DEAR MAN – How to get what you want

This skill is helpful when you want to ask for something, say no to a request, maintain a position, or achieve some other interpersonal objective. It is especially helpful to figure out what you want to say before you enter the conversation. These skills are also referred to as assertiveness skills.
** Linehan, M.M. (2015). DBT skills training manual (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.

Here is an example: Kelly needed to ask her parent’s permission to quit the yearbook club at school for her senior year.


“You had asked me to participate in the yearbook club for all four years of high school. I have been an active member of the club for the past three years of high school.”


“I no longer enjoy participating in the yearbook club and feel overwhelmed by all of my extracurricular activities and upcoming college applications.”


“I do not want to participate in the yearbook club in my senior year.”


If I quit the yearbook club, I would have more time to study for the SATs and work on my college applications. It would also give me time to dedicate to working on the school newspaper.”


“I would like to resolve this issue before the school year starts.”

Appear Confident:

Standing up straight, making good eye contact, and appearing calm.


“Would you be okay with me finishing out the week, telling the yearbook president, and stopping on Monday? I also promise I will continue to fulfill my other obligations through the end of the school year.”

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