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“I” Statements

Communication is something we all struggle with from time to time. It’s so important, though, because you cannot have your needs met if you cannot effectively communicate them. “I” statements help with communication skills to get you what you need. “I” statements focus on how you feel and what you think, rather than on the other person and how they are feeling or thinking. These types of statements help you to remove blame and take accountability for your thoughts, feelings, and actions. They are assertive, but do not make accusations or get defensive. Below is one way you can use “I” statements in a conversation, as well as an actual example of an “I” statement. 

I feel…

The first step of an “I” statement is to state how you feel. This part of “I” statements help you take accountability for your thoughts, feelings, and actions. This removes putting the blame on the other person.

  • “I am upset that my jacket was damaged…”

Because…

The second step of an “I” statement is to explain why you are feeling the way you are feeling. This explanation helps the other person understand why you are feeling the way you say you are feeling. 

  • “I am upset that my jacket was damaged…because I cannot afford to replace it.”

When…

The third step of an “I” statement is where you explain how the other person’s actions have impacted you. You want to do this without an accusatory tone. This step is important if you are struggling with feeling a certain way when someone else does something you don’t like.

  • “I am upset that my jacket was damaged because I cannot afford to replace it. I really appreciate when the things I loan…”

What I need is…

The fourth and final step of an “I” statement is where you explain your needs. This is where the change happens. In this step, you can also explain how these needs can be met. 

  • “I am upset that my jacket was damaged because I cannot afford to replace it. I really appreciate when the things I loan…are taken care of.”

“I” statements are an important part of interpersonal effectiveness skills. They are necessary to use when you need to get your point and needs across in an effective and healthy manner. Villa Tranquil Recovery wants to help you with your interpersonal effectiveness skills. Call us now for more information about the programs we offer at 866-697-7573. We can’t wait to hear from you!