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					                           Interpersonal Effectiveness Introduction
Personal Bill of Rights
Adapted from Fensterhelm & Baer (1975); Jakubowski-Spector (1974); Smith (1975); Copyright
2003 R. Stevens, Ph.D. C.Psych.
                                              I have the right…
                                                   To say no
                   To refuse requests from others without feeling selfish or guilty
                          To say no to requests or demands I cannot meet
           To say no if I feel I am not ready, it is unsafe, or it conflicts with my values
                                             To say I don’t know
                                              To make requests
                     To ask for consideration, help, and affection from others
        To ask for something I want (knowing the other person has the right to say no)
                                 To ask others to change their behavior
                                     To expect honesty from others
                                                To have needs
                           To use my judgment in deciding my own needs
                                    To tell others what my needs are
                                          To ask for what I want
                                     To determine my own priorities
                                                 To be myself
                    To take the time and space I need to sort out my reactions
       To make mistakes (and to be responsible for them) and not have to be perfect
                                            To change my mind
                                  To follow my own values and beliefs
             To not be responsible for the actions, feelings, and behaviors of others
                                       To be myself, to be unique
                                           To change and grow
                                                 To be happy
                                 To be healthier than those around me
                                               To be respected
                        To be treated as an adult, with dignity and respect
                             To not have others impose their values on me
   To have my opinions and ideas given the same respect and consideration others have
                            To not automatically be assumed to be wrong
                         To feel safe and be in a non-abusive environment
                                            To feel and express
                        To express all of my feelings – positive and negative
                                     To be angry at someone I love
                                        To express fear and anger

Speak from that place in your heart where you are most yourself. Speak directly, simply, lovingly,
and without apologies. Tell us what you see and want us to see; tell us what you hear and want
us to hear…Trust your own heart. The words will come. There is nothing to fear. Those who need
                                  you most will help you most.
- Fred Bratman, 1992
                                 Interpersonal Effectiveness Handout 1
Situations for Interpersonal Effectiveness

          Attending to Relationships
               o Don’t let hurts and problems build up.
               o Use relationship skills to head off problems.
               o End hopeless relationships.
               o Resolve conflicts before they get overwhelming.

          Balancing Priorities vs. Demands
              o If overwhelmed, reduce or put off low-priority demands.
              o Ask others for help; say no when necessary.
              o If you don’t have enough to do, try to create some structure and responsibilities;
                  offer to do things.

          Balancing Want-to versus Should
              o Look at what you do because you enjoy doing it and “want” to do it; and how
                  much you do because it has to be done and you “should” do it. Try to keep the
                  number of each in balance, even if you have to:
                      Get your opinions taken seriously.
                      Get others to do things
                      Say no to unwanted requests.

          Building Mastery and Self-respect
               o Interact in a way that makes you feel competent and effective, not helpless and
                   overly dependent.
               o Stand up for yourself, your beliefs and opinions; follow your own wise mind.

Using the three types of effectiveness

   Situation 1: Your landlord keeps your deposit unfairly.
   Which is most important? Getting your objective met, keeping the relationship, or maintain your
   Situation 2: Your best friend wants to come over and discuss a problem; but, you are tired and
   want to go to sleep.
   Which is most important? Getting your objective met, keeping the relationship, or maintain your
   Situation 3: You want a raise; your boss wants sex in return.
   Which is most important? Getting your objective met, keeping the relationship, or maintain your
                                 Interpersonal Effectiveness Handout 2
Goals of Interpersonal Effectiveness

Objectives Effectiveness: DEAR MAN (Handout 8)
   These skills are designed to help you get your objectives or goals in a situation met, to say no,
   and to set and keep boundaries. These skills help you get what you want or need and get your
   wishes taken seriously.
   Use these skills when you want to:
        Obtain your legitimate rights
        Stand up for your rights in such a way that they are taken seriously
        Request another do something in such a way that they do it
        Refuse an unwanted or unreasonable requests and make the refusal stick
        Resolve an interpersonal conflict
        Get your opinion or point of view taken seriously
   Questions to ask yourself:
        What specific results or changes do I want from this interaction?
        What do I need to do to get the results I want?

