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4.2 out of 5 stars60
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 7 September 2010
I read and then studied this book over 20 years ago. Since then I have looked at similar works that are more complex sometimes using more oblique terms and concepts. This remains in my humble opinion the most useful and practical work on improving a person's ability to effectively communicate and cope with others at all ages in life.

As a means of lessening anxiety in social situations this work if practiced and made part of your way of behaving will greatly improve your ability to get along with people.

Even if your a confident, mostly non anxious person, an indepth study of this work with a lot of practice will bring an even greater sense of being able to cope with most social situations.

It covers all aspects of conflict resolution in peer groups, be it with family, friends, fellow workers, between kids, between you and your kids.

It shows you how to do what you want, if not all the time, then at least some of the time no matter who are dealing with or what the situation may be.

It is not about control as you can't control anyone without bullying. It is about confidently using your human ability to cope and adapt and ultimately to verbally communicate with other people in an effective way that leaves you feeling and knowing you were not manipulated emotionally or bullied.

Remember this is about social, mostly civilized situations, not for when dealing with nutters or muggers.
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on 13 August 1999
Many years have passed since I first bought and read Dr. Smith's revolutionary book. I have never found any techniques so universally applicable for dealing with people who don't care about fairness or my feelings. I have successfully used the broken record and fogging techniques to deal with manipulative relatives who want to tell me what to do "to help me" and self-disclosure and the broken record to convince store employees to accept back defective merchandise even if their store policy "doesn't allow" them to do this! This book taught me how to stand up for myself and stop trying to solve everyone else's problems (the store's agreement with a manufacturer or distributor)and focus on getting what I have paid for. I am smiling as I write this because I have just returned from a trip to a major toy retailer whose store manager refused to take back a defective stroller "because you don't have the box." Needless to say, after using Dr. Smith's methods, the manager gave me full credit on my credit card within fifteen minutes. I never needed to become unpleasant or raise my voice. Dr. Smith should be cannonized by the "doormats" of the world. You will be doing yourself a favor if you buy this book!
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on 11 August 2009
Take a trip back to the 1970s, when leisure suits, long sideburns and "assertiveness training" were all the rage. Psychologist Manuel J. Smith was a pioneer in the life-changing assertiveness training movement. Reading his bestseller about it decades later adds a new perspective. Some of his advice still feels relevant, particularly when he urges you to beware of those who try to impose their standards of "right" and "wrong" to manipulate you. Smith lists your 10 "assertive rights," the most important being the right to be the ultimate judge of your own behavior. He details several verbal techniques you can use to block manipulation, and encourage productive communication and negotiation. He supports each tactic with sample dialogues from real-life situations. Although some of his counsel may seem as dated as disco, getAbstract recommends his classic training manual to anyone who still feels guilty about saying "no!"
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VINE VOICEon 18 April 2009
I've had this book for many years, and had cause yesterday to refer to it for advice for a friend. She had accepted a social invitation which she then regretted and still had time to change her mind but was afraid of offending the person concerned.

Although I was able to find the relevant chapter and quote to her the advice for extricating herself (which she has now had the confidence to do) I realised that it's not that easy to locate what you are looking for, and that the book can be a bit unnecessarily wordy. But it does give good "case studies" and examples, and explains why we react the way we do, and how we can change our behaviour.

It has certainly helped me deal with a troublesome and assertive person who I realised was manipulating me into situations that were making me unhappy. I have now learnt to deal with this in a polite and pleasant way so we are still friends but she no longer dictates to me.

I would recommend this book for anyone who is fearful of offending others and for those who want to learn how to insist on their rights without losing their temper.
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on 15 June 2001
This books gave me a completely different prospective on communicating with other people. In a moment in my life when I was desperate to rise to the heights of sophisticated office politics and "fit" into them I learned that there are other ways to realise my goals and achieve what I want - and a better and simpler. This book is about being assertive, non-manipulative and not allowing to be manipulated either. Once you understand the concept it is brilliant and simple - and applies universally in all life situations. Although I thought that some of the examples of personal liberty provided by the author were somewhat extreme - this only proves the point of the book about not doing what you "should", i.e. don't take it as a literate instruction how to solve your problems.
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on 4 June 2005
This book really helped me with being assertive. I didn't really think I needed much help in this area as I thought I was quite an assertive person except when it comes to asking for money back from close friends but this book was enlightening. I found some of the concepts really hard to accept and I realised how appologetic I am when the situation does not require. I couldn't put this book down, I found it so helpful. I highly recomend this book to everyone, even if you think you are assertive. It is an enlightening, well written book and absolutly everyone should have a copy.
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on 27 November 2010
I work as a substitute teacher (perhaps a good Freudian would say I have a death wish!) :) I enjoy the work, but as you can guess, I get a lot of backtalk from students. I probably would have gone crazy if it had not been for this book. I've found the 10 "Assertive Rights" and the assertive techniques that Dr. Smith gives to be invaluable in dealing with the students. I wish I could say that I can quiet them down and make them behave every time, but at least I can keep some semblance of my OWN sanity intact!

Although it is easy, entertaining and fun to read, it still requires serious concentration and commitment to read. Dr. Smith is basically a behaviorist and if you change your behavior following his instructions, you'll find things changing for the better. Not only can it help you in your dealings with other people, it can also help in becoming more comfortable with yourself. As a somewhat sensetive person, I've found this to help greatly in social situations where I'm not sure if a person "really" was teasing or not.

Each reader has to tailor the techniques to fit his/her own situation, but I've found it to be flexible and useful.

It is definitely worth reading.
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on 19 April 2012
Very helpful way of looking at root causes of lack of assertiveness
coupled with insightful, simple to understand and easy to practice techniques
to combat this failing and deal successfully with manipulative characters in everyday situations.
Well worth the money because it offers a life changing and life affirming
set of learnable techniques that in my opinion definitely work and are proven to do so.
For all this it is also a very fun and pleasant read.
A must have reference book for the genuine and kind amongst us to have in our armour.
Highly Recommend.
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on 24 June 2010
This is a great assertiveness training book. Very clear, non-nonsense advice that I've taken to heart and am now getting used to as a means of being authentic in myself. I wish I had read it years ago instead of waiting until now.
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on 27 September 2010
This is an excellent book and very, very inspiring and very practical with a lots and lots of useful examples of how the techniques can be used. My only criticism is that the print in this version is very small.
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