GETTING ON WITH OTHERS USING DBT
We have found that it is useful to notice what we're thinking, what body reactions we have, our emotions and the way we react behaviourally at times when we are feeling upset.
When communicating with other people, it helps to keep in mind not only what you are experiencing (thoughts, feelings, behaviours) but also what they might be experiencing, which might be similar, different, or completely opposite to your experience (and anywhere in-between!).
Just because you believe they are thinking something - maybe about you - that doesn't necessarily make it true - our minds are continually trying to make sense of our world, but our minds do not always get it right.
Our thoughts and emotions can get in the way of effective communication, and we can end up making things worse and messing things up.
This awareness of our own reactions, together with an understanding and
awareness of how the other person might be reacting (their thoughts,
feelings and responses) will give us important knowledge and help us to
respond in a more helpful and effective way.
We can learn to be more assertive and effective in communicating what we
really want to say, without upsetting the other person, and reduce
misunderstandings on both sides.
You can model yourself on that person - imagine them dealing with particular situations and how they would do it, what that would look like. Then imagine yourself acting in a similar way. Then do it.
Practice it often. Initially, it doesn't matter if you don't feel like being assertive, just practice it anyway. When you notice yourself acting aggressively or passively, just notice, then change your posture, expression and behaviour to as though you were being assertive. It works!
Go to the next page to learn more about being
Self Help Books
When I Say No, I Feel Guilty: How to Cope, Using the Skills of Systematic Assertive Therapy