What is an “I” statement?
Often I hear people talking about their own personal experiences using the words “you” and “we”.
Ex: You are wrong; You are crazy; You need to; You can’t; We all need to; etc. Another way I hear “you” used is when people pause and say, “you know?” repeatedly. I may not “know”…so just keep talking and I’ll decide :o)
Using “I” statements makes me vulnerable and transparent, and prevents the other person to whom I am relating from becoming defensive. My feelings are always about me, even if your actions were harmful to me or another person.
By using “I” statements, I simply relate my personal experience.
When someone says to me, “you need to start recycling or the planet will spontaneously com-bust”, or whatever people think will happen, that someone is making up stories about me. That someone assumes I don’t recycle. Well, I DO recycle. And now, I’m offended that this someone doesn’t think I care about the planet’s spontaneous combustion, or whatever, so its more difficult for me to hear what this someone has to say.
Does that make sense?
If not, here is an adorable picture of hedgehogs for your viewing pleasure: