Counseling Services - Assertive Do's & Don'ts

Assertive Do's and Don'ts



Say "no" politely and firmly, express feelings honestly:

Say "I can’t" or "I won’t be able to," depersonalize feelings or deny ownership:

"I’m angry."

"I’m disappointed."

"I’m delighted."

"I enjoy being with you."

"You make me mad."

"That’s disappointing."

"That’s delightful." 




Be realistic, respectful and honest:

"This is the third straight month your report has been late."

"Thank you for asking, I prefer no smoking in this room."



Exaggerate, minimize, or use sarcasm:

"You are never on time with your reports."

"Well now, we wouldn’t want to strain you." 



Express preferences & priorities:

"I don’t have a particular movie to suggest. I do want to avoid ones with violence."

Don’t defer to be sociable or agree unwillingly:

"I don’t care-whatever everyone else wants is okay with me."