By avoiding “You statements” you can transform your communication. Starting a conversation with a “You Statement” signals an attack that invite defensiveness. A “You statement” focuses on what someone is doing to you. When it becomes a pattern your communication comes out like criticism. It lacks accountability. It also repels others because the focus is always about them and that’s not healthy.
Instead use an “I statement” that focuses on how you feel and what you need. Name the specific behavior that bothers you. It’s much harder to react when someone describes the behavior without embellishing it. It also makes it easier to hear their concerns because it’s not an attack. It’s just a fact.
Contributor: Michelle Farris from counseling recovery