This skill focuses on others to help build and maintain relationships.
We do this by balancing our own wants, needs, and desires with those of others.
Healthy relationships are grounded in validation and genuine interest.
This is the key to resolving conflicts.
Be honest, sincere, and real with others. Speak and act from your heart with caring words and actions. Use mindfulness to be fully present with others in the moment. Let others know that you value them and treat them with respect.
This comes from efforts to connect with people. Let others have the focus. Actively listen and pause to take space before responding. Ask questions and listen to the answers. Be mindful of your nonverbal communication. Nonverbals communicate a great deal of information to others, both intentionally and unintentionally. Nonverbally, interest is communicated by looking at the person, making appropriate eye contact, and keeping your posture open and relaxed.
Nonjudgmentally acknowledge the other person's feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and experience. This is "walking a mile in their shoes" and seeing life from their perspective. We validate when we find other people's truth and how their experiences make sense given their life circumstances and the situation. Remember to validate yourself too!
Treat others with kindness and a relaxed attitude. It also means not being heavy handed with our judgments, opinions, and viewpoints. Allow space for others. With boundary setting, we can always raise this intensity as needed. It is typically most effective to start with a relaxed and laid-back manner.
This skill teaches us assertiveness.
With DEAR MAN, we can ensure that our wants and needs are met more reliably.
We can also learn to say no, set boundaries, and negotiate when needed.
In this skill set, we can also build confidence and competence.
Outline the situation in nonjudgmental language. Just state the facts. Look specifically at the factors that will support your request, your reason for saying no, or your need for a boundary.
Share your opinions and feelings if they relate and will help others to understand the situation. Sometimes you may choose to not include this step.
Ask clearly for what you want or need, say no, or set your boundary. Establish your goals up front so you know what you want out of the situation. Work to be straight forward and matter of fact. This step is ESSENTIAL. Visualize your "superhero stance" in your head as you move into this phase. If this stage is skipped, no one will know what you want or need.
REWARD + REINFORCE
Let others know what is in it for them. How will meeting your wants and needs, accepting your refusal, or respecting your boundaries benefit the relationship? Focus on rewards and reinforcement over threats. Create opportunities for others to feel positive about their help and respect for you. Sometimes we need to discuss consequences instead of rewards, especially with setting appropriate boundaries. Be matter of fact. Avoid ultimatums that will box everyone in.
Use a "broken record" approach. Others will often try to change the subject or throw in comments to get you off track. Repeat your request or limits over and over again. Be aware when the broken record technique is not working and switch strategies accordingly.
Act as if you feel confident, even if you do not. Pretend you have the confidence you have seen someone else model. Use an assertive tone of voice, make eye contact, and use confident body language. Be mindful of your facial expressions and keep them neutral. Use nonverbal communication to your advantage. Write down and practice your skills, preferrably in a mirror, so that you can feel more confident in the actual situation.
This means that we strike compromises and are willing to give to get. Decide what compromises make sense if you cannot meet your desired goal. If you get stuck, turn the issue over to the other person for options to solve it. You can say "What do you think will work?" This is a dialectical strategy that can help you get your wants and needs met someplace in the middle. In some cases, negotiation might not be an option, such as with boundary setting.
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