28. Swap ‘You’ for ‘I’

‘I’ statements are a quick and easy way of communicating with people to help effective communication, especially for parents and carers with their children.

If you’re speaking to your children (or actually if you’re speaking to anybody!) if you can swap the word ‘you’ to ‘I’.

‘I’ is a lot less threatening and much more effective.

So if you want to say “I feel sad” or “I feel upset” or “I find that difficult” you’ll find it much less threatening and you’ll get that other person on board much quicker than if you said you.

For example instead of “you are annoying me” “you are making my life difficult”  “you are not listening to me” try and swap it round to say “I find this difficult” “I’m finding this behaviour difficult” “I need a break” “I need five minutes out”

So just remember then to swap it.

If you hear yourself saying ‘you’ swap it to “I take a break” and just rethink it through and you’ll find that it is much more effective with those around you.

The other positive about using I statements is, it keeps YOU in control. You own the statement and the feeling – no one can take this away from you. You have the power to take control.