The acronym DEAR MAN is a sub-skill of DBT Interpersonal Effectiveness, which stands for Describe, Express, Assert, Reinforce, Mindful, Appear Confident, and Negotiate. It consists of key strategies where individuals learn to clearly express their needs, say no when necessary, and navigate interpersonal challenges with a balanced approach. Mindfulness is emphasized to enhance self-awareness in social situations, promoting effective decision-making and emotional regulation.

DESCRIBE: Describe a situation clearly and concisely; be non-judgmental.

EXPRESS: When expressing a situation, be considerate with facts because it is not wise to assume that people understand your feelings.

ASSERT: State your needs clearly by saying “Yes” or “No.” People cannot read your mind, so do not assume, but act on specifics.

REINFORCE: If people respond positively to you, then act accordingly with an equal response or reward

MINDFUL: Be mindful about your goals and remain focused. Do not be distracted or allow people to sidetrack you with threats and diversions. Neither should you be repetitive, but assert exactly what you want.

APPEAR CONFIDENT: Adopt a confident stance and use language that reflects your personality. Even though you may not feel confident, use body language to show you are. Don’t act fidgety; stand straight and maintain eye contact.

NEGOTIATE: Understand your limits and how much you would be willing to accept, but also consider acceptable compromise within your terms.