There are times when we are unable to say ‘no’ to any person. Rather at times, it is difficult for us to give feedback too! As a consequence, this struggle while communicating our needs, hamper us in many ways. This constant fear of expressing, hamper our mental health, personal and professional life.
And if you think you are caught in this turmoil. Then you must apply a conversational technique called DEAR MAN. DEAR Man skills are a great medium to strike communication. It helps in expressing our wants, dislikes while maintaining a healthy relationship.
The DEAR MAN strategy has seven steps to help you through problems. It is a part of Dialectical Behavior Therapy DBT developed by Marsha Linehan. So, without wasting any moment, let’s explore the seven steps of the DEAR MAN strategy.
The Steps of DEAR MAN Communication Technique
1. ‘D’ stands for describe
While describing, make use of ‘facts’ alone. Don’t elaborate on unnecessary things. Emphasize on issues that you disagree with!
This the first step to convey your thoughts concisely. While doing so, do not include any assumptions and complicate. Also, do not drift away from the main problem. Instead, focus and describe to the other person what you want. While doing so, don’t leave the conversation with too many questions. Be clear while playing with words.
2. ‘E’ stands for express
Unless you don’t express, people will never understand your mindset. Explain how things are affecting you personally and professionally.
It is very important to express yourself in an upright manner. Shyness has many adverse effects. Instead, a study highlighted that shyness can lead to loneliness and social anxiety. So, express yourself without any fear. Strike an effective communication with the facial expression, gesture, tone of voice that highlight your request. And while doing all this, maintain a balance between your expressiveness. Don’t become over-expressive spoiling the happy medium. Remember to control your emotions in the best possible way.
3. ‘A’ stands for assert
Assert factors that you wish to see in the near future. But while doing so, maintain your decorum. Do not become aggressive, instead ask directly what you desire for!
Now that your position is clear, then start emphasizing on your needs. This is the time to gain self-confidence by honoring yourself with a solution. For example: if you’re unhappy with the promotion at the workplace. Then speak to your head and convey your position. Tell them about your discontent and what you wish to have. The same applies to your family and friends too. If you are unwilling to go for a vacation, then assert by saying ‘no’ clearly.
4. ‘R’ stands for reinforce
If we want anything from other individuals or partners, we choose to insult or yell. But if we reward them, then it will help in creating a happy bond.
Now that you have made the assertion. Then it’s time to explain the person about the consequences of your decision. Make them understand how your decision will benefit them as well as you. Explain in a way that they will respond to your request in a positive manner. And once they agree and comply with your requests, then offer them rewards. For example, you may say ‘thank you’ or bake a cake for your loved ones.
While offering rewards do not opt for unrealistic ones that you can’t get through. Stick to your words to bring comfort and joy in relationships.
5. ‘M’ stands for Mindful
While expressing your demand, don’t get sidelined by your past experiences. Don’t put forth your past grievances in any way. Instead, stay focused.
A lot of times, when things turn ugly, we tend to lose focus. Several times, we even leave the conversation between. But while practicing this DBT skills, you must focus on your goal. While communicating, there will be a volley of questions and distractions. Moreover, there will be personal attacks too. But it is important to hold your ground and ignore attacks. Do not deviate, unless you find a solution to the issue. If the other person is taking the conversation elsewhere then it is your job to bring him/her back to the topic.
6. ‘A’ stands for appear/act confident
There could be a tinge of fear while expressing. But allow your words to speak than emotions. Don’t get threatened by words. Rather embrace confidence in every possible way.
Many of us experience stammering, sweating while taking decisions in difficult situations. But it is important to appear confident. Maintain eye contact and easily convey your decision. Also, maintain a positive body language and confident tone of voice to convey your stance. Imagine yourself being competent for the position you are asking for. When you start taking yourself seriously, others will follow the practice.
People who shout or are aggressive, doesn’t mean that they have more understanding than you. Remember, staying calm and composed can add to your confidence levels.
7. ‘N’ stands for negotiating
Not every person might agree with your plea. So, does it mean you leave the conversation? Instead, you must very much stay in the conversation and hear the other person.
There are times when things do not fall in place. Or your ideal solution is difficult to achieve. That’s when you need to find a midway without compromising your principles. And for this, you must negotiate by listening to what the other person has to say. The whole aim of interpersonal effectiveness is to not dictate but to embrace other’s views.
It takes a lot of practice for taking a stand for yourself while respecting the views of the others. But it is important to read your mind and be kind to yourself. Also, with DEAR MAN skill, you will get what you yearn for and preserve your relationships. Anyone who practices this DBT skill will know the exact course of action. So, if you want to lead a life with happy relationships? Then practice DEAR MAN in real life. And if you have applied the DEAR MAN strategy, then do share your experiences with us!
Neelambari started her rollercoaster ride as a journalist at Pune Mirror (Times Group). After which she started exploring the world of content writing. Today, she boasts more than five years of experience filled with creativity and diversity. During this tenure, she explored various mediums like articles, blogs, social media posts, website content, and much more. And this content ranged from Gynecology, Ayurveda, Dental health to nutrition. However, she enjoys the most writing about Psychology and other medical streams. She loves writing and aims to bring positive changes at least in some lives with her articles on www.themindfool.com