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Chapter 13. Assertiveness > The Assertive Bill of Rights

The Assertive Bill of Rights

  1. I have the right as a human being to have needs, and my needs are as important as the needs of others. I have the right to ask (not demand) that other people respond to my needs.

  2. I have the right as a human being to have feelings and form opinions. Furthermore, I have the right to express these in ways that respect the feelings and opinions of others.

  3. I have the right to expect respect from other people. It is incumbent upon me to also show the same respect for others. Respecting others does not mean that I allow them to take advantage of me or disregard my needs.

  4. I have the right to choose whether, in a particular situation, I want to or can reasonably meet other people's needs or expectations.

  5. I have the right to say no.

  6. If I frequently compromise my needs or sacrifice my rights, I am teaching others to take advantage of me.

  7. If I live my life in such a way as to always avoid conflict or the possibility of hurting someone under any circumstances, I will end up hurting myself and others in the long run. It is only through the honest (and timely) expression of needs, feelings, reactions, and thoughts that I can ultimately develop satisfying interpersonal relationships. When I am assertive, everyone will benefit in the long run.

  8. If I stand up for myself while simultaneously showing respect for others, I will gain self-respect as well as the respect of others.

  9. By being assertive with others and explaining how their behavior affects me, I am giving them the opportunity to change their behavior and respecting their right to know where they stand with me.

  10. I do not have the right to demean, intimidate, or manipulate other people into meeting my needs. I do have the right to ask, however, and to attempt to persuade while respecting their right to refuse.


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