Assertive Training Course

Assertive Training Course

Assertive Behavior - Part One

Are you a passive person? Do you find it difficult to say, No?

Are you an aggressive person? Is your credo, “my way or the highway”?

Are you an assertive person? Can you stand up for yourself without putting someone else down?

Or are you not sure which of the three is your behavioral style?

If you want to know more about assertiveness, you have come to the right place. I taught an assertive training course called “Assertive Behavior” in a community college for several years. So many students signed up for the course, we had to move it from a standard-size classroom to an auditorium. The college administrators were very surprised. I was not.

Assertiveness is a skill we can learn to use for our benefit, but not everyone knows exactly what it is and how to use it.

The assertive training course I taught required six weeks to complete, with homework assignments and weekly attendance. I have boiled down the requisites and “meat” of this assertive training course to two parts. My hub, The Abilene Paradox,” was the Introduction, If you haven’t already done so, please read it now. Thank you.

Brand new (?) but broken toaster
Brand new (?) but broken toaster

Okay. Let’s get started. Here is a typical situation. Your brand new toaster won’t work. You return it to the store. Even though there is an exchange policy for defective merchandise, the sales associate gives you an argument hinting darkly that you probably broke the toaster by abusing it. What do you do?

a – You are uncomfortable “making waves” so you turn around meekly and leave with your brand new but broken toaster.

b – You raise your voice, call the sales associate several unprintable names and demand to see the manager.

c – You calmly show the sales associate your receipt, remind him or her of the store’s exchange policy, firmly ask for a replacement or your money back – and hold your ground until you are satisfied.

If you answered “a” – you were passive or unassertive. You surrendered a right you are entitled to.

If you answered “b” – you behaved aggressively. You used bullying, humiliating tactics to put the other person down and get your way.

If you answered “c” – Bravo! You behaved assertively. You stood up for your rights and did not put down the other individual.

Eleanor Roosevelt 1884 - 1962 Former First Lady
Eleanor Roosevelt 1884 - 1962 Former First Lady

Why is it important to be more assertive in your life? Because being assertive is the best way to deal with the conflicts and frustrations of everyday living. It helps you reach your goals and usually enables you to do so peaceably. So why do so many people have difficulty being assertive? The answer is simple.

Because it involves taking a risk. There is no risk if you are passive and do or say nothing. You may feel guilty later but you can rationalize it away.

If you are aggressive, you may label your behavior “assertive” and go on your merry, demeaning way.

So what do these labels – passive, aggressive, assertive – really mean? Some operational definitions may be helpful here.

Passive is failing to stand up for yourself, or standing up for yourself in such an ineffectual manner that your rights are easily violated. You allow others to take advantage of you. You are a doormat and have difficulty saying no. ”Yes, I can stay late again to . . . ” or “Well I had planned to . . . but I guess I could . . . “

“You are nobody’s victim without your permission.”Eleanor Roosevelt

General Bullmoose from "Lil Abner" comic strip by Al Capp
General Bullmoose from "Lil Abner" comic strip by Al Capp
e. e. Cummings 1894 -1962 Poet, artist, writer
e. e. Cummings 1894 -1962 Poet, artist, writer

Aggressive is standing up for yourself in such a way that the rights of the other person are violated in the process. You are indifferent to the reactions of others – you care little about their feelings. You may often humiliate or put down other people. You are a tyrant. “I want this done now and this way, even if you have to stay late!” or “What are you talking about? Are you a moron?”

Or you may use any other favorite epithet of aggressives like “stupid, imbecile, ignorant, dummy, alien from another planet, noob, boob, rube,” etc.

"What's good for General Bullmoose is good for the country!" - General Bullmoose

Assertive is standing up for yourself in such a way that you do not violate the basic rights of other people. It’s a direct, honest and appropriate expression of your feelings and opinions which you express without putting down someone else. You are self-confident, reasonable, and not confrontational. “Here’s the task – how can we accomplish it within the timeline?” or "I would like to understand your viewpoint. Can you tell me why . . . "

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are." - e.e. Cummings

Assertiveness is Good for You

Assertiveness is standing up for your rights calmly and persistently – it is the happy medium on a continuum between passiveness and aggressiveness. Being unassertive or passive – a doormat – leaves you with the short end of the stick. Being aggressive which may appear to work for the moment will take an eventual toll on you and the people you live and work with.

Why should you consider an Assertive Training Course?

An Assertive Training Course will teach you that you have a right to ask for things, including reasonable changes in another person's conduct.

Suppose someone cuts in line in front of you at the supermarket checkout line. If you firmly but politely ask the person to go to the end of the line, you are being assertive. If the steak you ordered medium rare arrives well done, you ask the waiter to replace it. You are being assertive. Many people simply are not able nor willing to do this.

Assertiveness can boost your self esteem,build confidence, and reduce your level of personal stress. Almost like Xanax. But safer. Assertive people feel good about themselves and their abilities,respond well to difficult situations, and manage their time effectively by saying no to unreasonable demands.

Are you still uncertain whether you are assertive or not? Here’s another easy way to check out your assertiveness:

Test Your Assertive Skills

Answer Yes or No to each statement below that describes your behavior:

• I have a difficult time telling family members and friends that they have done something that offends me.

• I say yes quickly to requests before taking the time to consider what the request involves, or the time it may take.

• Sometimes it is difficult for me to hang up the phone on telemarketers, or to tell salespeople in stores that I am just window shopping.

• Voicing my opinion when a group is discussing an important matter is difficult, even when I think my opinion is valuable.

• I feel uncomfortable, even incompetent at times, when I have to ask for clarification when I am confused about or don't understand what someone has said.

• I do not accept criticism well. I often get resentful or overreact to others who find fault in my performance or my actions.

• I have difficulty accepting compliments and often downplay my accomplishments or appearance.

• Requesting favors from others is something I do not often do.

