We are continuing to review skill sets that are common to Dialectical Behavioral Therapy or DBT. Focusing on interpersonal skills help to meet our wants and needs, increase our ability to set effective boundaries, and to make and maintain positive relationships.
Today we will review a skill for Relationship Effectiveness. Today’s acronym is G-I-V-E or GIVE. It guides us to remind ourselves to be genuine, maintain interest, to validate, and to have an easy manner. Let’s review each of these in more detail.
By being genuine you are able to act authentically and be your true self. Sometimes we adapt ourselves to fit in, but it can conflict with our innermost values and lead to inner conflict.
By showing interest in a relationship we are allowing, and asking for, reciprocity in the relationship. This allows you and the other person to know that the relationship is a two way street which ensures that you both are able to contribute to the relationship. Showing interest can also be noticed through body language. Are you maintaining eye contact? Are you physically engaged or are you slouching and looking at your phone?
To validate in a relationship means that you acknowledge what you had heard with judgement or trying to fix the other person. You are focused on the other person and hearing their needs rather than pushing your agenda. It can be difficult not to offer an opinion but sometimes we just need to be heard. Have you felt that way before too?
Have an Easy Manner.
Lastly, maintaining an easy manner helps to have an effective relationship. An easy manner includes using humor (when appropriate), smiling, and being easy going. Rigidity in a relationship can go so far.
As always, we are here to answer your questions at Nourish Your Mind. Reach out to speak with a mental health professional if you find yourself wanting to improve relationships with others and also importantly with yourself!
Sara Pitcher, MS, MHC – Clinical Psychotherapist & Kundalini Yoga Instructor