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Assertiveness Quiz
From The Ashes:
A Brain Injury Survivor's Guide


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          Assertiveness is a way of thinking and behaving that allows a person to stand up for his or her rights while respecting the rights of others. Nonassertive people may be passive or aggressive. Passive individuals are not committed to their own rights and are more likely to allow others to infringe on their rights than to stand up and speak out. On the other hand, aggressive persons are very likely to defend their own rights and work to achieve their own goals but are also likely to disregard the rights of others. Additionally, aggressive individuals insist that their feelings and needs take precedence over other people's. They also tend to blame others for problems instead of offering solutions. 

     Assertive attitudes and behaviors are at the heart of effective advocacy. A person with an assertive attitude recognizes that each individual has rights. These rights include not only legal rights but also rights to individuality, to have and express personal preferences, feelings and opinions. The assertive individual not only believes in his or her rights but is committed to preserving those rights. An assertive attitude is important in recognizing that rights are being violated. The passive person is so concerned with being liked and accepted that he or she may never recognize the need to advocate. The assertive person clearly expresses his or her rights or needs. They tend to face problems promptly and they focus on solutions rather than problems. 

     The assertive person's behaviors are designed to promote communication and problem solving. This person uses a variety of behaviors depending on the situation. In general, the assertive person appears energetic yet relaxed. The Assertiveness Quiz,  is a short quiz designed to help you gain an idea of how assertive you are at this time. 

Adapted with permission  from: "Don't Get Mad Get Powerful, A Manual for building Advocacy Skills," MI P&A, 1986

Assertiveness Quiz
1. Do you buy things you do not want because you are afraid to say no to the salesperson?  Yes No
2. When you do not understand the meaning of a word, do you ask about it?  Yes No
3. Do you feel responsible when things go wrong, even if it is not your fault?  Yes No 
4. Do you look directly at others when you talk to them?  Yes No
5. Do people often ask you to speak more loudly in order to be heard? Yes No
6. Do you feel intimidated by people in authority? Yes No
7. Do you generally have good posture? Yes No
8 Do you often feel so angry you could scream? Yes No
9. Do you know how to ask for help without feeling dependent? Yes No
10. If someone cuts in front of you in a line, do you usually tell them off? Yes No

Assertive Responses
1. No 6. No
2. Yes 7. Yes
3. No 8. No
4. Yes 9. Yes
5. No 10. No

Explanation of answers to the Assertiveness Quiz
1. The assertive person is not afraid to say no. She or he feels free to make choices.
2. The assertive person takes responsibility for getting his or her needs met. Fear of seeming ignorant does not prevent the assertive person from asking questions. 
3. The assertive person takes responsibility for his or her own behavior but does not take responsibility for the behavior of others or for situations which are beyond his or her control. To feel responsible for things beyond your control leads to unnecessary feelings of guilt. 
4. Direct eye contact is assertive and suggests sincerity, self-confidence and the expectation that others will listen. 
5. An assertive person wants to be heard. 
6. An assertive person does not allow status to intimidate him or her.
7. Good posture communicates a positive self-image. When posture is limited by a disability, good eye contact and facial expression can be used to express a positive self-image. 
8. The assertive person works to get his or her needs met and does not let situations build to the point of crisis. 
9. The assertive person is able to ask for help without feeling dependent because he or she maintains a strong sense of self worth and self-respect. 
10. Telling someone off is an angry, aggressive response The assertive person would state that he or she is irritated by the unfairness and ask the person to move to the end of the line. 
Click here to go to the Assertiveness Skills Builder  page


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