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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Assertiveness. Do You know how to say NO?


Assertiveness: Can you say NO?

Is it hard for you to stand up for yourself? Do you have difficulty being assertive? Do you feel like a doormat who is unable to say NO? Tonight we’ll give you some tips for changing your behaviors.


Some people have difficulty with even defining assertiveness. How would you address the differences between healthy assertiveness and aggressiveness?

• Assertiveness is involves knowing what you want and giving yourself permission to state your needs
• Assertiveness is not aggressiveness. It is a means of honoring your needs without attacking someone else in the process. Being assertive is making a request to someone else, but it is not aggressive or demanding.
• Assertiveness is a means of saying “no” or learning to avoid manipulation or people pleasing.

What are some tips for developing assertiveness?

• First you must become aware of your own feelings, needs, values and desires
• Look the other person in the eye when you talk to them.
• Keep an open posture. Avoid folding your arms, shaking fingers, and face the person directly
• Make a request that is simple, to the point, and firm (and non-blaming or judgmental)
• Stay calm and avoid getting overly emotional or excited.


A lot of people have difficulty saying NO to others. What are some tips for those of us who have a hard time saying NO?

• Remember that saying NO is a means of setting limits. It is nothing to feel guilty about, and you have the right to set boundaries.
• Acknowledge the other person’s request by restating it, and then explain your reasons for declining.
• When you state your reasons for declining, make the points short and to the point.
• Say no by using phrases such as “No, I’m not interested” or “No, I am unwilling to do that.” Say no in a firm, polite manner.
• If it is appropriate you can suggest another option of something you would be willing to do as a proposal for an alternative.

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