Would you like to be your own assertiveness therapist? Assertive therapy is about letting people feel comfortable saying No to other people and Yes to themselves.

A while ago I came across an old book, Manuel J. Smith’s book on Assertive Therapy. His BILL OF ASSERTIVE RIGHTS captures the essence of his whole theory. It is a famous quote, you can google it up. If you take this alone and make it your own, you will definitely become a more assertive person. How? Easy: turn the “rights” into affirmations and repeat them to yourself in every way possible, or chant them or write them on stickies! This is what I did.

The”Bill” is written in you-form, like “You have the right to X, Y.” I changed it to I-form and created a list of my own affirmations. Feel free to simplify the language or use a different language, one principle a day, 10 days for all, and repeat! It worked wonders for me and I’m sure it will do the same for you! My 10 principles of being an assertive person based on Manuel J. Smith’s Bill of Rights:

1. I have the right to evaluate my own behavior, thoughts and emotions and be responsible for the consequences

2. I have the right to not apologize or explain my behaviour

3. It is up to me to decide whether I am responsible for solving other people’s problems

4. I have the right to change my mind

5. I have the right to make mistakes and take responsibility for my mistakes

6. I have the right to say: “I do not know”

7. I have the right to not dance to other people’s beat just because they are nice to me

8. I have the right to make illogical decisions

9. I have the right to say: “I do not understand you”

10. I have the right to say: “I do not care”

And if you think 10 affirmations are too many to keep track of, take just this one and use it boldly and big time: I HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY “NO” WITHOUT FEELING GUILTY!

There, you’ve done your own assertiveness therapy!



© 2020 Teodora Rudolph

Photo credit Arian Shkaki 2020