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Lesson 1 of 0
In Progress

Confronting Your Obstacles for Being Assertive

It is quite helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

  1. If I’m assertive in this situation, what is the worst thing that could happen?
  2. What beliefs do I have that would lend probability to this happening?
  3. Is there any evidence to support this belief?
  4. What evidence is there to refute this belief?
  5. What would be a more realistic negative outcome of my being assertive in this situation?
  6. How might I respond to or cope with this more realistic negative outcome?
  7. What is the best thing that could happen?
  8. What is going to happen if I continue to do what I have been doing?
  9. Is it worth it to me to be assertive in this situation?

Here is an example of a healthy communication process at work:

  • If I tell James I’d rather not spend this year’s vacation at his parents’ house again because I don’t particularly enjoy him mother’s company, he’ll get furious to be angry at me for days.

  • He loves his mother more than he loves me.

  • James calls his mother every week; he does try to be a good son.

  • Now and then he’s told me that his mother gets on his nerves too. And he does love me. He recently told me so and gave me a hug.

  • He might be annoyed with me for a little while, and we might have a heated discussion about where to spend our vacation without spending much money.

  • I could be prepared with some suggestions for alternatives that might appeal to him: a couple of nights at a bed and breakfast, a camping trip, a visit to friends.

  • We could end up having our best vacation ever, somewhere new and exciting.

  • We’ll keep spending all our vacations at his parents’ house. Nothing will change unless I take the initiative to break our old routine.