for his rights (the right to be listened to; to be allowed to think for himself, to feel what he feels, etc.) Many of our public school teachers rewarded the student who did not question the educational system. Even our churches foster the idea of humility and sacrifice. And employees learn early that if they speak up, they might lose their job.

As a result of this type of influence, there are many people who do not recognize their own strengths, even their own human rights. These people find it difficult to express their thoughts and/or their emotions. Sometimes they are not even aware of them. Often these people bend to the wishes of others, holding their own desires inside themselves. Because they believe they possess no control over their lives, they become increasingly unsure. Thus, these people "ACCEPT" the state of unassertiveness!



Lets do a little practice that gives the opportunity of growth in this aspect of life.
(Get your Journal.)

EXERCISE IN DEVELOPING SELF-ENHANCING MESSAGES ABOUT ASSERTIVE RIGHTS

Describe a specific situation in which you have difficulty accepting an assertive right.

  • What is the right(s) that you realistically think you have and want to feel more comfortable in accepting?
  • What do you tell yourself will happen if you accept this assertive right?
    • What is the evidence that this is likely to happen? How realistic is this?
    • If you don't really know what's likely to happen, think of ways in which you might be able to find out.
  • What do you tell yourself you "should" do instead of accepting and acting on that assertive right?
    • Where is it written that you "should"? Who says you should? Is this person's judgment trustworthy?
    • What will be the costs to you and the other person if you don't accept this right?
    • What is reasonable for you to do?
  • What negative conclusions would you draw about your whole character if you were to act assertively and not follow the "shoulds" you place on yourself? For example: If I tell my friend that I don't want her to move in with me, does that makes me a selfish person who doesn't realy care about people?
    • Write a possible assertive statement that you could make in this situation. Experiment with phrasing your statement in the positive (saying what you want) instead of in the negative (saying what you don't want). For example: "About your moving in with me, I've given it a lot of thought and realized that it's important for me to live alone."
  • What would you ideally like to do in this situation?
  • What are the other person's rights in this situation?


Quite often the unassertive person DOES NOT EVEN RECOGNIZE IT AS A PROBLEM. He/she justifies such behavior with statements like:

  • If I speak up to my husband, he'll get mad.
  • If I did ask her out, she probably wouldn't go anyway.
  • If I refuse to do that, she won't like me.
  • My boss will fire me if I ask for a raise.
  • Why bother to try--I'm bound to fail.
These are all "internalized" PUT DOWNS.

ASSERTIVELY HANDLING A PUT-DOWN: A put-down does not have to be proven to be a put-down. A put-down is an UNJUSTIFIED or a JUSTIFIED CRITICISM that is expressed in a magnified or inappropriate way. It can happen (deliberately and inadvertently) because people have human limits; and at times even a very sensitive person will misunderstand and say something in a put-down way. You must handle put-downs when they occur. If you do not, you become a scapegoat. The criterion for whether something is a put-down or not is simple: Do you feel it is a put-down? Do not get caught up in whether it was justified or not. If you feel someone put you down, respond to the remark as a put-down there on the spot. GUIDE RULES FOR HANDLING PUT-DOWNS:

  • If you feel someone put you down with a remark, you MUST answer. (Do not rationalize away a response.)
  • Take time to think of an effective answer.
  • Do not use the words "I", "me" or "because" in your first sentence. (Use of any of these makes you sound apologetic or defensive. This could lead to further put-downs.)
  • Don't fall into the trap of asking another person to elaborate on what's wrong with you. (If you ask questions like: "Do you really think that's bad?" or "What's so wrong about that?", you are asking him to kick you again.)
  • Learn some stock phrases you can call upon almost automatically. (Ex. "What are you so angry about?" "Was that a put-down?" "Why are you in such a bad mood today?")

ONLY in certain put-down situations like a CLOSE AND OPEN RELATIONSHIP can you use the words "I", "me", "because" to deepen communication instead of invite counterattacks.


HERE IS A CHALLENGE FOR YOU: This will be a 3-week exercise with close friends and family. Use the following "feeling-talk" phrases as often as you can each and every day for one week.

  • "I like what you said."
  • "I don't like what you said."
  • "I like what you did."
  • "I don't like what you did."
  • "I want you to ...."
  • "I don't want you to ...."
During the first week, Monitor your use of these 6 phrases, marking the number of times used on a small paper carried around with you. Then, during the 2nd week, deliberately increase the number of times you used these phrases. For the 3rd week, use the phrases that seem more difficult for you.

EXERCISE: DISCRIMINATION ON ASSERTIVE, AGGRESSIVE, AND NONASSERTIVE BEHAVIOR

Carefully read each situation described below and then rate the response as either assertive (+), aggressive (-) or nonassertive (N). The correct scoring will be seen at the bottom.

  • SITUATION: Plans to vacation together are abruptly changed by a friend and reported to you on the phone. Your response: "Wow, this has really taken me by surprise. I'l like to call you back after I've had some time to digest what's happened." __
  • SITUATION: Parent is reprimanding the children when they haven't cleaned up their room and says, "You've got to be the worse kids in the whole city. If I had known parenthood was going to be like this, I would never have had any kids at all." __
  • SITUATION: Your roommate habitually leaves the room a mess. You say, "You're a mess and our room is a mess." __
  • SITUATION: Your husband wants to watch a football game on TV. There is something else that you would like to watch. You say, "Well, ah, honey, go ahead and watch the game, I guess I could do some ironing." __
  • SITUATION: Parent is annoyed that school counselor has not done anything about son's conflict with a teacher. Parent says, "I have asked the school to investigate the situation in my son's classroom and it concerns me that nothing has been done. I must insist that this situation be looked into. __
  • SITUATION: Supervisor has just berated you for your work. You respond, "I think some of your criticisms are true; but I would have liked your being less personal in telling me about my shortcomings." __
  • SITUATION: Your 10 yr. old child has interrupted you three times with something that is not urgent. You've assertively asked her not to interrupt you. The child has now again interrupted you. You say, "I can't listen to you and talk on the phone at the same time. I'll be on the phone a few more minutes and then we'll talk." __
  • SITUATION: It is your turn to clean the apartment, which you have neglected to do several times in the last month. In a very calm tone of voice your roommate asks you to clean up the apartment. You say, "Would you get off my back?"__
  • SITUATION: You're the only woman in a group of men and you're asked to be the secretary of the meetings. You respond, "I'm willing to do my share and take the notes this time. In future meetings, I'd like us to share the load." __
  • SITUATION: A fellow teacher always tries to get out of doing his turn of team teaching and asks you again to take his turn. You say, "Well...I guess that'd be OK even if I do have a splitting headache." __
  • SITUATION: An acquaintance has asked to borrow your car for the evening. You say, "Are you crazy? I don't lend my car to anyone." __
  • SITUATION: Loud stereo upstairs is disturbing you. You telephone and say, "Hello, I live downstairs. Your stereo is loud and is bothering me. Would you please turn it down?"__
  • SITUATION: A good friend calls and tells you she desperately needs you to canvass the street for a charity. You don't want to do it and say, "Oh gee, Fran, I just know that Jerry will be mad at me if I say yes. He says I'm always getting involved in too many things. You know how Jerry is about things like this."__
  • SITUATION: You are at a meeting of seven men and one woman. At the beginning of the meeting, the chairman asks you to be the secretary. You respond, "No, I'm sick and tired of being the secretary just because I'm the only woman in the group." __
  • SITUATION: You are team teaching, but you're doing all the planning, teaching, interacting, and evaluating of students. You say, "We're suppose to be team teaching; yet, I see that I am doing all the work. I'd like to talk about changing this." __
  • SITUATION: The bus is crowded with high school students who are talking to their friends. You want to get off but no one pays attention when you say, "out please." Finally, you say, "What is the matter with you kids? I'm suppose to get off at the next corner!"___
  • SITUATION: Student comes late to class for the third time. Teacher responds, "When you're not here at the beginning of my lecture, I have to repeat parts of my lecture and that takes extra class time. I'm getting bothered by your tardiness."__
  • SITUATION: The local library calls and asks you to return a book you never checked out. You respond, "What are you talking about? You people better get your records straight. I never had that book and don't you try to make me pay for it." __
  • SITUATION: You are in a line at the store. Someone behind you has one item and asks to get in front of you. You say, "I realize that you don't want to wait in line, but I was here first and I really would like to get out of here." __
  • SITUATION: Parent is talking with a married child on the telephone and would like the child to come for a visit. When the child politely refuses, the parent says, "You're never available when I need you. All you ever think about is yourself." __
  • SITUATION: Employer sends a memorandum stating that there should be no more toll business calls made without first getting prior permission. One employee responds, "You're taking away my professional judgment. It's insulting to me." __
  • SITUATION: Your mate expects dinner on the table upon arriving home from work and gets angry when it is not there immediately. You respond, "I feel awful about dinner. I know you're tired and hungry. It's all my fault. I'm just terrible. __
  • SITUATION: You have set aside the time from 4:00 to 5:00 for things you want or need to do. Someone asks to see you at that time. You say, "Well...I can see you at that time. It's 4:00 Monday, then. Are you sure that's a good time for you?" __
  • SITUATION: Your mate gets silent. Instead of saying, "What's on his mind?" You say, "Here it comes. The big silent treatment. Would it kill you to spit it out just once?" __
  • SITUATION: Mate has criticized your appearance in front of your friends. You say, "I really feel hurt when you criticize my appearance in front of other people. If you have something to say, please bring it up at home before we leave." __
  • SITUATION: A friend often borrows small amounts of money and does not return it unless asked. He again asks for a small loan which you'd rather not give. You say, "I only have enough money to pay for my own lunch today." __
  • SITUATION: A neighbor has been constantly borrowing your vacuum sweeper. The last time, she broke it. When she asks for it again, you reply, "I'm sorry, but I don't want to loan my sweeper anymore. The last time I loaned it to you, it was returned broken." __
  • SITUATION: A woman is being interviewed for a job, in the process of which the interviwer looks at her leeringly and says, "You certainly look like you have all the qualifications for the job." She responds, "I'm sure I am quite capable of doing the work here." __
  • SITUATION: You're walking to the copy machine when a fellow employee, who always asks you to do his coping, asks you where you're going. You respond, "I'm going to the Celtics ball game...Where does it look like I'm going?" __

