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.
|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.”|
|Blaming||Your son always cancels plans at the last minute. Recently, you were waiting when they called to say they couldn’t make it|
|Blaming||Your daughter takes all phone calls in the middle of the night. you have repeatedly been woken up|
|Blaming||Your partner keeps borrowing money from your joint account, the balance is becoming a real issue and you are continually going into overdraft.|
Try to use “I” statements to reduce emotional confrontations