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Standing Up For Your Rights


Techniques Assertiveness > Standing Up For Your Rights

Description | Example | Discussion | See also



Standing up for your rights starts with knowing that you have the same rights as everyone else. It then means responding to situations where those rights are being compromised.

Remind others who are contravening your rights that you have those rights.

Refuse to do things that you are being asked to do that you do not want to do.

When you are not being respected, demand that others treat you with respect.

When others are pursuing you or otherwise giving you unwanted attention, tell them that you do not want their company.

Know that you can call upon others to help you defend your rights.


No, I am not going to work overtime. I need to see my family.

Leave me alone. You are invading my privacy.

There are people outside making a lot of noise. Please can you come and deal with this disturbance.


You have basic rights as a human an a member of civilized society, as do all others. Within any country you have legal rights, and there is a whole legal system there to protect those rights, including your right to call upon that system for support. The same effect happens at work, where you are protected both by employment law and company regulations.

General rights include:

  • Having individual needs and want.
  • Having individual opinions.
  • Feeling and expressing emotions.
  • Asking others to do things (but not demanding).
  • Being heard by others who listen to what you have to say.
  • Being able to say no without feeling guilty.
  • Being able to try new things and make mistakes.
  • Standing up for the rights of other people.

Rights at work include:

  • Knowing what is expected of you, and what 'success' means.
  • To have a say in what you are asked to do.
  • Being told when you are performing below expectations and having the opportunity to improve.
  • To be allowed to get on with your job without constant interruption.
  • To choose aspects of how you work.
  • To arrive and go home at reasonable times.
  • To give others feedback on their performance.
  • To be consulted about decisions that affect you.
  • Not being harassed or stalked.

It is typical of passive behavior that the person involved gives away their rights or assumes that they have less than others. At the other extreme, the aggressive person denies the rights of others.

See also

Saying what you want

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