Monday, April 8, 2013

Communication Rule Number 1

Communication Rule 1:
Make "I" Statements not "You" Statements.
Your partner's going to like it much better if you express feelings ("I feel unlovable") rather than make accusations ("You're selfish and unloving"). Okay, sure, we know that. But sometimes—especially during a fight—nothing but a good "you" statement will do. And, anyway, we usually don't think we're really making "you" statements.

When we're angry, parts of our brain shut down and other parts open up. We become "you" statement generating machines. We lose the ability to make "I" statements or do anything other than attack or defend. We forget what an "I" statement is. Even if we were to remember, it wouldn't matter, because we'd have absolutely no interest in making one.
"You" statements are often first approximations of "I" statements. "You're completely selfish and irresponsible coming home late like this," may be a rough first draft of, "I wish I didn't get so upset when you're late. You know me, I take it personally." "You" statements indicate that something needs to be talked about; "I" statements provide the means to do so.

Dan Wile

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