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Using 'I' statements


Christmas can be a tricky time for various reasons but in this month's blog I wanted to talk specifically about how owning what we say can really help in tricky situations.

Picture the scene - surrounded by family you maybe don't particularly like, eating food you would rather not and it all gets a bit heated.

If you say "I hate you because you always blame me for burning the Christmas Pudding" This sentence sounds very different from "I don't like it when you blame me for burning the Christmas Pudding"

The latter separates the behavior you don't like from the person whereas the former is labeling the whole person when in reality it's one aspect of the person's behavior that you are commenting on.

It is also useful to use 'I' statements so rather than "You always make a mess" it would be better to say "I feel you make a mess" or "It seems to me you tend to make a mess" With the "I" statements, you are making it clear this is your perspective. When confronted with both the statements how would you feel? It's likely that "you always make a mess" is likely to illicit a defensive response rather than invite a dialogue.

This Christmas why not pay attention to how you communicate?


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