Coming into the interpersonal effectiveness part of my DBT skills group, another area I really struggle with. Yes I can be nice, polite and many people think that’s who I am, however I can also be argumentative, blunt, blatantly honest and determined to be right. Some of these qualities/methods of communication are more a hindrance when it comes to maintaining relationships.

Maintaining relationships requires self-respect, balance and acceptance. 

DEAR MAN is an acronym in DBT that is used to help you be effective in asserting yourself ur rights and wishes. Sometimes this can be difficult to do without coming across as bossy, rude or blaming.

This is how it works:

DESCRIBE the current situation without judgement.

EXPRESS your feelings and opinions.

ASSERT yourself by asking for what you want.

REINFORCE the person ahead of time by explaining positive effects of getting what you want or need.

MINDFUL keep focus on yourself ur goals, don’t be distracted or go off topic.

APPEAR CONFIDENT appear effective and competent. Make eye contact, no stammering, staring at the floor or whispering. Use a strong, confident voice.

NEGOTIATE be willing to give to get. Turn the problem over to the other person. Ask for solutions.

I found this skill particularly useful when writing to my father but am yet to receive a reply. I found it particularly helpful to have a structure to follow to keep my correspondence short and meaningful.