Are You Passive?

     Do you find yourself saying "yes" when you would rather say "no?"
     Do you blame other people for your unhappiness? 
     Do you feel that it would be impolite to ask for what you want? 
     Do you fear making other people angry?
     Being overly passive with others can lead to very unsatisfying results, including passive/aggressiveness.
     Assertive behaviors elevate all parties involved. Interactions are more effective and relationships are more genuine and rewarding.

Here are some important "rules" of assertive behavior.


  1. I show respect for myself and achieve respect from other people by standing up for my rights.
  2. I end up hurting myself and other people by trying to govern my life so as to never hurt anyone.
  3.  Sacrificing my rights usually results in destroying relationships or preventing ones from forming.
  4. Not letting others know how I feel and what I think is a form of selfishness.
  5. Sacrificing my rights usually results in training other people to mistreat me.
  6. If I don’t tell other people how their behavior negatively effects me, I am denying them an opportunity to change their behavior.
  7. I can decide what’s important for me, I do not have to suffer from the “tyranny of the should and should not.”
  8. When I do what I think is right for me, I feel better about myself and have more authentic and satisfying relationships with others.
  9. I have a natural right to courtesy and respect, just as others do.
  10. I have a right to express myself as long as I don’t violate the rights of others.
  11. There is more to be gained from life by being free and able to stand up for myself and from honoring the same rights of other people.
  12. When I am assertive, everyone involved usually benefits.
Adapted from: Jakubowski-Spector, P.(1977). Self-Assertive Training Procedures For Women. In D.Carter and E.Rawlings (Eds.), Psychotherapy with women. Springfield, IL: Charles Thomas