When someone keeps repeating inappropriate behavior, try the DESC approach. The four steps are describe, express, specify, and consequences.
1. Describe the objectionable behavior.
Poor: You’re ignoring me! You insensitive, spiteful, stubborn bore.
Better: You are not looking at me when I ask a question and you are not answering me.
2. Express your feelings.
Poor: You make me so angry I could wring your neck. I really hate you! Better: When you do this, I feel hurt. I feel insignificant and unimportant here.
3. Specify what action you want to see.
Poor: Notice I’m alive!
Better: Would you please look at me and give me a quick answer?
4. Tell the person the consequences if there is no change in behavior.
Poor: I’ll give the children up to the orphanage and leave!
Better: I’ll let you know I appreciate you looking and answering with a hug and a kiss!!