Personal Rights

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“Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you’re a man, you take it.”
Malcolm X

Assertiveness means standing up for your personal rights – expressing thoughts, feelings and beliefs in direct, honest and appropriate ways.

Assertiveness enables us to act in their own best interests, to stand up for ourselves without undue anxiety, to express honest feelings comfortably and to express our personal rights without denying the rights of others.

Responding in a passive or non-assertive way tends to mean compliance with the wishes of others and can undermine individual rights and self-confidence.

Many people adopt a passive response because they have a strong need to be liked by others. Such people do not regard themselves as equals because they place greater weight on the rights, wishes and feelings of others. Being passive results in failure to communicate thoughts or feelings and results in people doing things they really do not want to do in the hope that they might please others. This also means that they allow others to take responsibility, to lead and make decisions for them.

Being assertive involves taking into consideration your own rights, wishes, wants, needs and desires, as well as those of the other person. Assertiveness means encouraging others to be open and honest about their views, wishes and feelings, so that both act appropriately.

“Staying silent is like a slow growing cancer to the soul and a trait of a true coward. There is nothing intelligent about not standing up for yourself. You may not win every battle. However, everyone will at least know what you stood for—YOU.”
Shannon L. Alder

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