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How To: Use DBT Skill: DEAR MAN to Communicate Effectively

Uncomfortable emotions and/or a general lack of skill to put thoughts and feelings into perspective- let alone words- often get in the way of communicating effectively.

DBT Skill: DEAR MAN teaches how to communicate effectively. These skills may be used to communicate wants/needs, as well as set boundaries to safeguard relationships. 

As you practice implementing these skills, you will feel better prepared to navigate difficult situations and create positive outcomes through communication that is effective and goal-directed. 


DEAR (reminds us of what to say)

MAN (reminds of how to say)

Describe- Describe the situation/request in the simplest way using facts. 

Express- Express how you are feeling about the situation using “I” language. Say “I feel…” when expressing your feelings for accountability and ownership. 

Assert- Assert yourself. This is where you simply ask for what you want/need or say “no.” Do not apologize for making a request or saying no. 

Reinforce- Reinforce the message you are conveying. Stand firm in your request or “no.”

Mindful- Mindfulness of your tone and body language while communicating. 

Appear confident- Appear confident through upright posture and maintaining eye contact. You must believe you deserve to have your wants/needs met-to be willing to receive. 

Negotiate- Negotiate with the other person. Remember you are not demanding, you are asking. You may need to compromise and find a solution that works for the both of you. 

Give Amy Wine Counseling a call at 832.421.8714 if you have any questions about our therapy services or if you would like to schedule an appointment.


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