Mindfulness of Others

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy‘s Interpersonal Effectiveness skills are designed to help you get what you need from your relationships while being respectful of yourself and others. Interpersonal relationships can be very challenging when you are also dealing with unstable emotions.

Part of being a good friend, loved one, or even coworker is being mindful of other people. If you struggle with this skill, you may feel shame. Remember that things we were not shown how to do as we were growing up may not come naturally to us. It’s not your fault.

Mindfulness of Others fits really well into the Mindfulness “What” skills. In fact, the book lays it out that way for us.


  • Pay attention with interest and curiosity to those around you
  • Stop multitasking when you are interacting with someone
  • Stay in the present when someone is speaking instead of planning what to say next
  • Let go of focusing on yourself and focus on those around you
  • Be open to and curious about new information about others
  • Notice judgmental thoughts and let them go
  • Give up on being always right


  • Replace judgmental words with descriptive works (like you would when practicing the How skill of being nonjudgmental)
  • Avoid assuming what other people think about you without checking the facts
  • Avoid questioning someone else’s motives unless you have a very good reason
  • Give others the benefit of the doubt


  • Throw yourself into the interaction
  • Go with the flow; relinquish control
  • Become one with group activities and conversations