DESC Communication Tool
D – Describe the behavior
E – Explain the effect of the behavior
S – State the desired outcome
C – Consequence: say what will happen if the behavior continues

Some people prefer to memorize the key words that represent this model because it gives them a
consistent structure to follow:
When . . .
I feel . . . because . . .
Therefore, I want/need . . .
So that . .

“When you tell me I’m expected to be at the get-together without consulting me first [Describing the behaviour], I feel disrespected and unimportant [name the feeling] because I think that I am not getting to have a say in decisions that affect me. I need to be involved in these plans in future [state desired outcome] so that I can make sure that we both get what we want [consequence].

Using these kind of “I” statements gets one out of blaming, and taking positions. It opens the door to more genuine communication.

Emotional Boundaries

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Boundaries Introduction

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Boundaries & Relationships – Communication – Relationships

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What Are Boundaries and Why are They Important?

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Relationship Deal Breakers – Non Negotiable Boundaries

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Setting Boundaries in Relationships

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Telling all. I consider the other person’s level of interest and caring before opening up to them. Talking at an intimate level on the first meeting. – 25k –

Boundaries: Respect in Relationships by D. Scott Miller -Youth

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Establish Boundaries That Honor You.

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What are boundaries?

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  • I have a right to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • I have a right to have and express all my feelings.
  • I have a right to take care of myself first if I choose to.
  • I have a right to be listened to and taken seriously.
  • I have a right to make mistakes.
  • I have a right to say NO! I do not need to justify myself or give reasons.
  • I have a right to say NO without feeling guilty.
  • I have a right to say NO to anything I feel I am not ready for.
  • I have a right to say NO to anything that violates my values.
  • I have a right to say NO to anything that I feel is unsafe.
  • I have a right to terminate conversations – because I want to – when I feel humiliated or put down.
  • I have a right to choose who to spend my time with.
  • I have a right to play and have fun.
  • I have a right to set limits for myself
  • I have a right to make my own choices and decisions.
  • I have a right to choose my own spiritual beliefs.
  • I have a right to physical and emotional privacy.
  • I have a right to grieve.
  • I have a right to talk about things that are important to me.
  • I have a right to be angry.
  • I have a right to express my needs.
  • I have a right to make noise, to laugh, and to cry out loud


Some tips for strengthening boundary-setting skills are:

1. The things we say we can’t stand, don’t like or feel angry about may be areas screaming for boundaries.

2. When we know we need to set a limit with someone, do it clearly, preferably without anger, and in as few words as possible. Avoid justifying, rationalizing or apologizing.

3. We cannot set a boundary (limit) and at the same time take care of another person’s feelings.

4. We will be tested when we set boundaries. Plan on it. It doesn’t do any good to set a boundary until we’re ready to enforce if. Often, the key to boundaries isn’t convincing other people we have limits – it’s convincing ourselves.

6. Be prepared to follow through by ensuring that our behavior matches the boundaries we set.  What we do needs to match what we say. Consequences and ultimatums are one  way to enforce boundaries.  We will set boundaries when we’re ready, and not a minute sooner. We do it on our own time, not someone else’s.

7. Healthy limits benefit everyone. People may not know they/re overstepping our boundaries-unless we fell them. People will respect people that they can’t use.

8. A support system can be helpful as we strive to establish and enforce boundaries. It can be valuable to have feedback about what’s normal and what our rights are. A cheering squad is very helpful as we strive to assert our rights.

9. There’s a fun side to boundary setting too. We get to identify what we like, what feels good, what we want, and what brings us pleasure. That’s when we begin to enhance the quality of our lives.

Healthy living means you give to people from time to time. Strive for balance. Strive for flexibility. Strive for a healthy sense of self and how you deserve to be treated.

– author unknown at this time –

The Five Freedoms
By Virginia Satir

What is here,
Instead of what should be,
Was, or will be

What one feels and thinks
Instead of what one should

What one feels,
Instead of what one ought

For what one wants,
Instead of always waiting
For permission

In one’s own behalf,
Instead of choosing to be
Only “secure”
And not rocking the boat

Assertiveness Handbook by Randy Paterson

When I Say No I Feel Guilty, by Manuel Smith. Going on 30 years old, but still one of the top sellers. A bit better on business relationships than personal ones. feelings of others.

Your Perfect Right, by Emmons and Alberti. Nice and chatty style, good on the beliefs that hold us back from being more assertive.

Asserting Your Self, by Bower and Bower. A nice, focussed book with an emphasis on making requests of others.

Messages by McKay Davis & Fanning (on general communication) – useful for people with limited social skills trying to learn the gamut of communication strategies from assertiveness to asking for a date.