"I" Statements

When a person feels that they are being blamed – whether rightly or wrongly – it’s common that they respond with defensiveness. “I” Statements are a simple way of speaking that will help you avoid this trap by reducing feelings of blame. A good “I” statement takes responsibility for one’s own feeling, while tactfully describing a problem.

“I feel emotion word when explanation.”

  • “I feel…” must be followed with an emotion word, such as “angry”, “hurt”, or “worried”.
  • Careful wording won’t help if your voice still sounds blaming. Use a soft and even tone.
  • In your explanation, gently describe how the other person’s actions affect you.
Examples
Blaming “You can’t keep coming home so late! It’s so inconsiderate.”
“I” Statement “I feel worried when you come home late. I can’t even sleep.”

 

Blaming “You never call me. I guess we just don’t talk anymore. You make me upset.”
“I” Statement “I feel hurt when you go so long without calling. I’m afraid something is wrong.”

 

Practice
Blaming Your son always cancels plans at the last minute. Recently, you were waiting when they called to say they couldn’t make it
“I” Statement

 

Blaming Your daughter takes all phone calls in the middle of the night. you have repeatedly been woken up
“I” Statement

 

Blaming Your partner keeps borrowing money from your joint account, the balance is becoming a real issue and you are continually going into overdraft.
“I” Statement

 

Try to use “I” statements to reduce emotional confrontations