CCI InfoPax: Assert Yourself!

Improve your Assertiveness. Being assertive is an important communication skill which can reduce your levels of depression and anxiety and improve your self-esteem. This information package is designed to provide you with some information about assertiveness – what it is, what stops us from being assertive and how to become more assertive. This information package is organised into modules that are designed to be worked through in sequence.  We recommend that you complete one module before going on to the next.  Each module includes information, worksheets, and suggested exercises or activities.


Module 1: What is assertiveness?

This module introduces the concept of assertiveness, describes some myths about assertiveness, identifies reasons why we become unassertive, looks at the effects of not being assertive, and also what factors stop us from being assertive. It also gives you the chance to assess how assertive you are in a range of situations. PDF document: 184kb. 


Module 2: How to recognize assertive behavior

This module shows you how to recognize the differences between passive, aggressive and assertive communication and introduces the verbal and non-verbal characteristics of each communication style. PDF document: 151kb. 


Module 3: How to think more assertively

This module introduces the concept that it is how we think that can stop us from being assertive. It identifies a number of unhelpful thoughts, and then gives the more assertive counterpart to this thought. It then introduces two techniques for changing your unhelpful thinking: thought diaries and behavioral experiments. PDF document: 164kb. 


Module 4: How to behave more assertively

This module introduces a number of techniques designed to help you become more assertive. PDF document: 163kb. 


Module 5: Reducing physical tension

This module helps you to identify areas of physical tension in your body and introduces a number of techniques designed to help you reduce this tension and become more relaxed. PDF document: 154kb. 


Module 6: How to say “no” assertively

This module examines the effects of not being able to say “no”. It identifies a number of unhelpful thoughts that may make it difficult for you to say “no” and helps you come up with a more helpful thinking style. It then introduces a number of ways to say “no”. PDF document: 153kb. 


Module 7: How to deal assertively with criticism

This module identifies the different types of criticism and why we may have trouble responding well to criticism. It looks at the underlying beliefs which may stop us from being able to deal with criticism and helps you come up with a more helpful thinking style. It then gives some tips for dealing with criticism and also for giving constructive criticism. PDF document: 202kb. 


Module 8: How to deal with disappointment assertively

This module helps you identify how you deal with disappointment and examine the unhelpful thinking that may be making it difficult for you to deal with disappointment. It then helps you come up with a more helpful thinking style to deal more assertively with disappointment. PDF document: 136kb. 


Module 9: How to give and receive compliments assertively

This module addresses coping with compliments; it helps you recognize passive and aggressive responses to compliments and then helps you to develop more assertive responses by uncovering and challenging the unhelpful thoughts that make you uncomfortable with compliments. It then takes you through the steps for giving compliments appropriately. PDF document 107kb. 


Module 10: Putting it all together

This module summarizes the skills you have learnt so far. It then helps you build a hierarchy of challenges to help you practice to become more assertive. It provides a worksheet to help you work through the challenges you set for yourself. Finally it gives you a chance to reassess yourself to see if you have become more assertive. PDF document: 133kb. 


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