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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Are you assertive?

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.

How would you define assertiveness?
• 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
• 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
• 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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