Anyone who has undergone a DBT skills class has no doubt heard of the dreaded DEAR MAN. (Oh, excuse me, the DEAR MAN GIVE FAST.) For those lucky suckers who have never sat through the countless worksheets that make up DBT, DEAR MAN is a mnemonic device meant to help you ask people for shit. Allow me to say that it is unnecessarily complicated and generally annoying as hell. Here’s why, in an example.
Stick to values
Woo! DEAR MAN GIVE FAST! In other words:
Basically, it’s a method of asking people for something because clearly saying, “Hey, would you mind returning my shit? I’d appreciate it” is totally unskillful.
Under the terms of DEAR MAN, we must first describe our situation so the other person understands the context of our request. Next, we express our request, and assert ourselves, i.e. don’t babble around the topic and just fucking ask. Then, as if they were puppies, we reinforce the appeal of our request by suggesting how it might benefit them. But, one must remember to be mindful of their needs/situation while still appear(ing) confident in our request. (Again, don’t be a wimp and fucking ask.) Express a willingness to negotiate if they’re not receptive to the idea. It’s not a game of My Way Or the Highway. Our tone and manner ought to be gentle, we must show interest in the other person’s response, validate both their response and your own position, and maintain an easy manner. Be fair, be apology free (i.e. don’t apologize for asking), stick to your values, and be truthful.
So, DBT folks, for the love of God, do NOT say, “Hey, would you mind returning my shit? I’d really appreciate it.” Your therapist and DBT counselor will find you an utter failure.
Try instead: “Excuse me, my dear friend. I find myself missing some of my shit. Would you perhaps return my shit? It will certainly eliminate the odor coming from you house if you return it. Of course, I understand that it would be rather disgusting to carry over, but I need it for some medical tests. I do so appreciate your generosity. I’m happy to meet you halfway with a pooper scooper should you not have the energy to travel the entire distance, but I must insist on it’s return.”
If they refuse, never ever ever say, “It’s fine. I’ll find some new shit; thanks anyway!”
Try instead: “I definitely understand that returning my shit would disturb the neighbors, although I am disappointed in your lack of gumption and underperforming olfactory nerves, and should I ever find myself in possession of shit again, I probably will not leave it inside your house. I will leave it on your front step in a paper back on fire, instead. Cheers, buddy!”
For the Love of Metta (and simple communication),