Are you a leader, a follower or something in between? Would you be more successful if you were different?
WHAT ARE YOUR TEEN’S ANSWERS TO THESE TWO QUIZES?
How do you act with friends?
1. Do you usually keep quiet when you have anger issues or you feel angry?
2. Do you usually walk away from the other person when you’re angry?
3. Do you simmer for days and then vent anger in a big blowup?
4. Do you appear to feel hurt when you’re actually angry?
5. Do you take out your anger on someone other than the person at whom you’re angry?
6. Do you express your anger directly and firmly, but without labeling the other person?
7. When someone else is angry with you do you respond directly and effectively, with composure and without tears? Can you listen, try to understand their grievance?
8. Do you feel hurt and withdrawn when someone is angry with you?
9. Can you turn down a date with someone pleading to go see the latest “in movie” that you want to see, but just don’t want to go with them?
10. Can you stand up to friends who are about to do something you don’t want to do?
11. Can you say no to a sex act that you don’t want to do?
12. Can you say no to drugs that you don’t want to do?
How do you act with your parents and teachers?
Can you calmly talk to your parents?
Do you feel free to disagree with people in authority?
Can you question a grade received from a teacher at school?
Can you request information that you need?
Can you express you opinion to someone whom you believe to be smarter than you?
Can you confront someone who is in a much more powerful position than you?
The book, The New Assertive Woman, by Lynn Z. Bloom, Karen Coburn & Joan Pearlman is over 30 years old. Yet the concept of assertiveness, which these women discuss in great detail, is relevant today more than ever. How many people in your family could benefit from a Life Coach helping them master the skill of assertiveness?
From The New Assertive Woman, 1975, Dell Publishing, New York, by Lynn Z. Bloom, Karen Coburn & Joan Pearlman:
“Non-Assertive Behavior: not expressing your own feelings, needs, and ideas; ignoring your own rights; and allowing others to infringe on them. Emotionally dishonest, indirect, inhibited and self-denying. Allows others to choose for you resulting in feeling anxious and disappointed with self, angry and resentful at self.
Aggressive Behavior: expressing your feelings, needs and ideas at the expense of others; standing up for your own rights but ignoring the rights of others, trying to dominate, and even humiliate others. Appears defensive, hostile, and self-defeating. Chooses for self and others resulting in feeling angry, self-righteous and possibly guilty.
Assertive Behavior: expressing your feelings, needs and ideas and standing up for your legitimate rights in ways that don’t violate the rights of others. Emotionally honest, direct, expressive, and self-enhancing. Makes own choices, is usually confident, and feels good about self while being assertive.
BILL OF RIGHTS
1. The right to be treated with respect
2. The right to have and express your own feelings and opinions
3. The right to be listened to and taken seriously
4. The right to set your own priorities
5. The right to say no without feeling guilty
6. The right to ask for what you want
7. The right to get what you pay for
8. The right to ask for information from professionals
9. The right to make mistakes
10. The right to choose not to assert yourself
Behaviors which indicate self-denial/ non-assertive behavior
Anxiety; trembling, nail biting, teeth grinding, finger tapping, foot jiggling, joyless laughter, insomnia, loss of appetite, excessive eating, jaw clenching, headaches, tight neck muscles, stomach churning, rapid heart rate.
Giving in to others
Irrational Beliefs which lead to self-denial/non-assertive behavior
1. If I assert myself, other will get mad at me.
2. If I assert myself, and people do become angry with me, I will be devastated, it will be awful.
3. Although I prefer others to be straightforward with me, I’m afraid that if I am open with others andsay ‘no’ I will hurt them
4. If my assertion hurts other, I am responsible for their feelings.
5. It is wrong and selfish to turn down legitimate requests. Others will think I’m terrible and wont’ like me.
6. At all cost, I must avoid making statements and asking questions that might make me look ignorant or stupid.
7. Assertive women are cold, castrating bitches. If I’m assertive I’ll be so unpleasant that people won’t like me.