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Interpersonal Skills

Disclaimer: I am not a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Trainer but I do find value in the skills and incorporate aspects of the skills in my work. If you wish to learn these skills in depth, I recommend working with a DBT therapist.

Sometimes getting along with people can be hard whether it’s because you or someone you work with has impaired social skills or just that we all have different experiences and interests. DBT teaches several different forms of interpersonal effectiveness skills. The set I am focusing on today are the GIVE skills.

(Be) Gentle. It can be easy to go on the attack when we are feeling attacked ourselves. Nearly everyone is struggling with something. And even if their experiences are similar to yours, they may have experienced it in a different way. Sometimes, even when we are trying our best to engage with others respectfully, we can get caught up in the heat of the moment. “No attacks, no threats, no judging, no disrespect.”

(Act) Interested. Have you ever taken an effective listening class? Effective listening is the way we show people that we are interested. We may not share their interests or concerns but we can listen.

Validate. We don’t have to agree with someone or accept their behavior in order to validate them. However, you do need to try to understand where they are coming from. Sometimes we can validate with our words but invalidate with our actions.

(Use an) Easy Manner. Sometimes it’s OK to lighten the situation with humor and a smile.

Has this been helpful? Let me know!

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