Assertiveness and Your Personal Bill of Rights

Assertiveness is a form of communication in which needs, feelings, and opinions are clearly stated with respect for oneself and the other person(s) involved in the interaction. Being assertive allows others to know what you want/need thereby making it easier for them to support you. Assertive communication differs from passive communication, in which people avoid expressing or speaking up for themselves, and aggressive communication, in which people do not take into consideration the feelings of others when expressing themselves and use blaming or accusing language. Many people confuse aggressive communication with being assertive. One of the significant differences is the words used when expressing oneself, namely, using “I” statements as opposed to “You” statements. To highlight this difference consider the following two statements: “You never listen to me!” versus “I feel ignored”.

Choosing your words wisely is, however, only one component of being assertive. More important is believing that you actually have certain basic rights as a human being that include expressing yourself. Many people seem to have forgotten or may have never been told that these basic human rights exist. We, therefore, thought it might be helpful to review some of these rights. By no means is this an exclusive list. We encourage you to consider if there are any rights that we may not have included that are important to you. Reminding yourself of these rights can validate your own needs, opinions, and boundaries with others and, in doing so, make it easier to assert and express yourself. As always, we invite your thoughts, opinions, and questions.

Personal Bill of Rights
I have the right to express all my feelings, positive or negative.
I have the right to ask for what I want
I have the right to determine my own priorities
I have the right to not be responsible for other people’s behaviours, actions, feelings, or problems.
I have the right to say “no” to others without feeling guilty.
I have the right to take time to slow down and think.
I have the right to be uniquely myself or “my own person”.
I have the right to say, “I don’t know”.
I have the right to make decisions based on my feelings
I have the right to be in a non-abusive relationship.
I have the right to make mistakes
I have the right to be safe
I have the right to put myself first.
I have the right to dignity and respect
I have the right to love and be loved
I have the right to be human-not perfect
I have the right to my own personal space and time
I have the right to privacy
I have the right to be angry and protest if I am treated unfairly.
I have the right to earn and control my own money
I have the right to grow and change, including changing my mind.
I have the right to decide if and when, I choose to forgive my mistakes or anyone else’s mistakes
I have the right to be happy.

Philippa & Kerry

Comments

  1. Excellent advice for both at home in my personal relationship, but also in my work environment when working for a difficult boss. Thank you!

  2. Great article very helpful.

  3. Scott Goodman says:

    Assertiveness Personal Bill of Rights (and the Rights of others)

    1. I have the right to express all my feelings, positive or negative.
    a. Others have the equal right to express theirs and to agree or disagree with my feelings without retaliation from me.
    2. I have the right to ask for what I want.
    a. Others have the equal right to refuse my request without retaliation from me. However, using the Right to refuse a request by always refusing requests just to assert this Right is an abuse of this Right.
    3. I have the right to determine my own priorities.
    a. Others have the equal right set their priorities and to disagree with my reasons for my priorities without retaliation from me.
    4. I have the right to not be responsible for other people’s behaviours, actions, feelings, or problems.
    a. Others have the equal right to not be responsible for my behaviours, actions, feelings or problems without retaliation from me.
    5. I have the right to say “no” to others without feeling guilty.
    a. Others have the equal right to say no to me without retaliation from me.
    6. I have the right to take time to slow down and think.
    a. Others have the same right without retaliation from me.
    7. I have the right to be uniquely myself or “my own person”.
    a. Others have the same right without retaliation from me.
    8. I have the right to say, “I don’t know”.
    a. Others have the same right without retaliation from me.
    9. I have the right to make decisions based on my feelings.
    a. Except when my decisions trample on the rights of others.
    10. I have the right to be in a non-abusive relationship.
    11. I have the right to make mistakes.
    a. Others do NOT have the right to interfere with this right on the pretext that they are “just trying to help”, unless my safety or life is in danger.
    12. I have the right to be safe.
    13. I have the right to put myself first.
    a. Others have the equal right to put themselves without retaliation from me.
    14. I have the right to dignity and respect.
    15. I have the right to love and be loved.
    a. But I do not have the right to demand acceptance of my love by others or demand that I be loved by others.
    16. I have the right to be human-not perfect.
    a. Others have the same right without retaliation from me.
    17. I have the right to my own personal space and time.
    a. Others have the same right without retaliation from me.
    18. I have the right to privacy.
    a. Others have the same right without retaliation from me.

    19. I have the right to be angry and protest if I am treated unfairly.
    a. Others have the same right without retaliation from me.
    20. I have the right to earn and control my own money.
    21. I have the right to grow and change, including changing my mind.
    22. I have the right to be happy.
    a. But not at the expense of the happiness of others.
    23. I have the right to decide, if and when I choose, to forgive my mistakes or anyone else’s mistakes.
    a. Others have the equal right to draw their own conclusions about my decision whether or not to forgive where it directly affects them or their right to be happy.

    Above all, always remember that the exercise of your rights carries with it the condition that you have to be willing to accept the consequences. Others may disagree with and reject your decisions and they might choose to have nothing to do with you as a result. That is their RIGHT!

