Maintain healthy relationships while still being able to get what you want from an interaction. In order to do this, we will consider the following skills:
When being gentle remember: not to attack people (they are less likely to like you if you threaten them, attack them, or express a lot of anger directly), not to make manipulative statements or hidden threats, not to be judgmental, and not to be disrespectful.
Remember to act interested by: listening to the other person’s point of view, reasons for saying no, or reasons for making a request of you, not interrupting or trying to talk over other people, and not to assume you know a person’s thoughts or intentions without checking the facts. Remember that people respond well to interest, even if it is just “acting” interested.
When validating remember: to validate the why even while disagreeing with the what, to validate with your words, and that actions speak louder than words. Here is an example of validating the why while disagreeing with the what: When someone is expressing a need/want by yelling at us, we can say “I know you feel like you need to yell at me in order to get your need met. At the same time however, I do not like it and would like you to stop yelling at me. Instead can you just try telling me what you would like?”.
Remember to use an easy manner by incorporating humor, smiling, considering context, and easing the other person along in an interaction or conversation.
It is sometimes difficult to get what you want in an interaction while remaining pleasant and not hindering a relationship in certain ways. This becomes especially difficult in active addiction because our decision making skills are often inhibited. By remaining sober and utilizing the interpersonal effectiveness skill “GIVE” , you can avoid hindering relationships and still get what you want. In turn, you can also increase your ability to maintain healthy relationships! Today you can remain sober and maintain healthy relationships!