Verbal behaviour in assertiveness





  • Long rambling statements
  • Fill-in words ‘maybe’
  • Frequent justifications
  • Apologies and ‘permission’ seekers
  • ‘I should’ ‘I ought’
  • Few ‘I’ statements (often qualified)
  • Phrases that dismiss own needs: ‘not important really’
  • Self put downs ‘I am hopeless’
  • Statements that are brief, clear and to the point
  • ‘I’ statements: I’d like’
  • Distinctions between fact and opinion
  • Suggestions not weighted with ‘advice’
  • No ‘shoulds’ or ‘oughts’
  • Constructive ‘criticism’ without blame or assumptions
  • Question to find out the thoughts, opinions, wants of others
  • Ways for getting round problems
  • Excess of ‘I’ statements
  • Boastfulness ‘My’
  • Opinions expressed as facts
  • Threatening questions
  • Requests as instructions or threats
  • Heavily weighted advice in the form of ‘should’ and ‘ought’
  • Blame put on others
  • Assumptions
  • Sarcasm and other put downs
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