DBT Series 17 - GIVE

banner image

We have finally made it to the last category of DBT skills, Interpersonal Effectiveness. As a reminder from Series 1, the goal of Interpersonal Effectiveness skills is “to learn how to be effective in interpersonal interactions, so that [the] interactions with others will have outcomes [you] want” (1). There are 3 Interpersonal Effectiveness skills. Today we will hear about GIVE.

GIVE is called the Relationship Effectiveness skill. The GIVE skill is used when interacting with another person and can help you foster positive interactions or maintain a positive relationship with the other person.

GIVE is an acronym that stands for:

  • Gentle
  • (Be) Interested
  • Validate
  • Easy Manner

Gentle. This skill encourages us to be gentle and kind toward the other person, to not react harshly, and to accept the occasional “no” from someone else when it's warranted.

(Be) Interested. This includes being present with the person and actively listening to what they are saying. Other ways to be interested in what the person is saying includes not interrupting, providing verbal and nonverbal feedback that you are listening (such as a head nod), and asking open-ended questions when appropriate.

Validate. This includes outwardly and verbally acknowledging the other person’s thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Remember, validating does always mean that you are approving or liking what the other person is saying.

Easy Manner. Having an easy manner when communicating with someone else may include using a little humor (when appropriate to do so), being lighthearted, and putting on a genuine smile.

Want to hear more about the DBT GIVE skill? Check out this free video from DBT-RU to hear more! (2)


(1) Linehan, M. M. (2015). DBT Skills Training Manual (2nd ed., p. 235). The Guilford Press.

(2) [@DBTRU]. (2020, December 8). GIVE  [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TssJs6g6QLI&t=36s

Reminder: these blog posts are meant to be purely educational and/or entertainment tools and do NOT replace psychotherapy and/or other medically necessary treatments.

Are you ready to take the first step?