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DBT Interpersonal Effectiveness Coping Statements

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Interpersonal effectiveness coping statements, such as, “I can understand and validate another person, and still ask for what I want” and “I can’t change other’s actions or words, but I can choose how I respond” are helpful things you can tell yourself during interpersonal conflicts and disappointing situations. Repeating these validating statements can be challenging at first, but the more we practice them, the more we bring our authentic selves to our interpersonal relationships.

The DBT Interpersonal Effectiveness Coping Statements handout presents various affirmations that clients can use during interpersonal conflicts. The affirmations are accompanied by visuals to make them more attractive and understandable. They can choose any coping statement that resonates with them depending on the situation they’re dealing with.

Using interpersonal effectiveness coping statements promotes social awareness and a sense of validation for kids and teens who are having a difficult time. If your child struggles with their relationships with friends or at school, they can turn to this handout and repeat an affirmation aloud. For an added benefit, we suggest pairing this handout with our Interpersonal Effectiveness Coping Statements worksheet.

*This item is an instant digital download. A link to download your files will be emailed to you once payment is confirmed.

Want more resources like this? Check out our full catalog of DBT worksheets and handouts.


  1. Shea, L. (2020b). The courage to be: Using DBT skills to choose who to be in uncertainty. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 61(2), 260–274. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022167820950887
  2. Sherman, D. K., Brookfield, J. S., & Ortosky, L. (2017). Intergroup conflict and barriers to common ground: A self‐affirmation perspective. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 11(12). https://doi.org/10.1111/spc3.12364
  3. Schumann, K., Ritchie, E. G., & Dragotta, A. (2021, May 31). Adapted Self-Affirmation and Conflict Management in Romantic Relationships. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/j3hyk
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