Relationship Effectiveness: GIVE (Handout 9)
    These skills help you keep your current relationships, assist you in forming new relationships, and
    can help you improve the quality of your current and new relationships. When used in
    conjunction with Objectives Effectiveness skills, this is: "The art of maintaining or even improving
    an interpersonal relationship while you try to get what you want. When this works well, you will
    get what you want and the person may like or respect you even more than before."
    Use these skills when you want to:
         Act in such a way that the other person keeps liking and respecting you
         Act in such a way that makes the other person want to give you what you are asking for
         Act in such a way that makes the other person feel good about your saying no to their
         Balance your immediate short term goals with what is good for the relationship
    Questions to ask yourself:
         How do I want the other person to feel about me after this interaction is over?
         What do I have to do to get (or keep) this relationship?

Self-respect Effectiveness: FAST (Handout 10)
    These skills help you keep and improve your self-respect and liking for yourself. They are also
    designed to keep your actions in line with your own values and beliefs. This includes acting in
    ways that fit your sense of morality and acting in ways that make you feel competent. This does
    not include giving in for the sake of approval, lying, or acting helpless.
    Use these skills when you want to:
         Respect your own values and beliefs
         Act in such a way that makes you feel moral
         Act in such a way that makes you feel competent, capable, and effective
    Questions to ask yourself:
         How do I want to feel after this interaction is over?
         What do I have to do to feel that way about myself?
                                 Interpersonal Effectiveness Handout 3
Factors Reducing Interpersonal Effectiveness

Lack of Skill
   You actually don't know what to say or how to act. You don't know how you should behave to
   achieve your objectives. You don't know what will work. Lack of skill is frequently dismissed as
   lack of motivation. If you don't know what to say or do, all the motivation in the world will not
   show you how to do it.
   People learn interpersonal skills the same way they learn other skills:
        By observing others doing them
        By practicing the skill themselves
        Refining the skills until desired results are achieved
   Lack of interpersonal skills can occur when:
        You don't have anyone to model the skills
             You don't have the opportunity to observe the skills being modeled
             You don't have the chance to practice the skills

Worry Thoughts
   Worry thoughts get in the way of your ability to act effectively. You have the skill, but your worry
   thoughts interfere with doing or saying what you want.
   Worries about bad consequences..."they won't like me"... “she will think I'm stupid"
   Worries about whether you deserve to get what you want..."I am such a bad person I don't
   deserve this"
   Worries about not being effective and calling yourself names..."I won't do it right"...."I'll probably
   fall apart"...I'm so stupid."

   Your emotions (anger, fear, guilt, sadness, etc.) get in the way of your ability to act effectively.
   You have the ability, but your emotions make you unable to do or say what you want. Emotions,
   instead of skills, control what you say and do.

   You CANT DECIDE what to do or what you really want. You have the ability, but your indecision
   gets in the way of doing or saying what you want. You are ambivalent about your priorities. You
   can’t figure out how to balance:
   a) Asking for too much vs. not asking for anything.
   b) Saying no to everything versus giving in to everything.

    Characteristics of the environment make it impossible for even a very skilled person to be
         Other people are too powerful
         Other people will be threatened or have some other reason for not liking you if you get
            what you want.
         Other people won’t give you what you want or need or let you say no without punishing
            you unless you sacrifice your self-respect, at least a little.
                                   Interpersonal Effectiveness Handout 4
Myths about Interpersonal Effectiveness

1. I can't stand it if someone gets upset with me.
   Challenge Statement

2. If they say no, it will kill me.
      Challenge Statement

3. I don't deserve to get what I want or need.
     Challenge Statement

4. If I make a request, this will show that I am a very weak person.
      Challenge Statement

5. I must be really inadequate if I can't fix this myself.
     Challenge Statement

6. I have to know whether a person is going to say yes before I make a request.
     Challenge Statement

7. Making a request is a really pushy (bad, self-centered, selfish, unchristian) thing to do.
    Challenge Statement

8. It doesn't make any difference; I don't care really.
     Challenge Statement

9. Obviously, the problem is just in my head. If I would just think differently I wouldn't have to bother
    everybody else.
    Challenge Statement

10. This is a catastrophe (is really bad, is terrible, is driving me crazy, will destroy me, is a disaster).
    Challenge Statement

11. Saying no to a request is always a selfish thing to do.
    Challenge Statement

12. I should be willing to sacrifice my own needs for others.
     Challenge Statement
                               Interpersonal Effectiveness Handout 5
Cheerleading Statements

