These rights allow for expression instead of repression. The assertive individual grants them to all others while demanding them for himself.
1. You have the right to do anything as long as you do not purposely hurt someone else and you are willing to accept the consequences.
2. You have the right to maintain your self-respect by answering honestly even it does hurt someone else (as long as you are being assertive rather than aggressive.)
3. You have the right to be what you are without changing your ideas or behavior to satisfy someone else.
4. You have the right to strive for self-actualization (to be all you can be).
5. You have the right to use your own judgment as to the need priorities of yourself and others, if you decide to accept any responsibility for another's problem.
6. You have the right not to be subjected to negativity.
7. You have the right to offer no excuses or justification for your decisions or behavior.
8. You have the right not to care.
9. You have the right to be illogical.
10. You have the right to change your mind.
11. You have the right to defend yourself.
Live your life doing things because you want to do them or because as a personal value judgment or compromise, you have agreed to do them. Any decision resulting in loss of self-respect is unacceptable. Do not do things because they are expected of you or because you think you should or because you will feel anxious or guilty if you don't.
Assertion is commonly mistaken for aggression, but understand that to be assertive means that you are standing up for your basic human rights. Aggression is a matter of forcefully violating the rights of another, and there is no excuse for such behavior.
An important part of assertiveness is showing consideration for the feelings and rights of others, without letting your kindness or empathy be used as an opening for manipulation. Realize that background conditioning has made everyone good at manipulation and people will use your vulnerability as an opening. The better they know you, the better they know your vulnerable areas. So, the assertive individual becomes an expert at expressing his rights, needs and feelings in a kind way. She shows equal respect for the same rights, needs and feelings of others.
People often avoid being assertive because they feel others will dislike or avoid them if they speak up and say what they really feel. That is not a rational justification for allowing yourself to be manipulated. If, by any chance, someone stopped liking you because you said "no," are you going to miss their friendship? If you are one of the millions who go through life thinking that a wrong word, refusal or assertion is going to end a relationship, it is time to realize that is simply not how things work. Such thinking is usually based on such a strong need to be liked that you sacrifice your own self-respect, often without realizing it. You also probably fail to distinguish between being liked and being respected.
Now is the time to become an assertive individual. You have basic human rights that others are going to have to learn to respect, just as you will respect their rights. As a free, assertive individual, you will actually learn to give and take more fairly than ever before, thus becoming of more service to yourself and others. Now is the time to become relaxed about revealing yourself through your words and actions and to begin to communicate openly, directly, and honestly with the people in your life.