DBT GIVE Skills Scenarios (With Relatable Examples)

Here, we will talk about DBT GIVE skills scenarios with relatable examples. The blog will first introduce readers to what DBT GIVE skills are. Then, we will describe in detail the scenarios for each letter in the GIVE acronym.

What are Some DBT GIVE Skills Scenarios?

Below are given a few DBT GIVE Skills Scenarios for each letter of the acronym:

  • G – gentle – “Even though I hate to be in conflict with you, I am quite sure about this decision.”
  • I – interested – “Since you look so concerned, I do want to know why you think this is wrong.”
  • V – validate – “You seem quite determined and I am willing to think about your arguments carefully.”
  • E – easy manner – “Look at us fighting like teenagers. Let me take you out to dinner and we can talk peacefully with a glass of wine.”

What are DBT GIVE Skills?

DBT or Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is a specific kind of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) that focuses on understanding and accepting one’s self, emotions, and reactions in order to regulate potentially destructive or harmful behaviours.

This is an evidence-based psychotherapy that is popular in the treatment of personality disorders, ADHD, and interpersonal conflicts. GIVE is a special acronym used in DBT for interpersonal therapy. This acronym is used to train clients on how to effectively deal with their relationships.

GIVE stands for Gentle, Interested, Validate, and Easy Manner. Each is a pointer on how to behave with other people so that one can make their relationships more positive and fulfilling.

DBT GIVE Skills Scenarios & Examples

In this section, we’re going to give concrete scenarios and relatable examples of how to use DBT GIVE skills in your day to day life. These scenarios are described under separate headings for each letter of the acronym.

Gentle

If you want to start being gentle in your relationships, you have to stop attacking, threatening, and expressing judgement. The way you speak and behave towards others should not be aggressive in any way. 

By being gentle, you treat the other person with respect and improve the chances of them treating you gently as well. This can also mean gracefully accepting the occasional no to your requests.

Now, let’s look at some scenarios of using this DBT skill.

Scenario 1

Your father has expressed his disapproval of an important life choice you have made. You do not agree with him but at the same time you do not wish to compromise the relationship. 

You can respond gently by saying any of the following:

  • “Dad, this is something that I have chosen for myself and it’s unfortunate that we don’t agree on this.”
  • “Even though I hate to be in conflict with you, I am quite sure about this decision.”
  • “I respect your opinion because I value your wisdom. However, I have decided this for myself.”

Scenario 2

Your son is doing something you know will get him in trouble. You’ve raised your concern but he seems adamant on following through with this decision. You’re very worried about what will happen but he isn’t listening to you.

You can respond gently by saying any of the following:

  • “Son, I only say this out of concern for your well-being. But you are entitled to make your own decisions.”
  • “I am quite worried about how things will turn out for you and that’s why I am unable to agree with you.”
  • “It is your life so you do get to choose how to live. Nevertheless, do consider what I’m saying as my age gives the advantage of more life experience.”

Scenario 3

Your romantic partner and you are having a big argument on whether to take your relationship public. You want to broadcast your love but your partner is apprehensive about it. It’s been an issue for many months now and you’re getting tired of meeting in secret.

You can respond gently by saying any of the following:

  • “I know we have different viewpoints regarding this. Please consider why I feel it’s an important step we should take for our relationship.”
  • “Let’s talk about this calmly. There must be a way we can find a solution that works for us both.”
  • “It pains me that we have to fight over this but do try to understand why this is so important for me.”

Interested

Showing interest is a vital step in sustaining any relationship and resolving conflicts. To do this, you need to listen attentively to the other person without interruption. You can’t be multitasking when you do this. They need to feel like you respect and value what they’re saying.

Let’s take a look at how you can show interest in these three scenarios.

Scenario 1

  • “I value you for you experience and wisdom. Please do explain why you feel so strongly about this.”
  • “Since you look so concerned, I do want to know why you think this is wrong.”
  • “Dad, I’m here to listen too. Please show me what I’m doing wrong.”