         It is OK to want or need something from someone else.
         I have a choice to ask someone for what I want or need.
         I can stand it if I don't get what I want or need.
         The fact that someone says no to my request doesn't mean I should not have asked in
          the first place.
         If I didn't get my objectives, that doesn't mean I didn't go about it in a skillful way.
         Standing up for myself over "small" things can be just as important as "big" things are to
         I can insist on my rights and still be a good person.
         I sometimes have a right to assert myself, even though I may inconvenience others.
         The fact that other people might not be assertive doesn't mean that I shouldn't be.
         I can understand and validate another person, and still ask for what I want.
         There is no law that says other people's opinions are more valid than mine.
         I may want to please people I care about, but I don't have to please them all the time.
         Giving, giving, giving is not the be-all of life. I am an important person in this world, too.
         If I refuse to do a favor for people, that doesn't mean I don't like them. They will probably
          understand that too.
         I am under no obligation to say yes to people simply because they ask a favor of me.
         The fact that I say no to someone does not make me a selfish person.
         If I say no to people, and they get angry, that does not mean that I should have said yes.
         I can still feel good about myself, even though someone else is annoyed with me.

                                    Interpersonal Effectiveness Quiz
   How aware are you of your interpersonal resources and skills? Review the following statements
   to get a sense of what you believe about your current level of skillfulness.
        I’m very skilled at asking for what I want
        I have people in my life whom I can ask for help
        I’m a “yes-man” or “yes-woman”
        I don’t know how to ask for help
        When people say no it means they dislike me
        I have trouble saying no to requests
        I say yes to so much that I can’t do anything
        Other people really aren’t interested in helping me
        I rarely do favors for friends and family
        When someone tells me no once, it means they won’t ever say yes
        When I want to say no I make up excuses to avoid having to say no
        I can tolerate and accept it when people say no to my requests
        I am deeply hurt when others say no to me
        I get upset thinking about asking for help from others
                                 Interpersonal Effectiveness Handout 6

Intensity Options and Factors to Consider

     Objectives - (DEAR MAN): Are the objectives very important? If yes, raise the intensity of asking
     Relationship - (GIVE): Is the relationship very tenuous? If yes, decrease the intensity of asking (-
     Self-Respect - (FAST): Is your self-respect on the line? Adjust your intensity (+1 or -1), as needed.
     Is the person able to give me what I want? If yes, raise the intensity of asking (+1).
      Is this a good time to ask? If yes, raise the intensity of asking (+1).
     Do I know all the facts? If yes, raise the intensity of asking (+1).
      Is my goal/request clear? If yes, raise the intensity of asking (+1).
     Am I responsible for directing this person? If yes, raise the intensity of asking (+1).
     Is the other person required (by law/moral code) to give me what I want? If yes, raise the
     intensity of asking (+1).
     Is what I want appropriate to our relationship? If yes, raise the intensity of asking (+1).
     Have I done at least as much for the other person as I am requesting? If yes, raise the intensity of
     asking (+1).
     Am I willing to give if the other person says yes? If yes, raise the intensity of asking (+1).
     Would being submissive result in peace now, but create problems in the long run? If yes, raise
     the intensity of asking (+1).
     Am I careful to avoid acting helpless when this is not the case? If yes, raise the intensity of asking
     (+1). Do I usually do things for myself? If yes, raise the intensity of asking (+1).

12-14: Ask firmly, insist.
10-12: Ask firmly, resist no.
8-10: Ask firmly, take no.
6-8: Ask tentatively, take no.
4-6: Hint openly, take no.
2-4: Hint indirectly, take no.
0-2: Don’t ask, don’t hint
                                 Interpersonal Effectiveness Handout 7
Suggestions for Practice

Interpersonal skills can only be learned if they are PRACTICED, PRACTICED, PRACTICED!
    To do this, you must be alert to every practice opportunity. If no situations arise naturally, then
    you may need to go out of your way to find or create opportunities to practice. Some of the
    following situations are examples of ones you can create for practice. Others are situations that
    may arise in your day to day life.

