In these four situations, it’s important to show some spine. Here’s how to do it.

A Colleague Steals Credit For Your Work

Approach him in private, says Jeff Davidson, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Assertiveness. Say, “Hey, John, I just don’t understand the leap you made on this. Remember back on 18 September, when I suggested the idea?” Citing specifics will discourage him from pleading ignorance.

Your Internet Service Has Been Down For A Week

Review your contract first. “Without knowing what you’re owed, you’re on a wing and a prayer,” Edelman says. Davidson’s suggested intro to customer service is, “I realise you didn’t create the problem, but I want you to know I’m extremely upset. How can we resolve this today?”

You’re Rear-Ended In Traffic

Preparation goes a long way here. In addition to your registration and insurance information, make sure you travel with your camera phone or a disposable camera. “By the time you’ve taken nine or 10 photos of the damage, the other party will have a strong indication that you know what you’re doing,” Davidson says.

A Coach Shouted At Your Child On The Field

Away from Junior, say, “Excuse me, but I noticed you seemed to be agitated over something when you were speaking to my kid,” Edelman suggests. “I would prefer to be involved in this if it ever happens again.” You’ll put the coach on notice and set a good example – you’ve taken a stand without blowing your lid.