Bower and Bower put the problem of non-assertiveness into perspective, relating it to self-esteem and anxiety. They then lay out a systematic program for increasing assertive behavior. They make extensive use of probing questions to help you work out a plan of action that is personally relevant. They also provide sample verbal scripts for numerous common situations that typically call for assertive behavior. Among situations they cover are requesting a raise, saying "no" to unreasonable demands, protesting unjust criticism, dealing with a substance abuser, pointing out annoying habits, and dealing with the silent treatment. They devote a full chapter to the role of assertive behavior in developing friendships -- initiating and ending conversations, keeping conversations going, making dates, self-disclosure, listening, and coping with social anxieties. The book is smoothly written in a nonpatronizing tone. Overall, a great read.