   1.    Go to a library and ask the librarian for assistance in finding a book.
   2.    While talking with someone, change the subject.
   3.     Invite a friend to dinner (at your house or at a restaurant).
   4.    Call an insurance company and ask about its rates.
   5.    Take old books to a used book store and find out what they are worth. Leave after you have
         your information.
   6.    Pay for a newspaper, pack of gum, or anything else costing less that $0.50 with a $5.00 bill.
   7.    In a drug store or candy store, ask for change for a $ 1.00 bill without buying anything.
   8.    Call and make an appointment to have your hair cut. Call back later and cancel the
   9.    Ask the pharmacist for information about an over the counter drug.
   10.   Ask for special fixings on a burger at McDonalds or for a substitution on the menu when
         ordering a meal in a restaurant.
   11.    Ask a salesperson in a store to help you find something.
   12.   Go into a department store of gift store and ask the salesperson for help in choosing an item
         or gift.
   13.   Ask a coworker or friend to do a favor for you (fix you a cup of coffee while they are fixing
         their own, proofread something, etc.).
   14.   Ask someone for a ride.
   15.   Express disagreement with a parent, spouse, partner or close friend regarding specific topics
         (scheduling priorities, social arrangements, sexual practices, time spent together, opinions,
   16.   Ask a friend for help in fixing something.
   17.   Request your parent, spouse, child, or roommate to accept more responsibility in some
         specific area.
   18.   Ask a person making too much noise to be a bit quieter (person talking in a movie, neighbor
         playing loud music, etc.).
   19.   Ask your therapist or counselor for a favor.
   20.   Ask for help in moving furniture.
   21.   Ask your landlord to fix something (leaky roof, creaky door, broken appliance, etc.).
   22.   Go see a dentist or physician and clearly tell him/her what the problem is.
   23.   Order a nonalcoholic beverage in a bar or cocktail lounge.
   24.   Ask to be excused from group or ask to leave early.
   25.   Ask a person to stop doing something that bothers you.
   26.   Ask skills training leader (who is running over time) to end session because time is up.
   27.   Ask skills trainer for time to speak to him or her and make a complaint or give a compliment
         about group.
                              Interpersonal Effectiveness Handout 8
Guidelines for Objectives Effectiveness: Getting What You Want

   A way to remember these skills is to remember the term “DEAR MAN.”


   Describe the current SITUATION (if necessary).
   Tell the person exactly what you are reacting to. Stick to the facts
   Express your FEELINGS and OPINIONS about the situation.
   Assume that your feelings and opinions are not self-evident. Give a brief rationale. Use phrases
   such as “I want,” I don’t want,” instead of “I need,” “You should,” or “I can’t.”
   Assert yourself by ASKING for what you want or SAYING NO clearly.
   Assume that others will not figure it out or do what you want unless you ask. Assume that others
   cannot read your mind. Don’t expect other to know how hard it is for you to ask directly for
   what you want. REINFORCE
   Reinforce or reward the person ahead of time by explaining CONSEQUENCES.
   Tell the person the positive effects of getting what you want or need. Tell him or her (if
   necessary) the negative effects of your not getting it. Help the person feel good ahead of time
   for doing or accepting what you want. Reward him or her afterwards.
   Keep your focus ON YOUR OBJECTIVS.
   Maintain your position. Don’t be distracted.
          “Broken Record” - Keep asking, saying no or expressing your opinion over and over and
          “Ignore Attacks” – If another person attacks, threatens, or tries to change the subject,
             ignore the threats, comments or attempts to divert you. Don’t respond to attacks.
             Ignore distractions. Just keep making your point.
   Appear EFFECTIVE and competent.
   Use a confident voice tone and physical manner; make good eye contact. No stammering,
   whispering, staring at the floor, retreating, say “I’m not sure,” etc.
   Be willing to GIVE TO GET. Offer and ask for alternate solutions to the problem. Reduce your
   request. Maintain no, but offer to do something else or solve the problem another way. Focus
   on what will work.
         “Turn the Tables” - Turn the problem over to the other person. Ask for alternative
            solutions: “What do you think we should do?” “I’m not able to say yes, and you seem to
            really want me to. What can we do here?” “How can we solve this problem?”
                                Interpersonal Effectiveness Handout 9
Guidelines for Relationship Effectiveness: Keeping the Relationship

   A way to remember these skills is the word “GIVE” (DEAR MAN, GIVE):
          (Be) Gentle
          (Act) Interested
      (Use an) Easy Manner

