DBT FAST Skills: A Real Life Example

April 22, 2015

Recently while brunching with a friend, she was telling me about her upcoming trip to Europe. She was going to France for a school trip, and her classmates were going to continue on to Greece for a couple of days after. She shared that she recently made the decision to not travel to Greece after weeks of wavering and finally communicated her decision to the organizer. She expressed that she felt good that she finally made a decision and even better that she was able to let the organizer know. It turns out that she really didn’t want to go for financial reasons, work-related reasons, and didn’t want the stress of more traveling.

When asked about it, she said she normally would just give in despite her true feelings. It reminded me of the DBT FAST skills and how effective they can be in situations where one needs to stick up for themselves and/or set a boundary while keeping their self-respect, also known as self-respect effectiveness.

Self-respect effectiveness is needed in every interaction and you can always check in with yourself to see if you are maintaining your self-respect by asking yourself a few questions:

  • Do you stand up for your peer group’s values or your own?
  • Do you put on a tough attitude to avoid humiliating yourself, but at the same time lose self-respect by being mean and tough?
  • Do you lie or tell the truth?
  • Do you act competent or incompetent?

If you find that you need more direction to skillfully maintain your self-respect, check out OPI’s GIVE skill video, below, for guidance using this Interpersonal Effectiveness skill.




At OPI, we offer compassionate, clinically sophisticated intensive residential help for young adult men and women who suffer from borderline personality disorder or BPD traits, including genetic testing to determine the best course for medications, if needed. Rather than a sterile, hospital-like environment, we offer beautiful accommodations in luxury apartments just outside of Los Angeles.  At OPI Intensive, we treat the individual, not the diagnosis.  Our clinical team is made up of a diverse community of passionate, highly skilled individuals working together with you to help you find your joy and express it.   For more information on OPI Intensive residential programs and our measures to help young adults with Borderline Personality Disorder, call us at (888) 814-5985 or click HERE to submit an online form. We’ll be in touch promptly.