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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 9 September 2005
The lower number of stars given by other reviewers appears to be by way of comment on self-help books in general rather than this particular one. I think that is a great shame because it gives a misleading impression of the quality of this book.
The topic is covered thoroughly, addressing all the issues that I had encountered with the problem and alerting me to several more than I hadn't even recognised in myself but once pointed out were clearly present. It then provides an understanding and intelligent account of how and why the issues come about and most importantly, ways to deal with them.
It isn't a book that you can read and the problem is solved. It involves putting the ideas into practice and that takes effort and time. However, even after the first read I felt supported and more confident, just by understanding the problem. It made sense of issues that I had previously spent a long time piecing together and had still not understood and it is clear that the author has a deep understanding of the problem and significant experience in dealing with it.
I have sent copies to most of my close friends as it is so comprehensive as to be useful even to people who are, on the face of it, quite assertive and confident.
I also recommend it equally, despite the title, for men as well as women.
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on 12 January 2008
I had to read this book before attending an assertiveness course at work run by the author

The book and the course inspired me to change my job (not what my employers had in mind by sending me on it I imagine)
move house 200 miles, join a gym and lose 2 stone in weight
and learn to say no which is why i went on the course in 1st place

The book is not a classic introspective self help guide - it helped me to make difficult decisions by better understanding what types of people I surrounded myself with/ was surrounded by and how very differently I was able to deal with different types of people over similar issues. I achieved more consistency in my reactions to people and events and I
other people's positive reactions to this helped consolidate this

READ IT! Men as well as women.
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on 26 May 2009
I love this book. The author lists 11 basic rights. For some people they might seem self-evident but they weren't in my case and putting them into practice changed my view of being in the world quite profoundly.

The rights are:
I have the right to state my own needs and set my own priorities as a person independent of any roles that I may assume in my life
I have the right to be treated with respect as an intelligent capable and equal human being
I have the right to express my feelings
I have the right to express my opinions and values
I have the right to say "yes" or "no" for myself
I have the right to make mistakes
I have the right to change my mind
I have the right to say I don't understand
I have the right to have the right to ask for what I want
I have the right to decline responsibility for other people's problems
I have the right to deal with others without being dependent on them for approval

In relating to other I can be
Passive - giving up my rights
Aggressive - forcing other to give up their rights
Indirect - manipulating others to get what I want
Assertive - Ensuring that my rights are respected as well as respecting the rights of others

I could quote whole passages from the book but if you only wanted to read one chapter then it would have to be, `Saying No'. In my experience being assertive has helped me state who I am as well as acknowledge differences in others. I find it a "a way of being" that genuinely honours both myself and the other person or group I am dealing with.
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on 14 October 2001
I couldn't put this book down! My life has changed dramatically since reading it - I now have the respect of peers and family and I can't thank Anne Dickson enough!
This book is written so well that even the most abused doormat of a woman will want to change - all women will see themselves amongst the pages.
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on 12 April 2003
I bought this book on a recommendation from a councellor. She said that dispite the title it was useful for men as well as women.
Having read it, I have to say that of all the Self Help/assertiveness books I've seen it's probably the best. However that's not saying much. Like many such books it's very focused on the idea that all that's needed for you to become happier and more assertive is that you change yourself. Such a view may work in many situations but it's not the universal panacea it's made out to be, sometimes the root cause of the problem is outside yourself. For example I have yet to see such a book competantly deal with a situation where there is an unequal power relationship, where no matter how asseritve you try to be if the other person is set in their ideas then you're stuck with what they say. Sometimes it's not a failure to just walk out.
If you're going to buy a Self Help book then by this one, but realize that it's not a guarenteed solution.
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on 18 July 2005
I was recommended this book when I was attending counselling sessions for depression a few years ago, and found it a geat help.
A few of the author's suggestions seem a little out-dated and take on a rather 80s feminist slant, but aside from that, the book really does have some great, down-to-earth advice. I have already recommended it to countless friends in need of a pick-me-up. Read this book, and take it all in, to get back the self respect that you deserve!
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on 7 May 2009
I was recommended this book by a counsellor at university and it has made such a difference to my life. It covers so many areas that you are bound to find a range of situations with which you can identify. I'm now going to buy copies for my friends as well!
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on 24 November 2008
Written in an easy and reader friendly style, Ann Dickson's guide to developing your assertiveness is a seminal work. The first of its kind and still highly relevant and the best. Recognise yourself in its pages and discover how to stand more in your own ground and create your life rather than let others do it for you!
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on 12 July 2010
Having read many "self-help" books over the past few years, this was the one that really defined my problem - I'm a doormat! Or, at least, I was in the past! I have been trying for some time to stop being a doormat and now that Anne Dickson has so clearly described the doormat-type, how she behaves and how to counteract this ingrained behaviour I feel so much better armed for the fight. However, one thing Anne says, that many self-help books say, is to use repetition - I'm not sure whether this works or not. I usually find that when someone is trying to use me as a doormat I get so flustered I can't think straight, let alone talk straight, let alone stick doggedly to one apt phrase! But perhaps this is just one more thing I need to work on! All in all, I found this book very easy to read and very helpful. I would recommend it to anyone who feels in need of a bit of help to sort their life out.
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on 29 September 2016
I have purchased this book time and time again over the past 20 years and give the out to my counselling clients,usually not getting them back! So you can imagine how pleased I am to obtain good quality second hand books,posted out speedily and at a brilliant price!
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