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Here we are at the third week into Interpersonal Effectiveness, and I’ve already skipped a week. Boy, did I not miss out!

To preface my discussion of the Interpersonal Effectiveness (IE) module, I have to say, as humbly as possible, that I’m extremely effective in interpersonal relationships. All of my pre-grad-school jobs were highly people-focused, and I did very well in all of them. I wouldn’t have had any success as a qualitative researcher if I were deficient in these skills, nor would I be where I am today, career-wise or romantically. That’s really all there is to it.

So as I discuss the Interpersonal Effectiveness module, you can imagine me heaving great dramatic sighs and rolling my eyes so hard they almost fall out of my head.

I have to be really, really bored to do pointillist doodling…

During my 13th week of DBT, we discussed the goals of IE – getting your objectives or goals in a situation; getting or keeping a good relationship; and keeping or improving self-respect and liking for yourself. BOOOOORING. I do those things already. So I doodled a cool pointillist eye during that discussion because I was so incredibly bored.

What I missed in the interim was discussion of the factors reducing IE – lack of skill, worry thoughts, emotions, indecision, and environment. Nope, not a problem. I can handle those issues. I think sitting through that session would have had me drawing a replica of Seurat’s (arguably) most famous work.

So, on to my 14th week of DBT. It started with “Cheerleading Statements for IE”. I crossed out “cheerleading statements” and wrote in “affirmations” instead. It’s all a bunch of stuff that I have long since internalized and for which I need no reminder.

Then we discussed “Options for intensity of asking or saying no, and factors to consider in deciding.” If I hadn’t studied economics I might have found this useful, but this kind of calculus is already firmly embedded in my cranium.

Basically “high intensity” means being assertive and trying to change the situation, while “low intensity” means being passive and accepting the situation as it is. Both can be appropriate responses depending on the situation. But some people (not me) don’t know how to evaluate the situation and then respond properly.

The factors to consider are: priorities, capability, timeliness, homework (as in, did you do yours?), authority, rights, relationship, reciprocity, long versus short term, and respect. Again, no problems there. I get it. It’s automatic.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to stick this out beyond one run through the modules. A whole repetition of the entire thing might be too much for my level of (im)patience, although I recognize the intent and potential value of going through the entire year of DBT.

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