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Interpersonal Effectiveness

In DBT, Interpersonal Effectiveness refers to communication and social skills which help us to:

  • Attend to relationships
  • Balance priorities versus demands
  • Balance the 'wants' and 'shoulds'
  • Build a sense of mastery and self-respect

Gaining Our Objective
In order to increase our effectiveness in dealing with other people, we need to:

  • Clarify what we want from the interaction - be as specific about that as you can
  • Identify what we need to do in order to get the results we want

See also:  The Decider Skills for Self Help online course


 - helping us gain our objective
Describe the current situation
Express your feelings and opinions
Assert yourself by asking for what you want, or by saying no
Reward the person - let them know what they will get out of it
Mindful of objectives without distraction (broken record technique, ignoring attacks)
Appear effective and competent (role play, use your acting skills)
Negotiate alternative solutions

The Relationship

How important is this relationship for me?
What do I want this person to feel about me after this interaction?
What do I need to do, in order to keep this relationship?

Keeping the Relationship - GIVE
Gentle manner without attack or threat
Interest in the other person
Validate the other person without judging
Easy manner (with a little humour?)

Self - Respect
What do I want to feel about myself after this interaction?
What do I have to do in order to feel that way about myself?

Keeping to your self-respect - FAST

Fair to myself and others
No Apologies for being alive
Stick to values (not do anything I'll regret later)
Truthful without excuses or exaggeration

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