4. Communicating Effectively with your Relative and Setting Limits


Effective speaking

Using the DESC framework

The following is an example that demonstrates how to use the DESC framework. The first example is broken down into the four parts.


“When you leave your dishes in the sink…”


“…I feel annoyed…”


“…I’d like you to put them in the dishwasher…”


“…Then I’ll have more time to spend relaxing with you in the evenings.”

When you criticize me in front of my friends, I feel embarrassed and defensive. I’d prefer that you wait until we’re alone to let me know what’s bothering you. Then I’ll be able to better listen to you.

When you leave your drugs lying around the house, I feel angry and alarmed. I’d prefer that you not have it in the house—or if you do, that you hide it well. If you do this, I’ll be less likely to fight with you about your drug use.

When you drink while we’re out at a restaurant, I get nervous and uncomfortable. I’d like you to be sober when we go out together, so I can be more relaxed and we can enjoy the evening.

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