Today we want to present the last skill, Interpersonal Effectiveness, which can have a direct impact on your communication and relationships with others. How often have you found yourself feeling misunderstood and frustrated with people in your life that you just feel as if you are not being heard or even understood and vice versa. I hope that these Interpersonal skills can help.

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As a reminder the four skillsets are:

Distress Tolerance


Emotion Regulation

Interpersonal Effectiveness

1. Observe Body Language – Most of what you tell another person is communicated non-verbally through your body language. (0nly 7% of communication is verbal) Observe others – what does their body language say about them.. Then if you have a way to video record yourself speaking, do that and then question what your body language is saying about you? Practice looking calm, relaxed and confident. Try it out today,

2. Pay Mindful Attention to Others – Today, focus on the people to whom you are speaking. Notice what they are saying with their words and what their body language is telling you. If you find anything confusing, ask for clarification, such as “How are you feeling?” “Are we ok?” or “I notice you seem nervous, is that accurate”?

3. Establish Valued Relationships – Review your values and set positive intentions for each of the important relationships in your life. Then interact with others according to those values and intentions. At the same time set expectations about how you want to be treated and put in clear boundaries to protect yourself, if necessary.

4. Exercise Your Legitimate Rights – Remember you have value as a person. You have a right to put yourself first sometimes. You have a right to feel your emotions. You have a right to your opinions. And you have a right to ask for help when you need it. Start exercising your legitimate rights today.

5. Be Assertive – Being assertive is not the same as being aggressive. Assertive people can politely say no to requests they don’t like, they set personal boundaries if someone tried to take advantage of them and they can ask to have their own needs met. Today, do your best to be appropriately assertive.

6. Know How to Make a Simple Request – Getting your needs met in an appropriate way requires knowing how to make a simple request. First, explain your problem. Then, ask your question in a polite way that is not aggressive. For example, ” Would you mind if…”. Finally, be appreciative, “Thanks”. Today practice in front of a mirror making 2 simple requests.

7. Practice Making Simple Requests – Find safe opportunities to practice making small simple requests. For example, ask a stranger for the time or directions. In a store, ask an employee to help you find something. With friends ask for a small favor. The more you practice the easier it will get.

8. Use Assertive Communication Skills – There are three parts to an appropriate assertive request. ” I think… ” focuses on the facts, not judgements. “I feel…” addresses how the situation makes you feel emotionally. And “I want…”. Requests that the person does something. Avoid blaming the other person. Keep your requests simple and reasonable.

World Mental Health Day
World Mental Health Day

9. Use Assertive Listening – Assertive listening is just as important as assertive speaking. This means you have to be an assertive listener. Stop thinking about what your’re going to say next. Take an interest in what the other person is saying. Reassure the person that you are listening. Ask questions.

10. Learn To Say No – You have a right to say no even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. If saying no directly is too difficult, first validate the person’s request ( ” I understand why you want me to…”).Then state your preference not to do it (“but I’d prefer not to.”)

11Use the “Broken Record” Technique – Sometimes you will encounter resistance from other people even after you make an appropriate assertive request. When that happens, try the “broken record” technique. Just politely keep repeating your reasonable request – without getting caught in debate or getting angry – until you get what you want.

12. Learn to Negotiate Conflict – Successful negotiations require solutions that satisfy both people. Usually each person has valid needs. When negotiating, stay calm, avoid confrontation, validate the other person, act according to your values, maintain a neutral tone of voice, take turns offering solutions, and, finally, look for a compromise.

13. Use Self-Compassion Meditation – Relax using mindful breathing. Visualize someone you like and think: “May you be peaceful….May you be safe…May you be healthy… May you be happy and free from suffering”. Feel your compassion deepen for that person. Now do the same for someone youdislike. Today extend your compassion to all you meet.

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