Learning to say “I” instead of “you”
For each scene below, change the blaming “you” statement, into a feeling “I” statement.
An I-statement is a sentence that begins with the word "I." It helps the speaker take responsibility for their feelings instead of saying they are caused by the other person. This can help keep relationships open and honest between people when there is a conflict.
Your teacher asks you to redo a report for the fifth time.
Instead of: “You’ll never be happy with anything I turn in!”
Try: “I feel ________ when you __________ because I’ve already tried my best.”
Your brother’s music is so loud that you can't study.
Instead of: “You only think about yourself!!!”
Try: “I feel _________ when you ________ because I can't do my homework. Please turn it down.”
You just found out that your friend told a secret.
Instead of: “You’re such a big mouth!”
Try: “I feel ________ when you _________ because I wanted to keep that news between you and me.”
You sit down to watch a movie with your boyfriend, but he turns on football, again.
Instead of: “You don’t even care about me!”
Try: “I feel __________ when you don’t ask me what I want to do.”
Content last reviewed September 22, 2009
Page last updated October 31, 2013