Chapter 8

Assertiveness

“The more arguments you win, the fewer friends you'll have.”

—ANONYMOUS BUT TOTALLY ACCURATE PROVERB

DEFINITION:

Assertiveness comprises three basic components: (1) the ability to express feelings (for example, to accept and express anger, warmth, and sexual feelings); (2) the ability to express beliefs and thoughts openly (being able to voice opinions, disagree, and take a definite stand, even if it is emotionally difficult to do so and even if you have something to lose by doing so); and (3) the ability to stand up for personal rights (not allowing others to bother you or take advantage of you). Assertive people are not over-controlled or shy—they are able to express their feelings and beliefs (often directly) and they ...

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