• I find it difficult to tell people that I have changed my mind after I have agreed to do something for them.

• Returning an improperly prepared meal in a restaurant, or a defective item purchased in a store is difficult for me.

Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803 - 1882 Essayist, poet, philosopher
Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803 - 1882 Essayist, poet, philosopher

Now count the number of times you answered, "yes." Did you answer “Yes” to three or more of these questions? Then you are in the right place. And you are probably thinking - if being assertive is so important and the most positive way to act, why do so many people have problems being assertive?

in addition to not wanting to take a risk, many of us believe the irrational myths that exist about being assertive that we have already bought into while growing up. Here are some of these myths I know you have encountered:

Myth #1 – Other people will become angry with me If I assert myself, if I stand up for my rights.

Reality – Not so. If I assert myself, the effects may be positive, negative or neutral. However, since being assertive involves legitimate rights, I believe the odds are in my favor to have some positive result. I can’t go around being a doormat and not asserting my rights.

“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”Ralph Waldo Emerson


Myth #2 – If I assert myself and people do become angry with me, I will be devastated and feel terrible.

Reality – Not so. Even if others do become angry and unpleasant, I am capable of handling it without falling apart. If I assert myself when it is appropriate, I do not have to feel responsible for their anger. It may be their problem.

Myth #3 – Although I prefer others to be straightforward with me, I'm afraid that if I am open and direct with others and say no, I will hurt them.

Reality – Not so. If I'm assertive, other people may or may not feel hurt. Most people are not more fragile than I am. If I prefer to be dealt with directly, quite likely others will, too.

Salvador Dali, 1904 - 1989 Surrealist artist
Salvador Dali, 1904 - 1989 Surrealist artist

Myth #4 – At all costs, I must avoid making statements and asking questions that might make me look ignorant or stupid.

Reality – Just not so. It is not shameful to lack information or to make a mistake. It just shows I am human. Asking questions reflects confidence and competence. No one knows everything, and no one is perfect.

"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it." - Salvador Dali

Myth #5 – If my assertiveness hurts others, then I am responsible for their hurt feelings.

Reality – No way. Even if others do feel hurt by my assertive behavior, I can let them know I care for them while also being direct about what I need or want. Although at times others may be surprised by my assertive behavior, most people are not so vulnerable and fragile that they will be shattered by it.

Myth #6 – It is wrong and selfish to turn down legitimate requests. Other people will think I'm terrible and won't like me.

Reality – Not true. Even legitimate requests can be refused assertively. It is perfectly acceptable to consider my own needs - sometimes before those of others. I cannot please all of the people all of the time. The more decisive I am, the more critics I may have. That is not my problem.

Myth #7 – Some people call assertive people bitches and bastards. If I'm assertive, I'll be so unpleasant that people won't like me.

Reality – Not so. Assertive people are direct and honest, and behave appropriately. They show a genuine concern for other people's rights and feelings as well as their own. When you are assertive others are more likely to respect you.

"Use soft words and hard arguments." - English proverb

Aldous Huxley 1894 - 1963 Author "Brave New World"
Aldous Huxley 1894 - 1963 Author "Brave New World"
Will Rogers 1879 - 1935 Humorist, philosopher
Will Rogers 1879 - 1935 Humorist, philosopher
 Sir Winston Churchill 1874 - 1965 Former Prime Minister, Great Britain
Sir Winston Churchill 1874 - 1965 Former Prime Minister, Great Britain
Coco Chanel 1883 - 1971 Fashion designer
Coco Chanel 1883 - 1971 Fashion designer

Now that you are aware of the irrational myths you must ignore, you must overcome the anxiety that prevents you from behaving assertively. Your imagination can get in the way: “I would make the boss mad if I asked for a raise.” Is the image of an angry boss a realistic one or just your own private scenario?

Fear of angering the boss is real enough, but if you verbalize your request politely and assertively, and select the right moment, there is the possibility of achieving your goal. If you don’t change and behave assertively, the person you become most angry with is yourself.

“I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.”Aldous Huxley

Assertive behavior can be effective in many situations – not just when someone cuts into your line, your steak is inedible, or your raise is overdue. It all depends on your ability to size up the situation, decide on your response, and then make it happen without allowing the other person’s negative reaction or anger to sidetrack you. Once you take the risk, you find out that your worst fears are seldom realized. Where aggression is a tactic of war, assertion seeks to negotiate – you use diplomacy.

"Diplomacy is the art of saying, 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock." - Will Rogers

Is it difficult for you to speak up? Then use what psychologists call "successive approximation," a term that means trying to go part of the way toward a goal. Learn to make just one assertive statement.

“I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught.” – Winston Churchill

For example, at the supermarket checkout line, request the bag-person to bag your groceries in two plastic bags, one within the other, instead of only one. On the next visit, request two paper bags instead of plastic. Each small success will reinforce your blossoming assertiveness.

The process of becoming assertive is almost like magic. You start being assertive by using assertive language and behavior. You may not feel more assertive yet but you are using the most assertive language, verbal and non-verbal (body language). Soon other people start to see you as assertive.

And here is where the magic kicks in. You start to feel good about yourself for speaking up, for displaying your new-found assertiveness. You begin to see yourself as assertive. Your self esteem increases and presto, change-o, you are assertive!

"How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone." - Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel

Oh, almost forgot. Your homework is to go to the market, purchase something that weighs two pounds or more, and ask for double plastic bags. You can graduate later to paper.

Stay tuned for Part Two of the Assertive Training Course: “How to Say No,” which includes the most effective assertive verbal and body language for you to use. Coming soon.

© Copyright BJ Rakow Ph.D. 2010, 2011. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So."  Book includes how to write a dynamic resume and cover letter, network effectively, interview professionally, and negotiate assertively. Also a chapter for older workers.

