A graphic that reads "The Skillful Podcast: Season 2 Episode 41: How Strongly to Ask or Say No" in white text over a stock photo of two women sitting on a hillside talking. | Bay Area DBT | DBT Podcast

#41: How Strongly to Ask or Say No

Do you find asking for things or saying no hard? If so, this episode is for you. 

Marielle and Ed provide a framework for thinking about how strongly to make requests and how strongly to say no. For some people, making requests confidently is challenging and for others, it’s saying no that is hard.

Sometimes it depends on the type of relationship. Perhaps you’re comfortable saying no with friends but not with family, or you can easily make requests at work but not of your significant other. 

Whatever your exact challenges with saying no or asking for things are, this episode will help you weigh different factors so you can communicate your wants and needs with confidence.

Show Highlights

  • Saying no or asking for something isn’t black and white
  • You can say no or ask for something firmly or lightly
  • Review each letter of the DEAR MAN acronym carefully
  • Think in terms of nuances to avoid extremes 
  • Emotions can cloud your ability to know your own limits
  • There are 10 different factors to determine the intensity of asking or saying no:
    • Capability
    • Priorities
    • Self-respect
    • Rights
    • Authority
    • Relationship
    • Long term vs. short-term goals
    • Give and take
    • Homework
    • Timing

DBT Skills Discussed

Ask us a Question

We’d love to hear from you! Where are you getting stuck with your skills application? Ask us a question for the chance to have it answered on the podcast. Submit your question here. 

Please note that questions, and this podcast in general, are not a substitute for individual mental health treatment.