ANSWERS TO ABOVE +, -, -, N, +, +, +, -, +, N, -, +, N, -, +, -, +, -, +, -, -, N, N, -.


ASSERTIVENESS INVENTORY (PURPOSE; To alert you to your particular difficulties so that this part of our classes can be more useful to you.) INSTRUCTIONS: Answer each question by filling in the word that applies (never, sometimes, often, always). Remember there are no right or wrong answers.

  • If a person has borrowed money (or a book, garment, thing of value) and is overdue in returning it, do you mention it? ___
  • Do you find it difficult to start a conversation with a stranger? ___
  • If someone talks aloud during a movie, play or concert, can you ask him to be quiet? ___
  • Are you disturbed when someone watches you work? ___
  • Do you hesitate to return items to a store even when there is a good reason to do so? ___
  • When you differ with a person you respect, do you speak up for your own viewpoint? __
  • Are you able to ask favors or make requests of your friends? ___
  • Are you able to refuse unreasonable requests made by friends? ___
  • If you are disturbed by someone smoking near you, do you say so? ___
  • If you feel you are carrying an unfair work load, do you speak up? ___
  • Do you shout or use bullying tactics to get others to do as you wish? ___
  • Do you say "yes" when you want to say "no"? ___
  • Do you finish other people's sentences for them? ___
  • Do you find it difficult to make decisions? ___
  • Do you often avoid people or situations for fear of embarrassment? ___
  • Would you rather bottle up your feelings than make a scene? ___
  • Do you find it difficult to keep eye contact when talking to another person? ___
  • Do you try to be a wallflower or a piece of furniture in social situations? ___
  • When someone puts you down, do you tell that person what you are feeling? ___
  • Are you able to openly express love and affection? ___
  • Do you hesitate to confront a child who is acting inappropriately? ___
  • In an expensive restaurant when your meal is improperly prepared or served, do you ask the waiter/waitress to correct the situation? ___
  • Do you hesitate to confront a fellow co-worker who is acting inappropriately?___
  • When a latecomer is waited on before you are, do you call attention to the situation? ___
  • When you are unsure of the rules, do you ask for clarification? ___
  • Are you (or would you be) a good model of assertiveness for your own child? ___