More by this Author

Make a comment and you will be awarded your first 'A'. (courtesy of Fokk U - "Fokk University".) 87 comments

Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Awesome, up, and beautiful. Interesting change of subject matter too. To be read and re-read :-;

thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 6 years ago from Sweden

Oh, this is such an amazing hub, on a very important subject! Your experience in this area shows! I wish that there had been a course like this when I was in my first adult years. Back then, I always did what was expected of me and never stood my ground, even if I knew I was right. Fortunately, I have received a more assertive behavior through the years. Is is like you say, you really feel good about your self when you behave assertive, and most people will not be upset if you are firm and also nice! Even so, I will do my homework and I expect an A of course! :))

lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida

I'm an assertive person, a skill I learned many years ago to overcome my natural shyness. You are so right when you say it is a necessary skill for life. Who wants to be a doormat? On the other hand, there are far too many walking around in a state of constant suppressed rage. For both, learning assertive behavior will improve not only their lives, but their personalities as well. Great hub, drbj. (as always.) Lynda

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

I believe I am an assertive person and don't you dare try to tell me otherwise!

MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 6 years ago from South Africa

I definitely have difficulty accepting compliments, and I hate to ask favors from others, and I will not allow myself to change my mind after I’ve agreed to do something for somebody, so I guess I’m sitting on the fence between passiveness and assertiveness.... ?.... Therefore I definitely need to stay tune for part two. I love and appreciate this course! Please warn me if I’m not going to get an A, and let me know how you would like to be bribed :))

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Absolutely outstanding article. I used to be the meek one, not wanting to upset the applecart but I have no problem being assertive now. You handle problems more efficiently and fell better about yourself. Great hub, rated up!

Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

This is an important topic and I am sure many can learn a lot about how to make themselves count while sparing themselves the frustrations that come with the feeling of being taken advantage of; no wonder so many people came to your class.

As for me, it almost seems that I have been born assertive; that’s how natural and with no hesitation it manifests itself. For some reason I never felt that others were doing me a favor for performing their job well, nor did I ever feel I am doing anyone a favor by being polite. Firm yes, rude almost never.

Since it is my nature to be assertive, more than once I took the risk of standing my ground even when the consequences could have been devastating.

I agree with you completely; in the end some people may not like you and even resent you, but they will respect and admire you (without ever saying so). I am looking forward to the next installment of this great course

Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 6 years ago from The Fatal Shore

Top advice drbj...assertiveness is a great trait to develop. I can take things back to the shop no sweat but in some situations my confidence to assert deserts me. Sometimes I wont ask a question because I fear being thought stupid, which is foolish because, as they say, 'the only stupid question is the one you dont ask'.

I want that 'A'.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Wesman - You get an A+ - the A for being the very first visitor, and the + for the "awesome, up, and beautiful" and the "to be read and re-read."

You're my kind of commenter. If you want to read one of my hubs that is also a change of pace, take a look at "Fokk University." We need scholars there like yourself! :)

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, thoughtforce, for the gracious comments. I know what you are talking about when you say you always did what was expected and never stood your ground - back in the day. Me, too, I was not assertive until, oh, at least the age of two!

You are so right. There are few other feelings as powerful as the way you feel when you first realize you have become assertive and others respect you for it.

And as you pointed out, firm and nice are the operational words. Do your homework and the A is yours. :)

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

I knew you would agree, Lynda, how necessary it is to be assertive. I had no doubt from reading your writings that you already possessed that skill.

Love your comment: "Who wants to be a doormat?" If I ever write a book on assertiveness, that will be the title.

You mentioned that there are too many people walking around with constant suppressed rage. That personality behavior is the most difficult to modify. Give me a passive person to work with any time. And thank you for the "great hub as always" comment. You are the greatest. :)

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

You ARE an assertive person, bp, and I will defend you to the utmost against any dastardly rascal or rogue who dares to say otherwise!

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Martie - there is no shame in being passive about some things but it will definitely enhance your life and your relationships if you become even more assertive. It's your right to receive compliments gracefully, ask others for favors, and change your mind when you want to. Do not give up those rights.

Part two is coming soon with useful strategies and language that make it much easier to be assertive and let people know what you want or expect. You don't need a bribe - you already have your A for your wise and open comments. :)

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Pamela, for the "absolutely outstanding article" and the up rating. I believe most people begin life as introverts, rather shy and retiring, and learn one way or the other that becoming more like extroverts with assertive behaviors will provide more self-satisfaction and success.

Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

What an excellent hub and I loved reading it. I was an "a" while growing up, so shy, never would say what I thought. Then when I hit around 50 I became a "b" now that I am older then dirt, I think I am moving closer to "C". Yup, I need a class, but at my age, it feels good to say whatever is on your mind....LOL Rate this hub up, really great love & peace darski

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Yes, Petra, learning to be more assertive is an important topic and, as you pointed out, I was not surprised that so many students enrolled in the class. What did surprise me was that there were more males than females. 60% men, 40% women.

You are fortunate to have been born assertive - polite but firm and standing up for yourself. Many folks, I have discovered go through life letting others take advantage of them. And it is not because they do not want to become more assertive. It is simply that they do not wish to take the risk. That is sad.

There are so many advantages to being assertive - increased self-confidence and self-esteem and the knowledge that others respect you for your assertive behavior.

Here's the A you have already earned, Petra. :)

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Jane, it is not unusual to be assertive in some situations and less than assertive in others. It does take work and practice. But the results are worth it.

As you stated, asking a question is NEVER stupid. Not asking the question is stupid! I like to remember the quote I once heard about questions: You can tell how intelligent someone is by the questions they ask. How about that? Puts a whole different light on the issue, doesn't it? You're on your way to the A, girl. :)

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Darski, dear, how nice to see you here and thank you for your sweet comments and the up rating.

