When your mate touches a nerve

Posted on May 30, 2017

What do you do when you feel uneasy, upset, or even angry? Do you change the subject? Blame the person for being unreasonable or inconsiderate? Or do you withdraw?

By responding thoughtfully instead of impulsively, you are more likely to create a receptive, friendly climate in which positive emotions and relationships can flourish. This kind of caring response is often referred to as an ‘I-statement’. I-statements usually begins with the word ‘I’. Such statements are a simple yet powerful way to state our thoughts, feelings, wishes, or needs. I-statements tend to foster connection, cooperation, and respect. On the other hand, a ‘YOU-statement’ often begins with the word ‘You’ and is typically used to express negative judgements. Such statements tend to create distance.

An ‘I-statement’ can express what and how you are feeling, why you are feeling the way you do, what are your needs and plans. Such statements are powerful in relationships as they can allow intentions to be conveyed, thoughts and feelings to be stated calmly, and encourage clarity, understanding, and cooperation between the two parties.
Most of us can learn to communicate positively, even when our buttons get pushed.

If making I-statements feels challenging, make them anyway. Practice makes perfect. By using I-statements more often, we’re likely to relate more emphatically to ourselves, our partner, and others.


Category(s):Relationships & Marriage

Source material from PsychCentral


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