UPTIGHT INVENTORY (PURPOSE: To identify the things that make you feel tense and fearful or otherwise disturbed.) INSTRUCTIONS: Signify the degree of disturbance by putting in "very much" or "not at all" or "a little".

  • loud voices______
  • speaking in public______
  • people who seem insane______
  • being teased______
  • failure______
  • strangers______
  • feeling angry______
  • people in authority______
  • feeling tender______
  • tough-looking people______
  • being watched while at work______
  • receiving a compliment______
  • being criticized______
  • angry people______
  • being ignored______
  • looking foolish______
  • being disliked______
  • making mistakes______
  • a lull in the conversation______

Add to the above list any additional stimuli which produces disturbd feelings in you. Some examples are: (nagging, clinging behaviors, vulgarity, power struggles, people who pretend not to hear)



Now, lets look at some ASSERTIVE TECHNIQUES:

  • Broken Record: The continuous repetition of clear statement of assertor's feelings or main point. (Assertor does not follow other person off on tangents.) Responding to such "side issues" can escalate the conversation to the point that clarity of the main issue is lost.
  • Selective Ignoring: The discriminatory attending and nonattending to specific content from another. (The assertor does not reply to unfair or abusive interactions, but instead replies only to statements that are not destructive, guilt-producing, or unjust.)
  • Disarming Anger: Involves an honest contract offered by assertor to another who is very angry and bordering on physical violence. (Contract is an agreement that assertor will talk about whatever issue other wants, but only after he calms.)
  • Sorting Issues: Useful when an interaction begins to contain more than one issue (2 or more sandwiched together as though they were one and the same) Assertor maintains the separation. (Ex. Yes, I'm your friend and, no, I won't drive you to the shop.)
  • Guilt Reduction and the No "I'm Sorry" Rule: Approach the reduction of guilt from both a didactic and behavioral direction. This rule means that no one is to use the "I'm sorry" response automatically.
  • Apologies: If individual feels badly for being abusive or disrespectful, apology clearly stated is healthy.
  • Fogging: A passive-aggressive technique in which person takes on a passive role in interaction. The assertor appears to agree that the other "may be right" or is "probably correct". (Assertor never states other "is" right and also never agrees to change. This is effective in interrupting a chronic nag.)
  • Critical Inquiry: A defensive technique used when one is being unjustly criticized, knows the criticism is unjust and has a strong positive self image. Since the heart of this technique is to ask for more criticism, the assertor must be able to hear criticism without personalizing (internalizing) them. When criticism begins, assertor initially makes a firm statement that she would like the criticism to cease. If it does not, assertor simply continues to ask: "Is there anything else you do not like?" (The rationale for use of this technique is that the critic will eventually tire of his own criticism.) NOTE: If you want to have a little fun in this situation, let the one criticizing ramble on for awhile; then say, "Wait. Wait. What was that one...about three back?"


ASSERTIVE EXERCISE (not force; but "choice") During this exercise, it will be more productive for you if you sit quietly a few minutes just tuning into the way your body is feeling; then after each statement you make, do the same thing: Tune into how your body is feeling.

