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05/21/2011 05:40 AM

Lesson 36: Guidelines For Realtionship Effectivne


Lesson 36: Guidelines for Relationship Effectiveness: Keeping Your Respect for Yourself


Skills Training Manual for Treating BPD pages 82-83, 128, 132-133

Cyndi's Personal Class notes – April 13, 2005

“Don't Let Your Emotions Run Your Life”, Pages 157-158

In the DBT Class File section: Interpersonal Effectiveness Participants Guide Doc

Guidelines for Self-Respect Effectiveness: Keeping Your Respect for Yourself

Keeping Your Respect for Yourself

A way to remember the skills for self-respect effectiveness is to remember the word “FAST” (DEAR MAN, GIVE FAST):

(be) Fair

(no) Apologies

Stick to values

(be) Truthful

F (be) Fair. Be fair to yourself and the other person in your attempts to solve the problem. It is hard to like yourself over the long haul if you consistently take advantage of other people. You may get what you want, but at the risk of your ability to respect yourself. Scratch other's backs as much as they scratch yours. You may damage your self respect if you don't reciprocate. Others will notice how fair you are with them, so pay attention to this.

A (no) Apologies. When apologies are warranted, of course they are appropriate. But don't engage in over apologetic behavior. No apologizing for being alive, for making a request at all. No apologies for having an opinion, for disagreeing.

Apologies imply that you are wrong -- that you are the one making a mistake. This can reduce your sense of self-efficacy over time.

[ Like telling a lie, making apologies can at times enhance relationship effectiveness.

The need to enhance the relationship must be balanced with the need to enhance self-respect.

Excessive apologies, however, often get on other people's nerves and usually reduce both the relationship and self-respect effectiveness.

S S tick to values. Don't sell out your values or integrity just to get your objective or keep a person liking you. Be clear on what, in your opinion, is the moral or valued way of thinking and acting, and hold on to your position.

[ When a situation is dire, or lives are at stake, people might choose to give up their values. The problem is that borderline individuals often have black-and-white views on this issue: Either they are willing to sell out everything to get approval and liking (to give up their entire “self,” it seems), or they interpret everything as an issue of values and view flexibility of any sort as giving up their integrity.

Don't be quiet just to avoid being judged or sounding dumb. Let others know where you're coming from and don't change your mind on moral or value issues without good reason. Be careful not to confuse flexibility with a lack of integrity. You can hold opinions different from others and still respect and be respected in a spirit of true tolerance.

T (be) Truthful. Don't lie, nor act helpless when you are not, or exaggerate. A pattern of dishonesty over time erodes your self-respect. Even though one instance may not hurt, dishonesty as your usual mode of operating and getting what you want can not fail to be harmful over the long run.

[ Acting helpless is the opposite of building mastery.

[ At times, being honest may actually reduce relationship effectiveness. The “little white lie” was invented for just this reason.

The crucial idea is that if one is going to lie, it should be done mindfully rather than habitually.

Self-respect effectiveness and objectives effectiveness.

It is important to remember that no one can take away your self-respect unless you give it up. Using ‘DEAR MAN' can improve self-respect by increasing a sense of mastery. So it is good to practice these skills.

[ But you can also enhance self-respect by giving up things you want for the welfare of the other person.

Using ‘DEAR MAN' effectively sometimes leads to a loss of self-respect for the other person.

[ Balancing what you want and what the other person wants and needs might be the best path to self-respect.

Self-respect effectiveness and relationship effectiveness.

[ Most people's sense of self-respect is somewhat dependent on the quality of their relationships.

Thus, using ‘GIVE' skills well will probably enhance your sense of self-respect.

[ However, if you only use ‘GIVE' skills with a person who is abusive with you or doesn't care about you -- always validating the other person, being interested, using an easy manner, and never threatening no mater what the other person does -- your self-respect is likely to erode over time.

[ Using ‘GIVE' skills when they are needed, and putting them away when harshness and boldness are necessary, might be the best path to self-respect.

Further Reading

The importance of the wants-to-shoulds ratio was first discussed by Marlatt and Gordon (1985). "Relapse prevention: Maintenance strategies in the treatment of addictive behaviors", New York: Guilford Press.

The idea for the four DEAR skills (describe, express, assert, reinforce) was taken from the “DESC scripts” (describe, express, specify, consequence) of Bower, G. and Bower, S. (1980). Their excellent self-help book is very compatible with DBT and can be used by participants. "Asserting yourself: A practical guide for positive change", Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.


Guidelines for Self Respect Effectiveness:

Keeping Your Respect for Yourself

A way to remember these skills is to remember the word "FAST" (DEAR MAN, GIVE FAST).

(be) FAIR




(be) Fair Be fair to YOURSELF and to the OTHER person.

(no) Apologies No OVERLY apologetic behavior. No apologizing for being alive, for making a request at all. No apologies for having an opinion, for disagreeing.

Stick to values Stick to YOUR OWN values. Don't sell out your values or integrity for reasons that aren't very important. Be clear on what you believe is the moral or valued way of thinking and acting, and "stick" to your guns.

(be) Truthful DON'T LIE, ACT HELPLESS when you are not, or EXAGGERATE. Don't make up excuses.

Other ideas: ____________________________________________________________ _

____________________________________________________________ __________

HOMEWORK: Describe an example where you used the FAST skills.


05/21/2011 06:13 AM
Posts: 3414
Group Leader

I definitely used to be an over-apologizer, especially when it came to work. I had a boss at the last place I worked one night when I apologized for not getting as much done as I wanted to tell me "Stop being so hard on yourself. You work harder than almost everyone else and your department looks better than theirs at the end of the night even when you think it looks like crap".

I also used to give up what I thought was right or not say what I thought in order to "fit in" or because I didn't want to sound or look stupid. I didn't want to try new things or put myself in a position where I may face any sort of rejection. I now have myself trained to think "If they say no/laugh/don't agree, etc what's the worst that will happen?". Will I die, be injured, scareed for life? No!


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