I can understand you being more passive when you were growing up - that is often the norm. And I'm delighted you became assertive. But don't fall back now that you're almost as old as me. Assertive is way better than aggressive. Assertive gets you respect. Aggressive gets no respect - like Rodney Dangerfield. And it's stressful.

I know it can feel good to say whatever is on your mind but don't put anyone down now so you get your A. :)

Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 6 years ago from Michigan

Hmmm, you were thinking of me when you wrote this weren't you?! LOL. Is it possible to be assertive to strangers yet a doormat to the ones you love or care about? I think that's where I find myself. I have no problem sending back an improperly cooked meal, yet when asked to do something for someone here at home (or friends) I find it difficult to say no.

Here is a brief story. My daughter called and asked me to watch her 2 young sons. I was worn out and apologized but said 'No', I just couldn't do it. She got mad at me for refusing, yet got mad at me for apologizing, by saying "Don't apologize for saying no!". How odd is that?

Great Hub, will be looking forward to the next installment!! I will sit up straight and pay attention in class!!

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

No, Sweet Susie, I was NOT thinking of you but will be delighted if some of what I write about assertiveness is helpful to you.

Part of assertive language is being pleasant and firm when stating what you want but NOT apologizing. Apologies weaken your assertion and give the other person strength and reason to argue your point.

My hub, Part Two, will give you the actual words to use to help you say no - especially to friends and family. You get your A because already I can see you sitting up so straight and paying attention from here. :)

Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Great advice, drbj! I have found that asking people to do you a "favor" when you assert yourself seems to work well. Especially with nurses. They love to "help" people.

So put a little sugar coating on those assertive pills :-)

Now, if I could just tame down the aggressive part, I might get even farther.

melpor profile image

melpor 6 years ago from New Jersey, USA

Wow! I can't wait for the next lesson. I need this training. Thanks.

sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

I would have liked to take your course, but since I ouldn't, I chose role models to watch and learn from. So, I was glad to find my 'c' response, holding my ground until satisfied, is assertive. Of course, being me, I'm usually seen as too dumb to understand 'no', and it just becomes a test to see who's more stubborn...but it works, so who cares? I've also learned if I begin by saying, 'I have a problem', very often the person is happy to help me solve it.

Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Well done drbj. I agree, nothing beats a course in learning how to be more assertive! I've taken a few myself. What I found most difficult was that being assertive, mature and non aggressive was just the start. If you're still dealing with an aggressive, manipulating person, you need additional tools which I'm sure you have deal with! I try to lay out the facts, then express the way I feel without making the other guy wrong. No one can deny you your feelings. Rated a big up!

always exploring profile image

always exploring 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is a great hub.I think i can be classified as assertive,but that has happened over time.When i was a child,i was passive and very shy.Thank's for the course,and since you have given me an A,my assertiveness demands to be placed on the honor roll.Thank you.


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 6 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

Some very useful instruction there. I look forward to your next installment. Thank you.

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Dear drbj, thank you for this awesomely informative piece. It rings true to me as these are issues that have caused me the most grief. Boundaries are the difficult aspect of assertiveness for me. I struggle with the question of who is more selfish, the manipulator engaging me or me for wanting to run? I am assertive, but the truly manipulative are tough nuts to crack. They wheedle and whine and get me everytime. Then they think they've got it made in the shade and about that time my life has become unbearable and it takes Houdini to break the damn chains. The last chapter in this saga is about over and I have learned from it. And it is very freeing to become your own boss. My mother frequently tells me "you can't free a slave". I think she's right. Only you can free yourself.

akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

Okay BJ - I totally think I'm assertive because after many long and painful years, I've decided that the best way to keep the 'pipes clean' (mental not the other) is to just say it! I've learned over the years not to go into convulsions telling people what I want or what I need. I think this is the best way to be because no one gets hurt! If you say it in such a way as to not offend and still say what you need to say - be done with it. It totally works.

Recently though my son got into this whole thing with me...."Mom - you're passive aggressive". I was mentally thinking "is that like manic depressive...what the heck is he TALKING about?" I still have to look that up in my 'spare time' because really I hate labels!

So are you going to do a followup to this so I can figure out what my Jonathan means about this (need we go further here - there's only one Jonathan Chronicles far...but is he the best judge of my character?)

I personally think life is an evolution. You find out what hurts you, you find out what pleases you and then you find out what hurts others and what pleases them...somewhere in the middle.....priceless!

You teach well and you write even better. Seriously, I'm hoping for an AAA - what do you think? It would match my personality!? profile image 6 years ago

Drbj, you are a clever man and I always respect your opinion. Look forward to the next installment.

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Brilliantly written hub and with so much contents and to learn from. Thank you.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Oh drbj! I can't decide if I'm assertive! Oops! I've already forgotten Myth #4! Great post and I need the full course!

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

You have discovered one of the great secrets of being assertive, Lela. When you ask someone for help, you are showing respect for them and they usually respond positively.

The "sugar coating" you mentioned is one of the big differences between being assertive and using it, and being aggressive and ignoring it.

As for "taming aggressiveness", what works for me is asking questions rather than responding too quickly.

Thanks for the "great advice" comment - much appreciated.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

melpor - how nice to have an eager reader like yourself. The next lesson is coming soon. I have always felt that a course in assertive training should be in the curricula of every high school. Someday perhaps it will be.

And you're welcome, the pleasure is mine.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

You were very wise, sheila, to learn assertiveness from positive role models. And holding one's ground may be seen as exhibiting stubborn behavior but who cares? You get what you want without humiliating the other person.

Also, saying, 'I have a problem' in a friendly and smiling way shows the other person that you respect their ability to help you. It paves the way for you to succeed in your assertion.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thanks for the 'well done' and the 'up', Hillary. You are spot on with your statement that learning to be assertive is just the beginning. With practice, anyone with the desire can become more assertive.

