Understanding and living by your rights as a human being sets you free. Living in those rights is the beginning of a new day. These rights can be given to you only by yourself. They are not guaranteed by law, by contract or by any formal body They are rights you grant only to yourself out of recognition that:
1. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to decide your own behavior and thoughts: to offer no reasons or excuses to justify them.
2. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to decide what is good for you. You have the right to use your own judgement in deciding which needs are the most important for you to meet.
3. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to be wrong. To expect you will be right all the time is unrealistic. You do not need to be perfect and it is OK to make mistakes. Do you feel guilty even when you've done nothing wrong?
4. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to say "I don't know or I don't understand." You may feel you must anticipate or feel what others are feeling. You have the right not to be able to read another's mind. Others may try to manipulate you by making you feel guilty. For example, you're "wrong" or you "should understand what I am feeling".
5. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to be the final judge of what you do, how you think, who you are. There are always consequences to your actions.
6. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to do what works for you. Everyone is different and you have the right to be different. What works for someone else may not work for you.
7. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to judge, to decide whether you are responsible for another person's problems and for finding solutions to those problems. You do not have to take the blame for their actions "you made me do it." Do not accept that. They are accountable for their actions just as you are accountable for your actions.
8. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to be inconsistent and illogical. You do not need to justify your decisions or actions. You have the right to make no excuses.
9. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to not please everyone.
10. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to change your mind.
11. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to make mistakes and be responsible for consequences. You do not have to be perfect.
12. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to be independent of the goodwill of others. You do not need others to agree with you. An example is a spouse makes it very clear that he/she will not like you if there is conflict.
13. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to say, "No!" If someone loads something, work, an attitude, anything on you, you don't have to accept it.
14. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT not to care and to say, "I don't care." You have the right to not care if you aren't perfect based on their version of "perfect"; if your hair is too short and someone wants it longer, or if it's too long and someone wants it shorter.
15. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to take your time (as much as necessary) in replying to other people's questions and requests.
16. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to need and ask for help.
17. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to decide that your needs are as important as the needs of other people.
18. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to ask that your opinions be given the same respect and consideration as others are given.
19. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to ask that you be treated as a capable human adult and not be patronized.
20. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to maintain your self-respect no matter how you are treated by others. Remarks meant to insult or humiliate you, criticisms, rejections, even mental or physical assault, do not have to damage your opinion of yourself.
21. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to whatever feelings you have. Your feelings belong to you, and there is never a right or wrong way to feel about any particular situation, you feel what you feel. Period.
22. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT to choose not to exercise any of these rights (except #2, 20, and 21) without losing self-esteem in any situation where something important to you is at risk. (The 3 exceptions are private ways of thinking about yourself and therefore not subject to outside interference.)
© Copyright 2001 LifeSkills International
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