I’m sharing this because it’s helped me so much in the past six months. I hope it resonates with you guys, and for those who are already aware of it and embody it, I hope it serves as a refresher/reminder. Love y’all!
You did not have as much choice about which traditional assumptions you were taught as a child. Now, however, you have the option of deciding whether to continue behaving according to assumptions that keep you from being an assertive adult. Each of these mistaken assumptions violates one of your legitimate rights as an adult:
- It is selfish to put your needs before others’ needs.
- It is shameful to make mistakes. You should have an appropriate response for every occasion.
- If you can’t convince others that your feelings are reasonable, then they must be wrong, or maybe you are going crazy.
- You should respect the views of others, especially if they are in a position of authority. Keep your differences of opinion to yourself. Listen and learn
- You should always try to be logical and consistent.
- You should be flexible and adjust. Others have good reasons for their actions and it’s not polite to question them.
- You should never interrupt people. Asking questions reveals your stupidity to others.
- Don’t rock the boat.
- You shouldn’t take up others’ valuable time with your problems.
- People don’t want to hear that you feel bad, so keep it to yourself.
- When someone takes the time to give you advice, you should take it very seriously. They are often right.
- Knowing that you did something well is its own reward. People don’t like show-offs. Successful people are secretly disliked and envied. Be modest when complimented.
- You should always try to accommodate others. If you don’t, they won’t be there when you need them.
- Don’t be anti-social. People are going to think you don’t like them if you say you’d rather be alone instead of with them.
- You should always have a good reason for what you feel and do.
- When someone is in trouble, you should help them.
- You should be sensitive to the needs and wishes of others, even when they are unable to tell you what they want.
- It’s not nice to put people off. If questioned, give an answer
Your Legitimate Rights
- You have the right to put yourself first sometimes.
- You have the right to make mistakes.
- You have the right to be the final judge of your feelings and accept them as legitimate.
- You have the right to have your own opinions and convictions.
- You have the right to change your mind or decide on a different course of action.
- You have a right to protest unfair treatment or criticism.
- You have a right to interrupt in order to ask for clarification.
- You have a right to negotiate for change.
- You have a right to ask for help or emotional support.
- You have a right to feel and express pain.
- You have a right to ignore the advice of others.
- You have a right to receive formal recognition for your work and achievements.
- You have a right to say “no.”
- You have a right to be alone, even if others would prefer your company.
- You have a right not to have to justify yourself to others.
- You have a right not to take responsibility for someone else’s problem.
- You have a right not to have to anticipate others’ needs and wishes.
- You have a right not to always worry about the goodwill of others.
- You have a right to choose not to respond to a situation.
If you’re like most people, your behavior reflects some mistaken traditional assumptions. The more that you can start living your legitimate rights, the more likely it is that you will allow yourself to make important changes in your life that will affect every other area of your life. You will value yourself more and become a better person in the process.