But when dealing with others who are difficult or aggressive, there are additional strategies to utilize based on the language you use. Part Two will include those tactics. And the actual words to use so that you are not 'putting down' the other person.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

For most of us, Ruby, assertiveness happens over time as we experience the world and the actions of others.

My own personal philosophy is that all of us as infants begin life as introverts. Everyone else in our world is much, much bigger and certainly smarter. We become shy and perhaps more passive.

That's why assertive training is so necessary - we can claim the rights to which we are entitled. You are very welcome for the course and I will give you the A not because you 'demanded' it but because you said 'thank you'.

Cheers, backatcha.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

You are very welcome, christopher. Delighted you found this instruction useful and the next installment which includes actual verbal and non-verbal language is coming soon. Promise!

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Wow, Amy, 'awesomely informative' is my favorite way to be. I am not surprised when folks tell me that these issues have caused them problems in their lives. Too many people are less than assertive and as a result seem to relinquish their rights to others.

Of course, manipulators are truly aggressive, but they can be dealt with. Standing your ground is not always easy but it works and also salvages your self respect. That is what frees you. Please tell your mother I think she is one smart cookie because she is on the mark - 'you can not free a slave'. Here's to the next positive chapter in your assertive saga.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Of course you are assertive, dear Audrey. How else could you have had all those strange adventures - with dogs, fishes, snakes, canoes, lakes, Monzas, rafting, and practically every other sport known to man and woman. You will notice that with my sense of propriety, I refrained from calling them 'insane' adventures or maybe it's just all the good cheer in my heart because of the Christmas season.

And you are so right, my funny functional friend. I like the way you put it: 'not going into convulsions over what you want or need.' The secret to being assertive is to avoid being offensive and I'm not talking BO here.

You mentioned being labeled as passive aggressive..PA is a form of aggression where said aggression is expressed in a passive way, i.e., the person finds fault, makes excuses, procrastinates, and generally exhibits aggressive behavior in a passive, not aggressive manner. I do not believe that describes you at all. But of course you are the best judge of yourself.

Most people try to treat others with the Golden Rule - do unto others the way YOU would like to be treated. I favor the Platinum Rule - do unto others the way THEY would like to be treated. That is exactly what you referred to when you stated 'find out what hurts others and what pleases them.' You are wise beyond your 39 years. You can owe me for that one.

Thank you for your perspicacious comments and stating that I teach well and write even 'betterer' (that last word courtesy of Stan Fletcher.)

Can't give you an AAA - it's already taken. How about an A++?

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Yo, psychicdog. Well if I appear to be a clever 'man' to you, my friend then I am even cleverer than I thought. Regardless, I am delighted that you respect my opinion, and I respect your opinion of my opinion. Next installment coming soon.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, hello, You already know how much I appreciate your visit and when you include the comment, 'Brilliantly written hub and with so much content ... to learn from,' then of course you make my day. No thanks necessary. It is definitely my pleasure.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Micky. If you can't decide if you are assertive or not, that is making progress. Delighted to supply the full course; Part Two coming soon.

Myth #4 BTW states that asking questions reflects confidence and competence. So you are already ahead of the game. Besides I often judge the intelligence of others not just by their answers but by the nature of their questions!!

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana

I struggled with being passive most of my life. Then my daughter got sick, really, really sick. When I was afraid to speak up, it hurt my daughter. She was, at the age of 8, more assertive than I had ever dared to be. I was, and still am, incredibly proud of her.

In the years of doctors and hospitals that have followed, I have learned to suck it up and ask questions, usually without apologizing, and insist on certain things that I know to be right. It is really, really difficult.

You have a wonderful way of getting your knowledge into words that are easily understood. This was interesting, helpful, and inspiring.

Thank you. Thank you very much!

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Good morning, sueroy, I thank you for commenting and being here. I know how proud you must be of your 'assertive' daughter and I sincerely hope she is healthy now. Give her a brava for me.

And brava to you, too, for being assertive especially when it mattered the most!

I appreciate your gracious comments - 'interesting, helpful, easily understood and inspiring' do make my day. It is always what I aim for. :)

Wait a moment. Not always. Sometimes I just want to be facetious like with the "Crazy Laws", or "Popular Proverbs Interpreted", or "Fokk University." Those hubs are just for fun.

sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 6 years ago from Indiana

All of your articles are great. I look forward to reading them as I get a chance. Fun hubs are... well, fun! I can't wait to read those from you as well. You have an awesome sense of humor!

I will pass the compliment on to my little one. She's now 13 and while we will deal with health issues the rest of her life, she's a great sport about it, and has the best sense of humor of anyone I know!

One of the many issues she deals with is having to wear a Foley bag (a bag like people wear after surgery to pee in) every night. She likes to throw it on the floor and go, "Oh no! Look! I've peed on the floor again!"

She's a complete mess!! :O)

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

The new toaster example actually happened to me. I sent it back to the shop to be repaired. Someone phoned me a few days later trying to weasel out of the repair. I felt so much contempt for him that I simply hang up on him and went back to what I was doing and never thought of it again until now :-)))

epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

..I suppose there's a thin line between assertive and aggressive - or maybe the two blur into each other - but one thing is sure I am assertive about coming here and enjoying myself with enlightenment too - and I am always aggressive in thanking you (well perhaps progressive too) in coming my way with your poetic genius!!!!

akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

BJ - You are such a treasure! Yes I'll settle for an A++ (not that I'm competitive or anything).....I believe assertiveness though is like our lives. We eventually grow into it if we just get over feeling bad for speaking up and speaking OUT.

I'm probably somewhere in the middle though - I don't like making a scene (unless it's comedic and then I'm totally there just because I am who I am). I like to say things in such a way that I end up looking like a brilliant person rather than a lunatic. Past experience has taught me that standing out in a good way is better than standing out in a freakish way - although when push comes to shove and I see something that I am dancing on both feet trying to NOT say - I just let it fly.

