These are 3 situations of non-assertive behavior:
1. Sally walks into a local fitness center to activate a free trial. She checks in at the front desk and a customer service representative welcomes her warmly. She goes on to an elliptical machine and works up a sweat. She goes on to pick up free weights and works out her arms.The customer service representatives watch her as she works out and since she appears to be having a good time, some of the representatives ask her if she would like to start a membership with the fitness center. She says that “I need to think about and get back to you.” For the next several days, the customer service representatives continue to ask her about staring a membership. Sally has deep concerns about money but the representatives continue to tell her that if she joins the club, then she could save more money than if she wasn’t a member. She joins without saying what she was really thinking;She didn’t want to join but her non-assertiveness behavior keeps her from speaking her mind.
2. Miranda gets off the train station to get back home from a karaoke outing with friends. Unfortunately, not only is it nighttime but she feels very sick and feels unsafe about sitting alone at a bus stop to go home so she goes into a medical center across the street instead to rest in the pharmacy. A security guard there tells her that there is a lot of foot traffic and encourages her to leave because she is just resting there without explanation. She fails to tell him that she is having a really bad headache at the time. She leaves but returns because her headache was getting worse. She ends up lying down on the chairs and falling asleep.
3. Jessica and Cindy volunteer at the Red Cross. Blood donors are asked to register themselves so that they can be called in for eligibility to donate that day. After a successful donation, blood donors are encouraged to stay in the refreshment/recovery area for 15 minutes to ensure that they are feeling well enough to go home. Cindy has the same duties as Jessica but Jessica tends to “butt in” on Cindy when it is clear that Cindy is already performing that specific task.. They are expected to complement each other on registration and refreshment table duties. Unfortunately, Jessica usurps Cindy on both the computer registration and refreshment table which greatly annoys Cindy. Cindy doesn’t tell Jessica that she is annoyed and does not want to make a scene.
In the three example situations, I want to stress that it’s very important to be assertive from the start. In each case the protagonist learned the hard way by choosing to be non assertive and not speaking up for himself/herself. In example 1, Sally should have told the customer service representatives in the the first place that she wasn’t interested in starting a membership at the fitness center. In example 2, Miranda should have told the security guard that she was having a bad headache so that he could get her a taxi to get home or lead her to medical personnel. In the third example, Cindy should have told Jessica that she would have liked to do the computer registration alone as she is quite capable of handling all registration duties by herself.
With a lot of practice and patience, one can be a very assertive person. If Sally, Miranda and Cindy can do it, so can you.
Red Cross Website
Kaiser Foundation website