Be Gentle
   Be COURTEOUS and temperate in your approach.
   No attacks – No verbal or physical attacks. No hitting, clenching fists. Express anger directly.
   No threats – No “manipulative” statements, no hidden threats. No “I’ll kill myself if you…”
   Tolerate a no to requests. Stay in the discussion even if it gets painful. Exit gracefully.
   No judging – No moralizing. No “If you were a good person, you would…” No “You should…”
   “You shouldn’t…”
Act Interested
   LISTEN and be interested in the other person.
   Listen to the other person’s point of view, opinion, reasons for saying no, or reasons for making a
   request of you. Don’t interrupt, talk over, etc. Be sensitive to the person’s desire to have the
   discussion at a later time. Be patient.
   Validate or ACKNOWLEDGE the other person’s feelings, wants, difficulties, and opinions about
   the situation. Be nonjudgmental out loud: “I can understand how you feel, and…”; “I realize this
   is hard for you, and…”; “I see that you are busy, and…”
Use an Easy manner
   Use a little humor. SMILE. Ease the person along. Be light-hearted. Wheedle. Use a “soft sell”
   over a “hard sell.” Be political.
                               Interpersonal Effectiveness Handout 10
Guidelines for Self-Respect Effectiveness: Keeping Your Respect for Yourself

       A way to remember these skills is to remember the word “FAST” (DEAR MAN, GIVE FAST).
           (Be) Fair
          (No) Apologies
                Stick to values
           (Be) Truthful

Be Fair
    Be fair to YOURSELF and to the OTHER person.
No Apologies
    No OVERLY apologetic behavior. No apologizing for being alive, for making a request at all. No
    apologies for having an opinion, for disagreeing.
Stick to Values
    Stick to YOUR OWN values
    Don’t sell out your values or integrity for reasons that aren’t very important. Be clear about what
    you believe is the moral or valued way of thinking and acting, and “stick” to your guns.
Be Truthful
    DON’T LIE, ACT HELPLESS when you are not or EXAGGERATE. Don’t make up excuses.
What is validation?
  Validation communicates to another person that his or her responses (thoughts, feelings,
  actions) make sense and are understandable to you in a particular situation. It is a basic need
  to feel understood and accepted. When someone fails to validate us (fails to understand or
  accept us, tells us we are wrong, etc.) it is very painful.

Why validate?
  It shows you are listening. It shows that you understand. It communicates understanding in a
  non-judgmental way. It is good for the relationship. It can decrease the intensity of conflicts.
  Validation is a core component of effective communication, it soothes frayed emotions, it slows
  negative reactivity, it facilitates negations, it builds trust and closeness, and enhances your self-

Who should I validate?
  Yourself, others, those whom you’re in a relationship with, coworkers, friends, etc.

How should I validate?
   Validate only what is valid. Validate feelings and thoughts (“inside the person”) that are valid
   (make sense to the average person in the same situation. Behaviors/actions that are valid
   (make sense to the average person. Show that you are paying attention and listening actively.
   Acknowledge the other’s experience. Ask questions to clarify your understanding.

Things to Remember:
    Validating is not necessarily agreeing. Validating does not mean that you like what the other
    person is doing, saying, or feeling.

Levels of Validation:
Level 1 – Paying Mindful Attention, Actively Observing
   Examples: Eye contact, nodding, showing interest in the other person, etc.
Level 2 – Paraphrasing, accurately reflecting
   Examples: “So I heard you say…” “Let me make sure I heard you correctly…” “You are saying
   you are angry.”
Level 3 – Speaking the unspoken, mindreading
   Examples: “You look sad. Are you feeling down?” “I know you haven’t said so, but are you
   feeling frustrated?” “I bet you wanted to storm out of here just then. That seemed hard to talk
Level 4 – Valid given history and past learning
   Examples: “I am not surprised that you had the urge to yell. You have said it works really well to
   get people off of your back.” “It’s understandable that you believe you need to fight back
   when you feel threatened, I now you’ve said you’ve been hurt in the past and you want to
   protect yourself.”
Level 5 – Valid based on current situation, based on biology.
   Examples: “It makes complete sense that you are nervous right now. This is a new place.” “I
   know you are having a hard time focusing today. It’s not surprising. You are not feeling well and
   did not get much sleep.” “You are thinking this isn’t fair and feeling frustrated. That is
   understandable. I know you were really looking forward to going on the activity with us.”
Level 6 – Radical Genuineness (Keeping it Real)
   Examples: “I want you to know that even though I disagree with what you did yesterday when
   you screamed at me, I believe in you and I want to help you. We are just two ordinary people;
   can we just roll up our sleeves and work together? We both have the same goals of making
   your life better.”

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