it’s time to be civil (26)


# 17. Assert yourself. … ‘The assertive person stands up for her own rights and expresses her personal needs, values, concerns, and ideas in direct and appropriate ways. While meeting her own needs, she does not violate the needs of others or trespass on their personal space.’ (Robert Bolton) … We rarely consider that if we fail to be assertive our relationships may be in danger just the same. … Unwilling to antagonize your friend, you acquiesce, although you feel somewhat bullied and more than mildly resentful. These feelings are perhaps a more serious threat to your relationship with your friend than anything but a polite but frank ‘No’ on your part might have stirred. Your submissive reaction may encourage your friend to disregard your legitimate wishes again in the future. This would increase the strain on your relationship. Thus assertiveness is undoubtedly the best option for all involved.

Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct by P.M. Forni (St. Martin’s Press, 2002); pp. 110,112-113

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