Chris Croft
Tips of the Month – Archive

Assertiveness Tip 2


You don’t have to justify how you feel

You are responsible

I notice, I interpret

Faulty thinking

Persist – like when training a puppy!

Your daily refresher

How to change yourself – the first way

How to change yourself – the second way

Being yourself

It’s never too late to go back

Banish guilt from your life

Aggression – it might be you!

You reap what you sow

Psychological games players

There are always two ways to see things - examples

Start small and build up

This month's tip is "You are responsible"

The more I think about this little phrase the more convinced I get that it's almost always true If you look at the two assertiveness failures - the doormat and the aggressive person: the doormat/victim/"it's not fair" person is in fact responsible for being like this. Or to put it another way, only they can change their situation, or how they deal with the situation, or how they feel about living with the situation. If you don't like what your boss does, you are responsible for doing something about the boss - changing the way they behave, getting another boss, or finding better ways to live with the boss you've got. Getting depressed isn't the answer. Getting aggressive isn't the answer either. The angry person who says things like "they deserved it / they made me angry / I can't help it" is also denying their responsibility. In fact you choose whether to get angry, and you can help it. A child doesn't take responsibility but an adult does - that's the difference. So: next time you get bad service, or have to put up with an annoying person, or someone you work with is hopeless, or whatever, say to yourself "I am responsible" and "What am I going to do about changing this situation?" Of course, where do you draw the line? Are you responsible for your drunk/violent/philandering other half? Well you did marry them, and you have let them get away with it up till now! But the rule also applies to them - they are responsible for what they are doing and can't blame it on you! So the rule applies to both people at once, paradoxically. Either of them have the power to put the situation right. Neither has the right to complain about it. So: the phrase "I am responsible" removes all blame, and as we saw above it could remove all your anger too. Brian Tracy reckons it removes ALL negative emotions. Wow. Maybe he's right? Next month we'll look at guilt. Or maybe something else. Until then, have fun! It's your duty!

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