“I” statements are a way for me to express my thoughts, feelings, and opinions in a clear and non-confrontational manner. Instead of blaming or accusing others, I can take responsibility for my own emotions and actions.
Using “I” statements, I can improve my communication and prevent conflicts by reducing my defensiveness and promoting understanding. They can be particularly helpful when I feel frustrated, angry, or hurt.
An “I” statement typically consists of three parts:
A description of the behaviour I have observed;
My emotional response to that behaviour; and
The effect the behaviour has on me.
For example, instead of saying, “You always interrupt me when I’m talking”, I can use an “I” statement such as, “I feel frustrated when I’m interrupted because it makes me feel like my opinion doesn’t matter.”
By using “I” statements, I can express myself in an assertive yet respectful way. This can lead to more productive conversations and stronger relationships.
I must remember to focus on my own experiences and avoid making assumptions or generalisations about others. With practice, using I statements can become a natural and effective way of expressing myself.