  4. Alison Meg Rosenbaum says:

    I have the Right while in an Adult Psychiatric Unit for an Assessment to defer ALL Medications so I might arrive to a Court Room date Sober and Medication FREE. To facilitate my Speech Communication Process Delivery without a drowsey, foggy mind slowing down my cognitive intellectual verbal articulations when Speaking English to Assert in the Court Room the unnecessary treatments being received.
    I have the Right to Assert to any doctor “No” I have no answer to the questions you just ask me, since I only just met you, & own zero idea in knowing if I could trust you to Listen to me & not mistreat me because my name sounds Jewish, but I was adopted & those parents are not my Blood DNA. (Delay answering if I am suicidal = when in for hip replacement in a nursing home the doctor from India asked me if I was ever suicidal. I was transparent, truthful, & cooperative only to learn then the doctor created a medical petition to have me removed from the nursing home, which I was transferred to to recover for one week from my total replaced hip surgery)
    I have the Right to tell any doctor or nurse “No” I do not want your treatment methods, I am scared, Leave me Alone! Too bad 98% of doctors and nurses in Adult Psychiatric Units in USA refuse to Listen to their patients when medicating patients because, “If you are in here, you must be on a medication”. This told to me more than once.
    I have the Right to Live in the same mannersisms our food we consume Live, I have the Right To Live Organically!
    I have the Right to own Final Absolute Determinations about myself and my Brain, since I am the Human Being in attendance aware of my human being homeostasis. I have the right to tell doctors or nurses if treatment feel healthy or not healthy with (dizzy spells, symptoms…); affiriming from my own hospital pathologies Most Accurately compared to their needs to Listen to me to “update their medical records” from having the insisting constant needs to prioritize meetings to Listen to Me to “update medical records” doctors & nurses claim to Factually imput into a computer database, compared to reguritated textbook abstract summary case management examples of mismatched paraphrasing; thus, then displaying me more inaccurate Factually, but textbook defined accurately.
    I have the Right to deny ABUSE of any size of actions or behaviors mistreating me against country and state laws and against the Hippocratic Oath.
    I have the Right to ADVOCATE! I owning my Right to ADVOCATE, I own the responsibility to ADVOCATE in all formations of the definition to ADVOCATE, including owning my Accountability to Argue! I have the Right to Argue without a fast paced decision concluding from doctors or nurses towards me stating, “There are no reasons to argue! Arguing only leads to Anger Management!”
    I have the Right to ADVOCATE, & ARGUE in alignment with my USA Freedom Of Speech Rights!
    I have the Right to protect & defend my personal safe space in social public or anywhere, which is owned in the span of my arms or legs fully stretched outwards to the 3 or 4 foot space around me. (Adult size arm stretch for children, amputees, and quadrapelegics included)
    I have the Right to Assert my social safe space needs. To defend against social public strangers brushing up on you “accidently” more than once claiming “incidental contact” when they have touched me in public without my permission.
    I have the right to say no to pan handlers, even aggressive pan handling when hoping for a touch of another person’s hand when giving the money asked for on the streets or at cahiers of stores I shop at.
    I have the right to protect my human being environment I own when surviving in my human being body and the perceptions of my environment I own.
    I have the Right to Agree to Disagree!
    I have the Right to be called my name. Not the casual over used “Hun” “dear” “sweetheart” from complete strangers in public anywhere. I know I am not that intimate with any of those strangers freely reducing the Respect which I should receive. I have the Right to not Freely interact or Freely engage in any social I teractiobs with anyone known to casually call other human beings intimate pet names; when they refuse to understand when no one shares their name with you then they might not want to talk you. Hello Sir! Hello Lady, …Mam!
    I have the right to ignore anyone anywhere anytime I want.
    I have the right to live and make decisions which enhance a better place to grow through for the younger generations & older generations.
    I have the right to deal with the unpleasantries of living with false, wrong, incorrect medical diagnosises about me. Assert the Correct medical definitions about myself to doctors & nurses known to Listen to me; in along ALL depths of Denial; even when I deny treatments, or defer my medications for a Sober Cognitive Wardrobe for a Court Room appearance.
    I have the right to deny experiences and stuff in Life I know I dislike or determine unpleasant.
    I have the Rights to be treated in the exact same ethical manners the majority of doctors, nurses, medical staff, medical security treat the employers medical property Vandalism FREE! [Per their legally signed Employers Signed Employment Contract]. [Per their Rehabilitative Facitility Employers Employment Legal Signed Employment Contract].
    I have the right for any Confidentiality Agreement to be Listen to in Compliance Adherence to my Privacy Rights. [Even only nurses helping at homeless shelters, owning Zero Rights to Learn if my life stories I assert in Truth, but which I reserve in trusting Almost ALL doctors, nurses, and Lawyers only listening to their paycheck needs or work time management, reduce my meeting time to return home for their family time.
    I have the right to determine which state of healthcare treatment quality I will deal with consumming. When digesting current 2019 One Way Medical Treatment, am I delivered a portion of healthcare treatment, or full course meal of healthcare treatment.
    < I have the right to determine my healthcare treatment. Not the healthcare insurance carriers or Executive Branch if Government deciding which humans can muster enough money to have injuries repaired so no one is forced to live in Pain Daily; thus a better chance at successfully surviving life sober not addicted to Pain medications they insist I should take for the daily iB prophen or stronger since the doctors must listen to the healthcare insurance carries which listens to the Executive Branch in USA Government when deciding which human being can have Pain Removed from medical treatment.

Speak Your Mind

*