Often couples report they are struggling with communication. This is a tool we offer our couples to improve clarity of message, to reduce unnecessary defensiveness and conflict, and to facilitate deeper connection. The DEARMAN skill helps couples develop effective interpersonal communication that helps aid us with having our needs met and supports the development of a healthy relationship with our partner.
|Describe: Describe the current situation (if necessary) in an objective manner. Stick to the facts. Tell the person exactly what event you are reacting to.|
|Express: Express your feelings and opinions about the situation. Describe how you feel.|
|Assert: Think of this also as the “ASK.” Assert yourself and ask for what you want or set a limit clearly.|
|Reinforce: Reinforce (reward) the relationship and the person. Let the person know you are committed to them and the relationship and that this is to support the continued work with them.|
|Mindful: Keep your focus on your goals. Keep asking for what you want. Stay focused on the task at hand.|
|Appear: Be aware of your appearance. Appear confident (not aggressive). Maintain your position. Be mindful of your tone, facial expressions etc. This is a time to be direct and clear. Do not confuse your message with communicating aggression, frustration etc. Make good eye contact. No stammering, whispering, staring at the floor, retreating.|
|Negotiate: Negotiation is best when we are willing to give to get. Offer and ask for alternative solutions to a problem. Reduce or alter your request or offer to do something else to solve the problem. Work to solving the problem, not winning the fight.|