Scenario 2

  • “Son, let’s talk about your reasons for choosing this.”
  • “Please explain to me why you think this is the right choice for you.”
  • “I would like to know what’s motivating you to choose this.”

Scenario 3

  • “Sweetheart, you feel pretty strongly about this. Could you explain why you don’t want to take the next step?”
  • “I want to try and understand your perspective. Please tell me, dear.”
  • “Let me understand your point better. Go on, I’m listening.”

Validate

Validating the other perso in a relationship goes a long way in maintaining it. DBT teaches individuals how to validate someone’s thoughts and feelings and to respect their opinion. You also learn how to acknowledge and recognise when your requests are demanding.

Let’s explore the same three scenarios with validating responses.

Scenario 1

  • “Hey dad, you seem very worried about me. I’m sure you’re coming from a place of concern.”
  • “You are more experienced so you I understand that you feel that you’re at a better position to evaluate this.”
  • “I do respect your opinions so I will think about what you said carefully.”

Scenario 2

  • “I see that you feel very strongly about this and I respect your sense of autonomy.”
  • “You seem quite determined and I am willing to think about your arguments carefully.”
  • “Since this is your life, you know your situation better than anyone else.”

Scenario 3

  • “I can see that your past negative experiences are making you apprehensive about this. If I was in your place, I’d probably feel the same way.”
  • “It’s a huge step for you and I get it if you feel scared to take it.”
  • “I understand that it can be scary to do something so out of your comfort zone.”

Easy Manner

Finally, the E in DBT GIVE skills stands for taking things in an easy manner. It usually helps if you can try to smile or act light-hearted when having conversations with the other person in the relationship. If appropriate, you can even try to use some humour to ease the tension.

Here are some examples of how to speak with an easy manner in these scenarios.

Scenario 1

  • “C’mon dad, you were young and confident once too.”
  • “If it’s a mistake, let me make it pops. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from it.”
  • “Dad, no matter what happens, I know you’ve raised me well enough to bounce back.”

Scenario 2

  • “C’mon son, you know I’m only trying to look out for you! I can’t help it!”
  • “That’s my two cents son, but I’m just an old man. Feel free to do what you like with my advice.”
  • “Okay son, if that’s what you want, go ahead. I’ve got your back if anything doesn’t work out.”

Scenario 3

  • “Look at us fighting like teenagers. Let me take you out to dinner and we can talk peacefully with a glass of wine.”
  • “Can we just skip to the part where we make up and talk about it calmly?”
  • “Gosh! I hate fighting with you. Let’s blow off some steam and resolve this like grown ups.”

Conclusion

Here, we talked about DBT GIVE skills scenarios with relatable examples. The blog first introduced readers to what DBT GIVE skills are. Then, we described in detail the scenarios for each letter in the GIVE acronym.

GIVE stands for Gentle, Interested, Validate, and Easy Manner. These scenarios helped readers understand how to use DBT GIVE skills to improve their relationships with others.

FAQs (DBT GIVE Skills Scenarios)

What are examples of DBT skills?

DBT skills help us develop many useful qualities and practises that increase our chances to sustain well-being. Some examples of these are:

  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Mindfulness
  • Distress tolerance
  • Regulating emotions

What DBT skills would you use when you want to increase self-respect?

The DBT acronym for skills to increase self-respect are given below with their full-forms:

  • F – be fair to yourself as well as others
  • A – only apologise when warranted
  • S – stick to values
  • T – be truthful

How do you use DBT?

DBT comes with various guidelines, exercises, and worksheets to practice how to improve interpersonal relationships. You can use DBT to objectively communicate, optimise relationships, and maintain self-respect. It usually helps to consult a DBT-trained mental health professional to learn how to use these skills. Nevertheless, there is a lot of literature that explains it all in great detail.

References

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