These skills help us to keep or improve our self-respect, while at the same time, getting what we want in an interaction. These skills include:
Remember to be fair to yourself and others in any attempts to get what you want. It is hard to like yourself in the long-term if you are consistently taking advantage of other people. When you take advantage of other people, you may get what you want, but at the risk of your ability to respect yourself. Remember to validate your own feelings and wishes as well as the other person’s. It is hard to respect yourself if you are always giving in to other people’s wishes and never sticking up for your own wishes or beliefs.
When utilizing apologies remember to consider these things: use them only when they are warranted or appropriate, do not apologize for making a request, having an opinion, or disagreeing with someone else’s opinion, apologies imply that you are wrong and that you are the one making the mistake, and although apologies can at times enhance a relationship, excessive apologies can be aggravating to other people and often reduce relationship and self-respect effectiveness.
When sticking to your values try to avoid undermining your values or integrity to get your objective or to insure a person is happy with you. Be clear on what, in your opinion, is the moral or valued way of thinking/acting and stick to your position. It is difficult to maintain self-respect when you continually give in to others and do or say things you believe to be wrong.
When being truthful remember not to lie, act helpless when you are not, or exaggerate your situation. A pattern of dishonesty over time diminishes your self-respect. Dishonesty as your usual mode of getting what you want will be harmful to you and others long-term. Acting helpless when you are not is the opposite of building skills.
Self-respect is of tremendous value to us in and outside of our recovery. If we continue to give in to others or undermine our morals and values, we will slowly but surely start to lose self-respect. By incorporating the interpersonal effectiveness skill “FAST” , today you can avoid losing self-respect while still being able to get what you want in interactions. In turn, today you can increase your ability to maintain healthy relationships!