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How assertive are you?

Which way would you handle these situations?

Choose which of the options would be most likely for you and make a note its number. If you do not have any experience of the situation, e.g. you do not have any children or you do not go to meetings, try to imagine how you might handle such a situation. You may have more than one answer to some of the questions, in other words you may handle them differently on different occasions. If so, note down all the numbers that apply.

  1. You want to borrow something from a member of your family who is not available for a while.

    Would you:

    1. Just borrow it, possibly letting them know later that you had done so.
    2. Borrow it and say when you see them you were sure they wouldn't mind.
    3. Wait until they return and ask apologetically, or do without it.
    4. Wait until they return and ask clearly or, if it seems appropriate, borrow it and apologise as soon as they return.
  2. At meetings do you:
    1. Always say what you want to say.
    2. Try to ensure that the meeting is run in a way that ensures that you will have a say.
    3. Find it difficult to say what you want to say.
    4. Listen to what the other people say and contribute when it is relevant.
  3. If someone compliments you on your appearance do you:
    1. Know that you look good and feel that they should have said so sooner.
    2. Say "I'm so glad you noticed".
    3. Tell them it's nothing special.
    4. Just say "Thank you ".
  4. If you feel angry do you:
    1. Shout at the person who is making you angry.
    2. Sulk.
    3. "I hardly ever feel angry."
    4. Say that you feel angry.
  5. If you are criticised do you:
    1. Tell your critic that they are wrong.
    2. Explain how much trouble and effort you put into it.
    3. Feel as if you are no good.
    4. Make sure you understand the criticism and decide how true it is.
  6. If you make a mistake do you:
    1. "I don't make mistakes."
    2. Cover up.
    3. Get somebody else to sort it out.
    4. Admit it.
  7. If someone asks you to do something you don't really want to do, do you:
    1. Say something like "certainly not" or "not likely" rather sharply.
    2. Suggest alternatives or try to convince them that what they are asking is unreasonable.
    3. Do it any way.
    4. Say "no" calmly and firmly.
  8. You want your children to do something that they don't want to do.

    Do you:

    1. Shout at them until they do as they are told.
    2. Start doing it yourself while letting them know how ungrateful they are and how they are putting on you and upsetting you.
    3. Give up and do it yourself.
    4. Let them know what you will do if they do not do it and leave them to it, making sure that you do what you said if they do not do it.

Those situations where you have answered 1, 2 or 3 are ones that you tend to handle unassertively. 1 is an example of an aggressive way to handle the situation, 2 is manipulative and 3 is passive.

Those situations for which you have answered 4 are the ones that you handle assertively, well done! Assertiveness training will help you to handle many more situations in ways like these.


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Updated 24th May 2010

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