Dr. B's Blog


I used to blog my DBT-U class and this is an entry that I have heard is particularly helpful to people. I thought I’d repost it here just to give people more exposure to it.

For homework we reviewed some of the myths and challenges to those myths as well as cheerleading statements in the Interpersonal Effectiveness section. These worksheets were on pages 118 and 119. We again went through some of the challenges and while we were in class, we had several people help one another out with some convincing challenges.

After the break, we covered a lot of material. The new material started on page 121 and went through 126. First we talked about factors to help you determine the intensity of your response to a situation (either asking for something or saying no to a request). The thing to remember with this is that you need to vary your intensity based on a number of factors:

  1. Priorities: What are my priorities in this situation?
    • Are my objectives very important (increase intensity)?
    • Is my relationship weak? (reduce intensity)
    • Is my self-respect on the line (increase intensity)?
  2. Capability:
    • Is the person capable of giving me what I want? If yes, ask more strongly.
    • Do I have what the person wants? If no, say “no” more strongly.
  3. Timeliness: Is this a good time to ask?
  4. Homework: Have I done my homework? Do I know all the facts to support my request?
  5. Authority: Am I responsible for this situation? Does the person have authority over me?
  6. Rights: Is the person required by law or morality to give me what I want? Am I required to give them what they want?
  7. Relationship: Is the request appropriate to our relationship?
  8. Reciprocity: What have you done for me lately? What have I done for you?
  9. Long versus short-term: Will being assertive or acquiescing to the request help or hurt my long term goals? What about my short-term ones?
  10. Respect: Do I usually do things for myself? Am I careful to avoid asking for help or seeming helpless when I can?

These are things to consider when trying to weigh the intensity of asking for things or saying no. You can find more complete examples and explanation on page 121-122.

We then went into some suggestions for practice (this was also the homework). You can find these examples on page 123 in your book. The homework was to try to do one “easy” thing on the list and one “hard” thing to do. It might help to rank order each item 1-3, with 1 being easy and 3 being hard.

Finally, we talked about DEAR MAN. This is the first of many acronyms we’ll use to help you remember what we talked about in class. You use DEAR MAN when you’re making a request or trying to say no. It’s a nice framework to help you remember an effective way to do this. Remember that you don’t always have to use each thing in every situation, but it helps to do them all if you’re not sure.

D: Describe the situation.
E: Express how you feel about it.
A: Assert your request.
R: Reinforce the other person for giving you what you want.

M: Stay mindful.

  • Be a broken record
  • Ignore attacks

A: Appear confident.
N: Negotiate if needed.

It was a very full class, as you could see. We’ll continue talking about Interpersonal Effectiveness next week.