Do You Stand Up For Yourself? (Or do you need to be more assertive?)

We live in tough, hard times. We all get pushed around and bullied by large corporations and by bureaucrats working for the government. Even nurses in hospitals can turn out to be bullies occasionally.

Are you strong enough to survive?

Answer these questions as honestly as you can to find out whether or not you are assertive enough.

1. You buy a car. A week later it breaks down. Would you complain?

2. If you saw someone cruelly beating a dog in the street, would you interfere?

3. You are on a train in a no-smoking compartment. Someone lights a cigarette. Would you say anything?

4. Your boss introduces a silly rule at work. Would you object?

5. Do you find it difficult to walk away from people who are annoying or boring you?

6. Do you find yourself explaining and excusing the things that you do?

7. An acquaintance rings up and wants you to join a committee. You know it will be a boring waste of time. Would you have the courage to say `No, thank you' straight away?

8. Would you find it easy to reject unwanted advice offered by a relative?

9. In a shop, a salesman goes to a lot of effort on your behalf. Would you feel obliged to buy something even if you hadn't found what you wanted?

10. When you're on holiday do you waste time writing postcards to people you don't particularly like?

11. Do you buy Christmas cards and presents for people you don't really like - just because they buy cards and presents for you?

12. On the beach someone is playing the radio very loudly. Would you object?

13. A neighbour's dog is barking loudly. Would you call round to complain?

14. You don't understand something that your doctor says. Would you ask him to explain?

15. You are kept waiting to see someone even though you have an appointment. Would you object?

16. You want to buy two batteries, but the batteries you want are sold in threes. Would you ask the shop assistant to split a pack for you?

17. You are overcharged at a restaurant. Would you complain?

18. In a hotel the porter insists on carrying your bag to your room even though it is light and you don't need him. Would you tip him?

19. You order a rare steak in a restaurant. The waiter brings one that is well done. Would you complain?

20. An old lady pushes ahead of you in a queue. Would you politely but firmly insist on regaining your place?

21. You are on a diet. A friend insists on buying you a cake. Would you eat it?

22. Do you regularly find yourself tidying up after other people?

23. Someone you don't like makes a move to kiss you at a Christmas party. Would you accept the kiss?

24. Your doctor tells you that you have a serious illness for which there is no cure. Would you ask for a second opinion?

25. Are most of your decisions made for you by other people?

26. The telephone rings while you are making love. Would you answer it?

27. In a restaurant the service is poor. Would you still leave a tip?

28. Someone telephones just as you are sitting down to a meal. Would you ask them to call back later?

29. Do you invariably watch TV programmes that other people want to watch?

30. Do you ever find yourself lending things that you'd rather not lend - and regretting your action afterwards?

31. Would you complain if you thought that your bank had made a mistake?

32. Would you send back wine that tasted sour?

33. Do you write at least one letter of complaint every month?

34. If a policeman was rude to you, would you take his number and complain about him?

35. Do you usually get your own way?

36. Do you usually try to tell people what you think they want to hear rather than what you really feel?

37. Once you've made up your mind, do you usually stick to your decision?

38. Are you easily intimidated by authority?

39. Are you easily intimidated by people in uniform?

40. Have you ever asked to see the manager in a restaurant or hotel?

1. yes = 1 no = 0
2. yes = 1 no = 0
3. yes = 1 no = 0
4. yes = 1 no = 0
5. yes = 0 no = 1
6. yes = 0 no = 1
7. yes = 1 no = 0
8. yes = 1 no = 0
9. yes = 0 no = 1

10. yes = 0 no = 1
11. yes = 0 no = 1
12. yes = 1 no = 0
13. yes = 1 no = 0
14. yes = 1 no = 0
15. yes = 1 no = 0
16. yes = 1 no = 0
17. yes = 1 no = 0
18. yes = 0 no = 1
19. yes = 1 no = 0
20. yes = 1 no = 0
21. yes = 0 no = 1
22. yes = 0 no = 1
23. yes = 0 no = 1
24. yes = 1 no = 0
25. yes = 0 no = 1
26. yes = 0 no = 1
27. yes = 0 no = 1
28. yes = 1 no = 0
29. yes = 0 no = 1
30. yes = 0 no = 1
31. yes = 1 no = 0
32. yes = 1 no = 0
33. yes = 1 no = 0
34. yes = 1 no = 0
35. yes = 1 no = 0
36. yes = 0 no = 1
37. yes = 1 no = 0
38. yes = 0 no = 1
39. yes = 0 no = 1
40. yes = 1 no = 0

Total =

If you scored between 25 and 40:
You can stand up for yourself very well. You're certainly not the sort of person who gets pushed around. People who don't know you very well may regard you as being rude, overbearing or even boorish. But those who know you would probably say that you simply do not suffer fools and idiots very well. The higher your score, of course, the more assertive you are.

If you scored between 10 and 24:
You can look after yourself and stand up for yourself, but much of the time you are far too polite to say what you think. As a result people probably do take advantage of you.

If you scored 9 or less:
Your life is probably being run for you by other people. As a result you will probably suffer a great deal from frustration and hidden anger. These feelings can easily affect your physical health. You need to stand your ground and protect your territory with more vigour. You don't have to be rude or unpleasant. Start by learning to be honest. You'll gain self-respect - and the respect of others. If you don't want to do something, then say so. If you have reason to complain, then swallow hard and complain. The more you do it, the easier it will become. You'll be surprised to find that people soon treat you with far more consideration.

Copyright Vernon Coleman 2003