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Assertive Bill of Rights

Quoted from “The Gaslighting Recovery Workbook: Healing from Emotional Abuse” by Amy Marlow-MaCoy, LPC, Rockridge Press, 2020


Adapted from Manuel J. Smith’s “A Bill of Assertive Rights” (1975).



I have the right to judge my own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, independent of anyone else’s assessment of them.


I have the right to my thoughts and feelings without needing to justify or apologize for them.


I have the right to determine whether I share responsibility for finding solutions to someone else’s problems, and to act accordingly.


I have the right to change my mind.


I have the right to say “no” without feeling guilty.


I have the right to make mistakes and the responsibility to address them when they occur.


I have the right to say “I don’t know.”


I have the right to say “I don’t care.”


I have the right to take up physical, mental, and emotional space.


I have the right to feel compassion for someone without being responsible for fixing them.


I have the right to make the best choice for me, even if this choice is not what someone else would prefer.


I have the right to form my own set of values, moral code, and ethics independent of others.


I have the right to disengage or choose not to engage with persons who are hurtful to me.


I have the right to walk away from a toxic relationship, no matter what kind.


I have the right to be my own person, with all the unique and special individualities that make me different from every other person in the world.


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