However, I always imagined my mother chained to a nuclear power plant (hasn't happened yet....) or getting locked up for swearing at the people who are so STUPID, but I've done my share of standing up and being counted. I might make myself less credible, however, by tripping over the podium or going to embrace someone and taking them down to the floor with me. I don't think I have a place in public office because of this (although Ford did okay, eh?).

My point though is to stick up for what's important but realize that sometimes you don't always get what you want....except self satisfaction! It pays to be honest about your feelings and I'm glad I got over the convulsions when I did it!

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

I compliment you, sueroy, on raising a daughter with such a finely honed sense of humor - she is awesome, too. Guess it must be in the genes. She might enjoy reading my ten hubs on Weird Animals and I would be delighted to have her reactions.

Here's wishing you both a very happy, healthy holiday. :)

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Now that's really a coincidence about the broken toaster, dimi. I think the toaster in the photo may be your old beloved appliance.

Am I correct to assume that you and the shop guy may not be the best of buddies?

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Colin, as long as you keep writing such pleasing and pleasant comments you can be as aggressive as you desire in making your way to my hubs.

Yes, there sometimes is little difference between being assertive and aggressive. It might be the verbal language, or the tone of voice, or the eye look, or the posture. That's why it really takes practice to stay on the positive side of that 'thin line'.

Enlightenment with humor is my middle name, but I don't know about 'poetic genius' - that's more your province, my epigram man! :)

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

A 'treasure,' am I? Hmmmmmm! That usually means something valuable, but very old and probably buried. It could have been worse. You didn't call me a relic --- yet!

Do you realize, dear Audrey, that you have just written the final statement of Part Two of my hub on assertive behavior with your last paragraph? We don't always get what we want but assertive behavior does provide self-satisfaction. May I call on you for the behavioral assignments I am not available to teach?

No recompense of course, just eternal gratitude. :)

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

To answer your question Young DRBJ, when I feel contempt for someone, that person ceases to exist for me. I will not negotiate with such a person because he is not longer there to negotiate with. Does this sound too insane? :-))

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Is it insane, dimi? Definitely No! But it does cut down on your circle of acquaintances. :)

akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

But of course, BJ! Please call on me for any assignments....I am jumping in my chair going 'pick me, pick me!' Can you see my hand waving in the air?

Now these behavioral assignments....they won't be like anything to do with electrodes attached to my brain right or pavlovian theories where you make me drool when you put a bowl of spaghetti in front of me? Or hypnotize me and make me cluck like a chicken? If these behavioral assignments involve these types of things, it's not that I'm 'against' them - I just want to make sure Bob is video taping so I get the maximum bang for the buck so to speak on youtube!

And it does tick me off no end that I don't always get what I want....but I can live with self-satisfaction (most of the time).

P.S. I must have my son Patrick read these. He is the most wonderful son but at 32 he still hasn't figured out how not to let people walk all over him. It is a sad thing when you can see something clearly but the other person isn't quite 'there' yet. I try and gently lead him (read PROD) in the right direction and I think he's getting it. Sometimes reading someone else's brilliance though helps so sharing your wisdom!

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Ah, but the friends I have are real gems! :-)))

Can you believe that I have a number of friends, men and women, with whom I am bound by strong bonds of friendship for over forty years? Seriously. They have become more than relatives and we are so comfortable with each other it is really like being with close family :-)

So how lucky is that, Kid? :-))

mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 6 years ago from Florida

I am certain this excellent,lucid hub will help many people. You remain one of my favorite hubbers.

From reading my hubs, I think you know that although I have a shy side and sometimes avoid conflict, for the most part, I am assertive. To succeed in teaching, one has to be. Rarely am I aggressive. After all, that would not be ladylike! (lol)

akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

I like to think contempt is overrated. Although my husband disagrees with me. Once someone has 'done you wrong' you cut them off - and I don't mean body parts...they're just 'gone'. This might be a male thing as in protecting your parts?

I tend to be more lenient and try and factor in many things...a person's background, their capacity for knowledge or 'upgrade', why they do what they do...I think about things a LOT. But then again I think every life is a valuable one and whether I like them or not, that is the burning question.

On the other hand (could I be more undecided if I tried), I get it from the 'apparently' male perspective that you just ditch the person who is stupid or contemptible or who just isn't a good fit for you. It probably saves you a lot of brain power trying to figure it all out but I kind of like figuring out the mysteries of people....and the universe while I'm about it!

katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

This is great stuff. I've worked hard to pass this on to my two daughters. I will def be sharing this with them and all my followers via all my networks. I love R.W.E and the quote, “Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Well done and much appreciated. :) Katie

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

You know, Audrea, I would pick you any time. Now stop jumping up and down on your chair - you are disturbing the others in the institution --- I mean, class.

To calm your fears, let me mention no electrodes are involved in these behavioral assignments - just plain, little, old bitty shocks from my assistant, Igor.

As far as drooling is concerned, I don't believe it has to be induced in your case. I can see you now salivating over the bowl of spaghetti carbon dioxide in front of you. I mean, spaghetti carbonara.

Yes, by all means have your sweet son, Patrick, read the first two in this assertive series. The third one (Part Two) should be especially helpful for him since it will include the actual words one can use to be seen as assertive.

As for sharing 'wisdom and brilliance', m'dear, you do that all the time! :)

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

I'm not a bit surprised, dimi, that you have a prodigious number of friends who are real gems and much like close family members.

After all, to really know you, is to love you! Opa!

And a beautiful wife, too. You are a lucky man.

akirchner profile image

akirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

BJ - Whew - the electrodes had me worried. And you are too kind in your compliments though I may have to twirl around the office a few times....wise and brilliant. Maybe I should print that off and carry it on a card in my purse and flash it from time to time - the card - not my body parts!

