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When I Say No, I Feel Guilty


Personal Thoughts

The best-seller that helps you say: "I just said 'no' and I don't feel guilty!" Are you letting your kids get away with murder? Are you allowing your mother-in-law to impose her will on you? Are you embarrassed by praise or crushed by criticism? Are you having trouble coping with people? Learn the answers in When I Say No, I Feel Guilty, the best-seller with revolutionary new techniques for getting your own way.

Summary Notes

  • Not only is it natural to expect that we will have problems in living, it is also natural to expect that we all have the ability to cope adequately with these problems.
  • We have three major survival coping behaviors—fight, flight, and a verbal problem-solving ability.
  • As a first step in becoming assertive, you have to realize that no one can manipulate your emotions or behavior if you do not allow it to happen. In order to stop anyone’s manipulation of your emotions or behavior, you need to recognize how people do try to manipulate you. What do they say, how do they act, or what do they believe that controls your emotions and behavior?
  • ASSERTIVE RIGHT I You have the right to judge your own behavior, thoughts, and emotions, and to take the responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon yourself
  • ASSERTIVE RIGHT II You have the right to offer no reasons or excuses to justify your behavior.
  • ASSERTIVE RIGHT III You have the right to judge whether you are responsible for finding solutions to other people’s problems.
  • ASSERTIVE RIGHT IV You have the right to change your mind.
  • ASSERTIVE RIGHT V You have the right to make mistakes—and be responsible for them.
  • ASSERTIVE RIGHT VI You have the right to say, “I don’t know.”
  • ASSERTIVE RIGHT VII You have the right to be independent of the goodwill of others before coping with them.
  • “People get so damned frightened if someone threatens not to like them or doesn’t like them. They get paralyzed and don’t function to their own benefit on jobs, with friends, spouses, lovers, dates, etc. Sometimes one feels like telling people: You’ll never be loved if you can’t risk being disliked!”
  • In learning how to be persistent, the nonassertive person must not give reasons or excuses or explanations as to “why” he wants what he wants; he needs to ignore guilt-inducing statements.
  • This habit is based upon our belief that when someone talks to us, we “should” have an answer and “should” respond specifically to whatever the other person says.
  • Giving reasons during conflict to justify or defend a viewpoint is just as manipulative as giving reasons to attack that viewpoint. Neither of these routes is an honest assertive I want that can lead to a workable compromise of interests to quickly resolve the conflict.
  • Each of us is ultimately responsible for our own psychological well-being, happiness, and success in life. As much as we might wish good things for one another, we really do not have the ability to create mental stability, well-being, or happiness for someone else.
  • You are being manipulated when someone reduces, by any means, your ability to be your own judge of what you do.
  • One of the most important aspects of being verbally assertive is to be persistent and to keep saying what you want over and over again without getting angry, irritated, or loud.
  • If you do not recognize your assertive right to choose to be responsible only for yourself, other people can and will manipulate you into doing what they want by presenting their own problems to you as if they were your problems.
  • The manipulative behavior prompted by these expectations can also be seen in the general nonclinical population. These childish expectations and their consequent behavior deny us much of our dignity and self-respect as human beings. If we have the same expectations about ourselves as our manipulators do, we surrender to them our dignity and self-respect, the responsibility for governing our own existence, and the control over our own behavior.

When I Say No, I Feel Guilty

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