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Hilarious "I Statements" In Communication Efforts

by Anonymous
(Colorado, USA)

What did he just say?

What did he just say?

Anyone who's been around the psychological block has heard of the communication technique of using "I statements". I remember a family member's hard time grasping this concept during our first several therapy sessions.

While it wasn't funny at the time, in hindsight, his "I statements" are hilarious:

"I feel that you are a selfish b*tch."

"I feel that you should shut up."

"I feel you are manipulative and mean."

"I feel your reactions are not sane."

"I feel you nag too much."

Learning to identify our feelings and communicate them... wow, so hard sometimes.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. You're right, that is hilarious...and like you said, not so funny at the time.

There are so many ways to "cheat" with good communication skills, and you've pointed out one of the most popular ones. When the "I" statement starts with "I feel that you..." or has any version of the pronoun "you" right after "I feel" well...the value of the communication tool becomes useless. What was intended to be a statement of responsibility turns into a blaming, accusing statement.

What is intended to come after "I feel" (for those of you who don't alread know this...) is some type of emotion, like, "angry" "sad" "scared" or even milder words like "frustrated" and "worried."

Here's a great run-down on the entire conflict resolution process, giving lead-in statements for both parties: conflict resolution communication techniques.

Thanks again for your contribution!

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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