Communication and the “I” statement

i-statementI am by no means a master on this subject and often mess it up, but the principle is something I aspire to.

When ever possible during any form of communication using the would “I” within the statements is a good call. Examples such as, “I feel …” or “I am worried…” or “I am concerned…”.

This strategy will generally give you the best chance of being listened to and understood.

You may say something like, “I am concerned and worried about how you are behaving towards me.” this is far better than, “You are attacking me and you should stop doing it!”

The latter example is just plain confrontation and not really part of a sensitive and caring  conversation. It is unlikely to making the person think about opening up the lines of communication and sharing you. It’s more likely to create further misunderstanding and distance between the two parties.

The “I” statement is a good way of raise a persons attention to something that you see them doing. It may not change the behaviour, but it might give them pause to think or open up a precious dialogue on the subject.

It is always important to express your feelings and helping others to do the same. However, pointing things like jealousy, anger, disappointment or loneliness and leaving the person feeling criticised are seldom part of productive investigation into a persons emotional array, because they  normally seen as “bad”, therefore hidden, repressed or denied.


“I am feeling hurt”

Draws the person into a dialogue

“You hurt me”

Pushes the person away and raises barriers

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