“I Feel Statements” are used in situations that are clear and fairly simple, when you what to express yourself and avoid a buildup of feelings without attacking or hurting the self-esteem of the other. I messages are used in more complex situations to clarify for yourself and the other person just what you are feeling when a) you have difficult negative feelings, b) you confront someone and want them to change their behavior, and c) it is very sensitive and important that the other person accurately understand. These statements take the form of “When you did that thing I felt this way. That thing is a behavior of the other person, and this way is your specific feelings. Here are some examples:
* “I felt embarrassed when you told our friends how we are pinching pennies.”
* “I liked it when you helped with the dishes without being asked.”
* “I feel hurt and am disappointed that you forgot our anniversary”.
It is called an I message because the focus is on you, and the message is about yourself. This is in contrast to a You message which focuses on and gives a message about the other person. When using I messages you take responsibility for your own feelings, rather than accusing the other person of making you feel a certain way. by Larry Nadig,Ph.D.
We are taught you must blame your father,
your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers,
but never blame yourself. It’s never your fault.
But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted
to change you’re the one who has got to change.
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