DEESC Script

The DEESC Script helps you communicate your needs in a way that is respectful, yet assertive. When you are passive, you are meeting someone else's needs and you may not be treated with respect. When you are aggressive, you are meeting your needs only and not respecting the other person. This script helps you communicate in a way that is in the middle (assertive)... meeting each other's needs for communication and respect.

Communicating your needs doesn't always mean you'll get your way. But, you have done your part and you can only change your behavior (not others). Here's what it stands for:

D - Describe the situation, factually. Stick to the what happened, not what you think the other person's intentions were.

E - Express the emotions you feel when the situation happens.

E - Empathize with the other person. We often forget this step in the heat of the moment, but it's helpful because 1) at times people do things that are harmful (although with good intentions) without knowing it and 2) it disarms the person and doesn't make them feel  as defensive.

S - Specify what it is that you need or want. What action are you asking them to take or change? Remember, all you can do is request, you can't make someone change.

C - Consequences. Talk about the good consequences that would come from the understanding, as well as the unfortunate consequences, if not.


Here's an example: 

D - When you yell at me to stop worrying...

E - I feel frustrated and angry.

E - I understand that you are trying to help me and that you care about me.

S - I need (or want) you to ask me, instead: "How can I help you?"

C - If you can do that, then I will tell you what I need and we can work together. If not, then we may continue to fight and not get along, and I don't want that.

Next time, you want to talk with someone about their actions and your needs, give the DEESC Script a try!

Click the PDF for one you can print!