Positive Communication

Building better communication though I StatementsIn my goal list for the year I mentioned being a better communicator (number 16, to be exact). So in honor of this I thought I would share one of my favorite rules for healthy communication: I statements.

Haven’t heard of them before? Ohhh let me tell you about their greatness. The whole goal here is that we pose our statements from our own point of view instead of as a general rule. It allows us to accept responsibility and take ownership of our feelings. When done correctly, it can also help to turn an argument into a constructive conversation, or it may prevent the fight all together!

Ideally each statement will have three parts:

“I feel” [emotion] + specific example of when you felt that way + the reason you felt that way

using I statements

Here are some other examples:

Not-so-nice-statement: “You’re the messiest person EVER!”
I statement: “I feel frustrated when you leave clothes on the floor because I feel like you expect me to clean it up, even if you don’t.”

Rude-statement: “You’re weird.”
I statement: “I feel a bit confused when you eat chips with peanut butter because I have never heard of it before.”

Fight-starter-statement: Why do you keep buying stuff?
I statement: I feel uncomfortable when you shop often because I think we should save money for our futures.”

Angry-Statement: I hate you.
I Statement: I feel angry because you threw away my cake and I was looking forward to finishing it.

Jerk-Statement: You’re an asshole.
I Statement: I feel angry about your negative comment about my dress because it’s one of my favorites.

Do you use I-statements? 
Any fun examples for the class? 😉

6 Comments

  1. I couldn’t agree more: “I” statements vs “you” statements have saved me from many a fight. Or, if I’m going to have a fight, at least I’ll fight fair, without generalizing beyond the person in front of me.

    Brittney

    anotherbeautifulthing.blogspot.com
    Brittney recently posted…Chain MailMy Profile

  2. we’ve talked about this before, but i literally define I-statements several times a day for my job. they are the most important communication tool, in my opinion, because they allow both parties to address the feelings, instead of the initial action. no one can deny your feelings, even though they could try to deny an action or intention. sorry, got a little advocate-y here.

    anyway, i feel that this is a beautiful post because i feel very validated by what you’ve written.

    hooray!

    xo nicole
    nicole s. recently posted…a little wednesday funMy Profile

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