  • Take up your Journal.
  • Start by writing down 5 things you HAVE to do. (Ex. I "have" to get up in the morning. Ex. I "have" to feed the dog).
  • Now, say the same things only this time, say "I choose" to..." instead.
  • Share with each other how you felt saying "have to" and "choose to".
  • Which was easier for you to say?
  • How did your body feel when you said each?



Lets end our class by exploring some assertive problems that have been found on the job:

  • Most people realize the economic importance of their jobs. They know the way they earn money determines where and how they live, the schools their children attend, the clothes they buy, the income that will enable them to purchase a Florida condo when they retire. However few take this knowledge a step further. They do not think thru the role of the job in their lives, evaluate what they want to give to the job and what they will get from the job ON A PERSONAL LEVEL. As a result, they do not gain what they really want and feel dissatisfied with what they do get.
  • Depending on such factors as temperament, age, learned attitudes toward work, available work opportunities, and goals in life in general, the job means different things to different people. The decision of the kind of job you want to get and keep--and the way you want to behave/perform on the job--is a decision only YOU can make. Failure to make this decision often leads to unfortunate consequences such as frustration, boredom, unhappiness. And because vocation is such a major life area, these consequences may affect every other aspect of your existence.

SOME "UNASSERTIVE" TYPES OF WORKERS:

  • THE PIGEON: He is good at his work--liked and respected by all--but gets nowhere on the job. (No promotions, few raises, more work, but no new responsibilities). He keeps waiting for someone to make this movement happen. Occasionally he expresses his desire, but puts it so tentatively that the message doesn't get through or can easily be ignored. He is assertive for the company, but not for himself. He has not thought through his job goal or how to take the next step toward that goal.
  • THE MAN IN THE BACKGROUND: He does an excellent job, but nobody knows it. Others take all the credit for his actions, and he emerges as the perennial Indian--never the Chief. The problem: He has the potential and ambition to be a chief, yet has never learned to call attention to his own accomplishments. His boss and co-workers pick his brain. He lets them...and resents it.
  • YOUR OWN WORSE ENEMY: He substitutes aggression for assertion. His work is good, but he disrupts the office, creates turmoil, disagrees with everyone in an unpleasant way. Others dislike his manner so much that they don't listen to what he says..even tho his ideas are excellent.
  • ALWAYS THE BRIDESMADE: Because she doesn't mobilize herself to work properly, she doesn't fulfill her potential. She has a problem in self-control. Maybe she procrastinates and turns in work late or daydreams away time. When she finally gets going, her work is first rate; but her poor work habits prevent promotion. People who are aware of her talents wonder why she hasn't achieved more. At first superiors feel disappointment, then they stop expecting a top performance..often becoming irritated as her lack of discipline creates problems for them.
  • THE COMPLAINER: His problem is passivity. He constantly gripes about work demands, the office environment, the way people speak or act. But he never thinks of what HE can do about these situations. He believes "THEY should do something about it." However, he doesn't discuss the situation with (or make suggestions to) the right people. Instead, he fusses and grumbles in places where his mutterings cannot lead to change.
  • THE EXPLOITED: Smiling sweetly, she says "Yes" to every request. Not only is she over-worked, but she often gives up her own time and rarely receives a "thank you"> She has not learned to say "no" to unreasonable requests. The result is outbursts of crying or anger at the office, often depression or annoyance at home, and finally an impulsive change of jobs.

For further information, see these books:

  • "Developing Assertive Social Skills" by Eileen G. Gambrill
  • "Assertive Techniques" by Robert L. Whiteside
  • "Your Perfect Right" by Alberti and Emmons
  • "Pulling Your Own Strings" by Wayne Dyer (Author of "Your Erroneous Zones")
  • "Don't Say Yes when You Want to Say No" by Herbert Fensterheim

Should you want to discuss any of this, please feel free to contact me at "3motdaugrnds@hughes.net" (without quotes) because my "let's talk" button at the top is not working yet.