Continuing our discussion on assertiveness from my previous post, I would like to talk about your rights. I'm talking about your rights when interacting with others. The following is from the book The Assertive Option:
- You have the right to act in a manner that promotes your dignity and self-respect, as long as you do not violate the rights of others with your behavior.
- You have the right to be treated with respect.
- You have the right to say "no" without feeling guilty.
- You have the right to feel and express your feelings.
- You have the right to take the necessary time to calm down and think.
- You have the right to change your mind.
- You have the right to ask for whatever you wish.
- You have the right to do less than what you would if you were using all your reserves.
- You have the right to ask for information.
- You have the right to make mistakes.
- You have the right to feel good about yourself.
Okay, now the million dollar question: How many of these rights to you live?
These rights might sound very basic, but it can be a challenge for even the most assertive person to be consistent. This brings up a point that needs to be mentioned: most of us will move around on this continuum. We might tend to lean towards one side or the other, but we may fluctuate a bit depending on the situation, our mood, our energy level, etc. The goal, of course, is to try to stay as close to the middle as possible as this is the communication pattern that is most likely to be leave us feeling at peace.
So, which of these rights do you struggle the most with? Post your responses! And stay tuned -- we will continue our discussion on this topic in the next post.