I can't wait for part #2 - I bet it doesn't include terms like 'well if that's the way you think, bugger off' or my all time favorite 'ask me if I give a s*!t what you think - I'm doing it MY way, got that?' I've found these to be most effective when dealing with people in high places.

They also give the added benefit of making me appear very cultured and reinforces my image as a sweet old lady.

Seriously, I shall print out every word and pass them on to my son - I may even print them off and slip them into the pillowcase so he can absorb them through osmosis!

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, mysterylady, I am delighted to be one of your favorite hubbers. And 'lucid'? I guess the medication must be working! :)

I think almost everyone wants to avoid conflict and confrontation, but since that isn't always possible, we have to learn how to manage it by being assertive. And you are spot on. A teacher, like yourself, who is not assertive will have students almost literally walk all over her. And aggressive will simply turn them off and possibly create problems with the administration.

And yes, I agree, you are always a LADY!

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, katie, I'm delighted to know you will be sharing this info with the next generation. And all your followers in other places, too. That is a very sincere compliment.

I agree, Ralph Waldo did have the knack of putting much wisdom into one simple statement. Thank you also for the 'well done' and your appreciation. Happy Holidays! :)

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Of course, Audrey, by all means print up some business cards for yourself with "wise and brilliant" printed thereon. I did. Flashing though is not recommended - either cards or various body parts. Although you could make some new friends (?)

I appreciate your sharing with me those effective phrases you use when encountering difficult people. But they simply would not fly in my circle of colleagues - which is often a square - if you get my drift.

When all else fails, osmosis is good. Although not as good as chocolate chip cookies which have to taken every four hours!

debbiesdailyviews profile image

debbiesdailyviews 6 years ago

Ahhhh what a delight it was to read such an interesting, and enlightening hub.

We all come to your hubs to look, and learn. And we are never disappointed.

I speak for everyone when I say please please please always make sure you keep good assertive relations with your internet provider.

We wouldn't like to search for you one day, to find you not here. hahaha

It's not what you say, but how you say it...

And you are a great teacher because of just that !

carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

I guess I'm the aggressive type.. I don't like the feeling that someone doesn't want to be reasonable, and so I get unreasonable myself. Great post!!!

Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 6 years ago from Vermont, USA

This is a great hub, invaluable to those who find it difficult to stand up for themselves.

I developed a healthy assertiveness over the years, earning my graduate degree while working 8 years as a bartender and "cooler". My diplomacy, coupled with an air of unshakable authority, was based on assertiveness.

Though I feel no need for your course of study, I had to read on just to enjoy the quotes you cite from some of my favorite people.

Well done.


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Thank you very much, my friend. I Learn much from you and I get many ideas from this hub. Take care!

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Happy Holidays, Debbie.

Ah, what a delight it was to hear from you and read your most gracious comments - 'interesting, and enlightening ... never disappointed.' As you suggested, I try to be friendly with my ISP - and as long as I pay my bill, he she or it seems to be satisfied.

That was an extremely profound statement you made, Deb, that 'it's not what you say, but how you say it... ' To me, that sums up the core of effective communicating. Sometimes we say the right things but in the wrong way, no?

Thank you for visiting and being a faithful follower. :)

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Chris. You ... a guy who pulls trucks singlehanded ... with his teeth? Aggressive? No way.

I agree that it can be difficult sometimes to handle folks who enjoy being unreasonable. But I try my best in my best assertive manner to get some sort of compromise or collaboration happening.

Thanks for the visit and the 'great post' comment. Happy New Year. :)

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Christopher. Your statement: 'my diplomacy, coupled with an air of unshakable authority, was based on assertiveness' is a great definition of what true assertiveness really is.

Delighted that some of the quotes I used emanated from some of your favorite authors. Mine, too. Thanks for stopping by and the 'well done'.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Happy Holidays, prasetio, and I'm delighted to see you visit. No thanks are needed, it is entirely my pleasure. Happy I could provide you with some ideas. You take care, too.

Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Dear drbj, I hope I am not overstepping my bounds in replying to akirchner in her question regarding passive-aggressiion. I am not an expert as you are, but I was married to an ex with this personality disorder and it was extremely unpleasant. What I learned about this chronic personality disorder on a personal basis is that although he had strong opinions about many things, he could not bear taking responsibility nor blame for living according to his beliefs or consequences for the choices he made. That being said, he was filled with anger, but was unable to express it openly, honestly, and it seethed within him. As all negative emotions must, it was released, but in a covert manner. He would compulsively "mutter under his breath", for example, he was intensely dislike at the workplace where I met him. The women that were employed at this particular site, had strong opinions, as is the case with all healthy people. He tried to contain his hatred for their opposing cpinions, but eventually he exhibited his anger by muttering quietly so only they could "almost" hear him say, "I'm going to kill you". I was unaware of this until about a year after the fact. No one heard him except the malicious whisper registered with it's intended victim, and even they weren't quite sure of what he'd said. I became aware of it when he began this intimidating practice with my daughter, who came to me to say he would "whisper" pyscho when she passed by him alone. In that way he was able to diffuse his hate by expelling it in a way that no one could make him accountable for. He would say "you're nuts, I never said that". I became very intimidated to the point of silence and left when I began to fear, as he insisted on playing "chef", that he might be poisoning me, as both my daughter and I began with severe digestive disorders. He carefully placed all dinners on the plates and was diligent about handing the plate to each individual. This is the fear I eventually developed and there is no positive proof of my fear. But, I gathered my courage and will to survive and got out while I could. Passive aggressive disorder does not always culiminate in death threats as it can sometimes be extremely subtle, but it is always destructive to a relationship, whether workplace or personal. It seems that fear disables the honest expression of either disapproval, dislike, or any negative emotion that the afflicted encounters and they are unable to diffuse the trigger of their anger in a healthy way. They are never wrong, never responsible and never admit to any blame. They sulk, give the silent treatment and refuse to engage in any discussion in an honest way. Those that I have seen behave in this self destructive manner are unhappy and create a life of covert abuse and living hell for their partner, families and anyone who encounters their disorder. Unfortunately, they don't wear a sign! Thank you, drbj, for the opportunity to spout!

susannah42 profile image

susannah42 6 years ago from Florida

This is such a great hub. I have always been very laid back and non assertive. Now that I am in my 60's, I have gotten a little more assertive. I need a course for sure.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Dear Amy - For you, there is no such thing as overstepping your bounds - there are no bounds. I read your comments and can only guess at how much pain and suffering you endured in your relationship with your ex who exhibited passive-aggressive personality disorder.

