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How To Use The D.E.A.R.M.A.N. Technique To get What you Want From Anyone

Dating & Relationships / Single Moms Talk / December 22, 2014

I’m sure, many of you have never heard of the D.E.A.R.M.A.N. Technique, and it is something new to me, as well.  I learned about it when I was doing some research on how to communicate better with my mate.  The D.E.A.R.M.A.N.  technique, is the DBT acronym for Objectives Effectiveness, or skills for getting what you want.  The skill is very useful and can be used in any situation when you would like to express your feelings, set a boundary or ask for something.

D.E.A.R.M.A.N. is used when you have an objective, you want something specific, such as to have help with the chores, help with the kids or more sex, to affect a change or to say NO to a request. You want the other person to come away feeling good about you and not full of resentment. This will help preserve the relationship. You also want to protect or even enhance your self-respect.

This is how to use the D.E.A.R.M.A.N. technique:

D= Describe the current situation. Tell the person exactly what you are reacting to. Stick to the facts.

You went to watch the game with your friends, instead of asking what my plans were for the day and if I needed help with the kids.

E= Express your feelings and opinions about the situation. Assume that others cannot read your mind. Don’t expect others to know how hard it is for you to ask directly for what you want.

I feel like you don’t take into consideration that I may want some “me time” or that I could use some help with the kids.

A= Assert yourself by asking for what you want or saying no clearly. Assume that others cannot read your mind. Don’t expect others to know how hard it is for you to ask directly for what you want.

I would like it if you would communicate with me during the week to find out what we have going on as a family or if there is something that I may like to do outside of the house and then we can make plans from there.

R= Reinforce the reward to the person ahead of time. Tell the person the positive effects of getting what you want or need. Help the person feel good ahead of time for doing what you want.

By communicating what we all have going on and we can plan the weekend so that we spend time as a family, with one another and each get some “me time,” as well.

M= Mindfully keep your focus on your objectives. Maintain your position. Don’t be distracted.

A= Appear Confident. Use a confident voice tone and physical manner; make good eye contact. No stammering, whispering, staring at the floor, retreating, saying “I’m not sure,” etc.

N= Negotiate by being willing to give to get. Offer and ask for alternative solutions to the problem. What am I willing to “settle for” or “give up” in order to gain what I want in the situation?

“If you take Shawn to football practice, I can take Shelly with me for pedicures, we can all meet for lunch then you can go watch the game with your friends.”

Now keep in mind that you can use the  D.E.A.R.M.A.N. technique in any situation, not just with your mate. You can use the D.E.A.R.M.A.N. skills in difficult situations, as well.


There will be times when you come up against someone who is very good at this technique as well and may refuse your request or who will try to get you to see things their way or get you to do something that you don’t want to do.  This is how you can use the D.E.A.R.M.A.N. technique to focus on a that type of situation.

1. Describe the current interaction

“You keep asking me over and over again even though I have already said no.”
Avoid blaming the other person…i.e. don’t say “you just don’t want to hear me

2. Express your opinions/feelings of discomfort about the interaction

“I’m not sure that you understand what I am asking”
“I’m starting to feel angry about this.”

3. Assert your wishes 

“When the other person is refusing a request, suggest that you put off the conversation to another time

Give the person another chance to think about it
When the other person is pestering you, ask them to stop

4. Reinforce

When saying no to someone who keeps asking….suggest that you end the conversation because you aren’t going to change your mind anyway.

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Ty Knighten
Ty Knighten knows a thing or two about relationships and dating. A single mom from Calif., Ty decided to turn her experiences in love and relationships into a blog. Written with plenty of sass, her mission is to help women empower themselves to realize love, success and confidence through her articles. She writes about dating and relationships from the perspective of a single mom but adds insights that will help women and men as they maneuver through the confusing world of dating and relationships. You can reach her on Twitter @UHeardMeRight, on Facebook at The Sexy Single Mommy or connect with her on Google+ and Instagram at chocoty.

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