Saturday, February 29, 2020

Book Summary

The book I chose to read was â€Å"When I Say No, I Feel Guilty† by Manuel J. Smith. The first thing to stand out to me in this book was it seemed a little outdated. Even though the writing style and the examples appeared to be from a different era, I was still able to see how different points were relevant today and to me personally. This title screamed my name when I was browsing the list of choices because no matter what I am saying no to, I always feel guilty. From the first moment that we can feel and translate emotions, we have been manipulated by others. We have grown up under the sense that we should feel certain ways about particular actions. We forget to a chore when we are young, we should feel guilty. We bring a bad grade home on out report card, we should be scared of getting in trouble. Many activities are labeled either good or bad and we should portray emotions to match. As a manager, you should try to keep commands or statements neutral. A neutral statement is one that doesn’t assign the label of good or bad to a behavior so the recipient will not feel manipulated. Everyday, people try to manipulate you into doing what they want by making you feel nervous, uninformed, or blameworthy. If you let them push you around you will feel frustrated, angry or depressed. When you permit others to control your actions, you renounce your sense of personal responsibility. Smith states that the first step in fixing the situation is to know that â€Å"no one can manipulate your emotions or behavior if you don’t allow it to happen. † Also, following the Bill of Assertive Rights will help lead to non-manipulative relationships in all situations. The rights are the basis for all healthy relationships and are listed as: You have the right to judge your own behavior, thoughts and emotions, and to take the responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon yourself. You have the right to offer no reasons or excuses for justifying your behavior. You have the right to judge if you are responsible for finding solutions to other people’s problems. You have the right to change your mind. You have the right to make mistakes and be responsible for them. You have the right to say, â€Å"I don’t know†. You have the right to be independent of the goodwill of others before coping with them. You have the right to be illogical in making decisions. You have the right to say, â€Å"I don’t understand†. You have the right to say, â€Å"I don’t care†. The first right is the foundation of all of the remaining rights. When you become your own judge, you help to build a barrier against manipulation. Judgements should be based on your values and not external systems of what is right or wrong. People base their manipulative actions on the belief that you should live up to their rules. If you are accepting of this situation, you open yourself up to a limitless variety of manipulation. Criticism is a common tool people use to get someone to behave according to their standards. Reactions to criticism can be negative with anxiety, denial, and defensiveness. Learning to take criticism in a constructive manner helps to avoid manipulation. Verbal coping methods to help accept criticism effectively are fogging, negative assertion, and negative inquiry. Fogging is when you only agree to the truths in a statement and respond to what someone has specifically stated rather than what is implied. A negative assertion is statement that takes responsibility for something you have done wrong. It takes courage to make a negative assertion and say, I’m sorry. Last, using negative inquiry encourages the critic to reply assertively instead of manipulatively. This tactic is typically used to ask for additional information about a critique. There are also different types of relationships that fall into three categories, commercial, authority, and equality. Basic verbal skills used to minimize manipulation do not change as problems are handled throughout these different relationships. Commercial relationships are clearly defined with a contract. Since this type of relationship follows a defined structure an assertive verbal skill works most effectively. In an authority relationship there is one person in charge while the other is not. Authority based relationships emphasize finding compromises that grow on existing interpersonal dynamic. Both parties are equal in an equality relationship. This relationship is the most informal and tends to have everything open for discussion. Thoughtful open communication reassures people that you will not hinder their decision making, even if you may disagree. The main concept I took away from this book is, it’s my life and what happens in it is completely up to me! I will not cower when I face manipulation. My reactions to particular situations can pave the way for a disaster or a triumph. We must always be in touch with reality to promote our own well-being and happiness. We also have to accept the possibility that changing our mind is completely normal and healthy. Keeping the Assertive Bill of Rights in mind will help to stand up against manipulation and keep our dignity, self-respect, and control over our own behavior.

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