You are absolutely correct in your description: Passive-aggressive personality disorder is a chronic condition in which an individual appears to accept the desires and needs of others, but in actuality, passively resists them, and usually becomes increasingly hostile and angry. but is unable or unwilling to release anger overtly.

This behavioral disorder is a way to deal with stress or frustration by attacking other people in indirect ways, and can manifest itself as resentment, stubbornness, procrastination, sullenness, and intentional failure at doing requested tasks.

We do not know the risk factors but genetics may play a role. And the disorder, as you point out, is chronic or lifelong.

You are both wise and brave to have removed yourself from that destructive environment. I congratulate you and wish you continued success in living your life with your daughter as YOU desire.

And 'spouting' is healthy - except when it includes an 'r' and is preceded by Brussels. :) I admit it, Brussels sprouts are not my favorites.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Oh, susannah, how nice to see you here. Thanks for the 'great hub' comment.

I think most folks are non-assertive until they learn that being assertive may be a better and more healthful way (less stress) to function.

Congrats on becoming more assertive and take a look at Part Two which I have just published: "Assertive Behavior - How to Say No." :)

Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

When I quietly learned who I was and my own worth, still in a situation in which both were deliberately not only challenged, but made into conditions for some extremely vital conditions - I truly seemed to graduate into someone who doesn't hesitate to stand up and be counted without being aggressive. It seems to come from deep inside, almost as if it were always there but undiscovered. I like to think that many folks who are easily intimidated have a buried self who is more confident.

But I've known some timid souls who let someone or someones walk over them, resenting it but unable to say NO. The advice you have here is perfect for getting them started. Sometimes it's difficult to start. I've recommended some reading which helped and of course - encouragement helps, provided one senses what frightens a person, such as fear of praise.

Anyway - I will read all your hubs on this subject, drbj! Outstanding! Thanks.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

You made a very profound and perceptive comment, Nellieanna. You stated your belief that 'many folks who are easily intimidated have a buried self who is more confident.'

I agree with you. Many people go through life with that assertive self hidden deeply within and never find the courage to display it.

My hope is that those who want to be less stressed in daily living adopt the assertive strategies indicated in this hub and in part two, 'Assertive Behavior - How to Say No.'

Thank you for visiting and your 'outstanding' comment, which is much appreciated.

Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

Your points remind me of my first "known" experiences with assertiveness...when I began to ask girls for dates. Up to that point the words just seemed to hang there in my throat. Over the years, I have thought back on how many times I was actually being invited to asked yet my lack of assertiveness just would not let me do the job...fear of rejection! It all seems so silly now yet we still see people suffer with it. In the movie "Road House", Patrick Swayze plays a bouncer in a bar. He tells his other bouncers, "ask them to stop but be nice", "tell them to leave but be nice". Finally, one of them asked when it was they stopped being nice and Swayze replied, "I'll let you know". Here was a case in which he was teaching his employees how to be assertive and not resort to the aggressive tendencies of the customer unless it was the only way to get the job done. This is a very good article...much info here! WB

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Wayne, for visiting. I always enjoy your presence here. You are absolutely right, the fear of rejection is a powerful demotivator when we are trying to be assertive. Especially when very young and trying to ask girls out on a date.

I remember that movie, "Road House," with Patrick Swayze and how effective he was playing the head bouncer in a tough road house bar. He was assertive but not aggressive unless customers first crossed the line.

Thanks also for the 'very good article' comment which is much appreciated.

debbiesdailyviews profile image

debbiesdailyviews 6 years ago

Hi dr-- just a quick comment.

I have just read, and enjoyed your hub on public speaking.

I voted this up, and gave it a useful too.

I really wanted to leave a great comment, but couldn't for some reason.

Anyway, I have now. I found it very inspiring.

As are all your Hubs.

drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, debbie, thanks for stopping by and your very kind comments and ratings. Whaddya mean, you couldn't 'leave a great comment?'

On my hubs, m'dear, you always leave a great comment. You inspire me. Thank YOU.

schoolmarm profile image

schoolmarm 5 years ago from Florida

This is a great topic and an excellent hub - Thanks! Moving on to Part 2.

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, schoolmarm, it's a pleasure to meet you and have you leave such kind comments especially since you appear to be so intelligent and discriminating.

Enjoy Part 2 and read "The Abilene Paradox," too, which is a prequel.

RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Drbj - I am so glad to have read this! It took me many years to learn some of these points...I was always afraid to say no...I just didn't want to be the one who wouldn't help or didn't do their share of things for instance at work.

I worked for a boss who would bang on the wall and scream for me to come into his office...there was a little button right on his desk that he could have pushed with lots less effort...then I realized...that wasn't the point, was it? haha!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Kelly. It is not unusual for those who are first exposed to the business world to need to practice assertiveness. We don't want to offend by saying, no.

Then we learn that saying 'no' intelligently is our right. And that empowers us. It is a wondeful, remarkable feeling.

Sorry you had to endure that unintelligent boss. Why did he not push the cool little button on his desk? Because it was more fun to scream and push your hot buttons.

Thanks for the visit, m'luv.

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