DBT teaches different skills to self-check and modify our own behavior in the moment. These skills can mean the difference between connection and discomfort in everyday life. Below, find three easy-to-remember phrases that will help your social skills with minimal effort: DEAR MAN, GIVE, and FAST.
These 3 phrases can help people who have experienced:
- Difficulty making or keeping friends
- Autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
- Social anxiety
- Borderline personality disorder (BPD)
- Complex trauma (CPTSD)
- Fear of conflict
- Abusive relationships
- General uncertainty about the “right” way to behave in social situations
How can these DBT phrases help social situations feel easier?
These 3 mnemonic devices, or phrases that help us remember ideas, can help you shut down unhelpful thinking styles and keep your priorities straight in the moment. They can also help remind you what makes for effective communication, how to express yourself confidently, and how to respect others’ boundaries without fear.
You’ll want to familiarize yourself with these mnemonic tools by thinking about them outside of situations where you’ll need to use them–like when you’re alone. However, they can be used in the moment, while socializing, on the fly.
Until you remember them easily, try reminding yourself of these three phrases in the morning before work or school. As you repeat them to yourself, in minutes per day, you’ll start to use these tools more automatically. They will eventually become second-nature.
That means no more fretting about whether you’re over-asserting yourself or behaving in an off-putting way.
Need motivation? Here’s what others have to say…
“Muahahahah! I love my #DBT #superpowers! DEAR MAN you are my best friend.” – @Abi_redhead
“As someone who was a combative young person, with disabilities that weren’t visible, I can say that folks can turn that ego driven energy into something far more effective without sacrificing anything. DBT DEAR MAN GIVE FAST. If you know, you know!” – @Featherbrained
“Been using these #DBT #FAST skills left and right and up and down lately. :)” – @HealingFromBPD
“Another great way of putting mentalizing and validation into practice is the DBT GIVE skill.” – @Borderlineland
DEAR MAN: “The most effective way to make a request”
- Appear confident
GIVE: Healthy conversation-making checklist
- Easy manner
FAST: Boundaries and self respect in conversations
- Apologies / no apologies
- Stick to value
Helpful terms and resources
DBT: an acronym that stands for “dialectical behavior therapy.” “Dialectical” refers to logically assessing both sides of an idea or situation–DBT techniques are about finding balance in our behavior. It can help us avoid the extremes of always blaming ourselves or always taking our own side.