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Personal Rights You Are Entitled to this Valentine's Day, and every day

valentine's day

This Valentine's Day, let's talk about the personal rights you are entitled to today, and every day. By the end of this blog, you'll gain insight into the role personal rights play in assertiveness, as well as a clear understanding of the rights you deserve.

Assertive Communication

There are misconceptions surrounding assertive communication, with a belief, particularly among women, that assertiveness is undesirable. This perception is especially prominent among individuals with histories of abuse, who have been actively discouraged from asserting their rights and needs, resulting in violated personal boundaries and potential repercussions for standing up for themselves.

Assertiveness Meaning

Assertiveness entails advocating for one's personal rights and articulating needs and desires in a manner that honors both self-respect and consideration for others. It is important to differentiate assertiveness from nonassertive and aggressive behaviors.

Nonassertive Communication

In nonassertive behavior, an individual neglects or fails to directly express their personal rights, needs, and desires. This may manifest as passive or submissive behaviors, allowing others to infringe upon personal rights. Non-assertiveness often breeds feelings of hurt, resentment, anger, frustration, anxiety, and disappointment in self.

Agressive Communication

In aggressive behavior, an individual asserts personal rights at the expense of others, often through intimidation or bullying tactics. This behavior can range from manipulative actions to overt hostility, potentially escalating to threatening or inappropriate outbursts. Aggressiveness typically induces emotions of anger, fear, loss of control, and guilt.

Non-assertive and Aggressive Behavior

Individuals can exhibit both nonassertive and aggressive behaviors at different times, often in cyclical patterns. For instance, someone who struggles with being direct and setting boundaries may accumulate resentment and frustration. This emotional build-up, stemming from excessive compliance, can render them more susceptible to losing control. Reacting with anger or aggression in situations that don't necessarily warrant such a strong response may inadvertently trigger defensiveness and further escalation from others, precisely the outcome that the nonassertive individual seeks to avoid.

Assertive Behavior

Assertive behavior involves consistently advocating for one's rights in a manner that respects the rights of others. This approach tends to foster feelings of confidence and empowerment, potentially expanding one's opportunities and deeper connections built on honesty and trust within relationships.

Understanding Personal Rights

To cultivate assertive behavior and advocate effectively for personal welfare, individuals first need an understanding of personal rights.

What are personal rights

Personal rights are the entitlements that you possess by virtue of being human. They serve as the cornerstone of your autonomy, dignity, and self-respect. Yet, despite their significance, many of us struggle to assert our rights.

Personal Rights You Are Entitled to This Valentine's Day, and Every Day

Here is a list of 20 personal rights that you are entitled to. I encourage you to read them and reflect on your reaction to them.

  • You have the right to exist in a non-abusive environment.

  • You have the right to seek help or support.

  • You have the right to your own personal space and time.

  • You have the right not to justify yourself to others.

  • You have the right not to be accountable for someone else's actions, emotions, or issues.

  • You have the right not to predict the needs and desires of others.

  • You have the right not to constantly worry about the approval of others.

  • You have the right to opt not to react to a situation.

  • You have the right to request what you want.

  • You have the right to say no.

  • You have the right to express both positive and negative emotions.

  • You have the right to make mistakes.

  • You have the right to hold your own beliefs, principles, and morals.

  • You have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.

  • You have the right to change your mind and choose a different path.

  • You have the right to voice objections against unfair treatment.

  • You have the right to expect honesty.

  • You have the right to feel anger towards someone you care about.

  • You have the right to admit "I don't know."

  • You have the right to negotiate for change.

If you are interested in learning about therapy or would like to setup an appointment with Person to Person Psychotherapy, serving New Jersey & New York residents, call 908-224-0007 or email Amanda Frudakis-Ruckel, LCSW at


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