Interpersonal Effectiveness Handout 2

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Goals of Interpersonal Effectiveness

Objectives Effectiveness

Getting what you want , getting your wishes taken seriously
1. Standing up for your rights in such a way that they are taken seriously
2. Requesting others to do things in such a way that they do it
3. Refusing unwanted or unreasonable requests and making the refusal stick
4. Resolving interpersonal conflict
5. Getting your opinion/point of view taken seriously

It is important to remember that no one is able to get everything they want from others all of the time. Some environments are "similarly impervious" to even the most skilled individuals. Increased interpersonal skills will increase your probability of getting your objectives met, but they are not a guarantee. In situations where it is impossible to get what you want, distress tolerance and radical acceptance become important interpersonal skills.


When have you used really good skills, but did not receive what you wanted?
How did you feel afterwards?

Relationship Effectiveness:

"The art of maintaining or even improving an interpersonal relationship while you try to get what you want. When this works well, you will get what you want, and the person may like or respect you even more than before."
1. Acting in a way that makes the other person want to give you what you are asking for
2. Acting in a way that makes the other person feel good about your saying no to their request
3. Balancing immediate (short-term) goals with what is good for the relationship

Sometimes your main goal is to get the other person to approve of you more, stop criticizing or rejecting you, stay with you. In this case relationship effectiveness refers to choosing a way to do this (improve the relationship) that does not do damage to the relationship in the long term.
An example of risking a long term relationship for short term relationship gain would be attacking someone for voicing a criticism. This does not mean that you can not deal with the criticism, it does mean that you do this in such a way that you don't attack the other person.


It is also important to remember that you have to balance relationship goals with the other two type of goals. Continually sacrificing your goals for the sake of the relationship won't guarantee that the relationship will go smoothly, approval will ever be forthcoming and no problems will arise. The key problem with this approach is that it just doesn't work.

Relationship begins person sacrifices needs and wants to keep the relationship frustration and unmet needs, huge inequities relationship ends: big fight, partner walks out or you leave the relationship in frustration

Relationship begins difficult situations dealt with unmet needs assessed inequity assessed big issue addressed

Has this happened in your life?
Has this pattern led to extreme behaviors because problems were huge and very difficult to deal with?
How does it feel when others use extreme behaviors with you?

Self-respect Effectiveness

Self-respect effectiveness involves maintaining or improving your good feeling about yourself and respecting your own values or beliefs, while you try to get what you want. It includes: acting in ways that fit your sense of morality and acting in ways that make you feel competent.

Things that diminish self-respect over the long term:
1. Giving in for the sake of approval.
2. Lying to please others.
3. Acting helpless. - also diminishes your sense of mastery


When have you done things that reduced your own self-respect?
When have you done things to enhance your self-respect?

Using the three types of effectiveness
In each situation you need to consider your goals in each of the three areas.
Then you have to decide which goal is your highest priority

1. Landlord keeps deposit unfairly
Objective __________________
Relationship __________________
Self-respect __________________

2. Best friend wants to come over and discuss problem, you are tired and want to go to sleep
Objective __________________
Relationship __________________
Self-respect __________________

3. You want a raise, your boss wants sex in return.
Objective __________________
Relationship __________________
Self-respect __________________

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