Suggestions for Practice
Interpersonal skills can only be learned if they are PRACTICED, PRACTICED, PRACTICED AS WITH ALL OF THE DBT SKILLS!
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. (variations: ask salesperson to help you find something).
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. Go to a luncheonette or lunch counter during slack time and ask for a glass of water, drink it and say "thank you" and walk out again.
9. Go into a restaurant and ask to use the restroom, leave without eating anything.
10. Phone the department of sanitation, ask to speak to the commissioner or as highly placed an official as you can reach and complain about the garbage collection in your neighborhood. (variations: telephone company, newspaper delivery service, taxi service)
11. Go to a full service gas station and ask the attendant to check the water in your radiator or air in your tires, leave without buying gas.
12. Get on a bus or wait for a bus and ask passengers for change. Variations: Asking someone for change for a newspaper, parking meter, etc...
13. Call and make an appointment to have your hair cut. Call back later and cancel the appointment.
14. Ask the pharmacist for information about an over the counter drug.
15. Ask for special fixings on a burger at MacDonalds or when in a restaurant when ordering a meal.
16. Ask a salesperson in a store to help you find something.
17. Ask the manager in the supermarket to order something that you would like to buy but the store doesn't now carry.
Time Out for Self Care: Affirmations for Self Esteem
As you probably know, an affirmation is a positive statement you make about yourself or others. Affirmations can be important reminders of your own and another's value. An affirmation helps you refocus your attention away from your harsh internal critic towards your real abilities and strengths. An affirmation also reminds you that errors and mistakes are not the end of the world but a natural part of being human. Errors and mistakes can coexist with self-esteem.
The following affirmations about control and esteem can be helpful for finding that balance.
I cannot control some things but I am not helpless.
I cannot control other people but I am not helpless.
I am not responsible for those things I cannot control.
I accept those things in myself that I cannot change.
I can make positive choices for myself.
My strengths and abilities deserve my appreciation.
Appreciate those abilities you have.
Create your own affirmations by completing the following sentences:
I am not powerless, I can ___________________________________________________
I have the right to refuse ___________________________________________________
I am not helpless, I can _____________________________________________________
I deserve to ______________________________________________________________