“I feel” statements are very useful for clear communication. A true “I” statements says something about the self without criticizing or blaming the other person and without holding the other person responsible for our feelings or reactions. As well, the other person can not argue with our feelings as easily as our opinions so we avoid debates.

Examples of “I” statements;

  • “I feel…”
  • “I would appreciate…”
  • “I need…”
  • “I fear…”
  • “I want…”

It is important to avoid all “you” staements as they are likely to make the other person defensive.

Watch out not to use “you” statements with an “I feel” in front of it. These are disguised “you” statements.

Examples of disguised “you” statements;

  • “I feel you are controlling and self-centered”
  • “I feel you don’t listen to me”

also avoid opinions as they can become implied “you” statements. Stick with feelings.

Examples of implied “you” statements;

  • “I feel taken advantage of” (implying “you” are taking advantage of “me”)
  • “I feel manipulated” (implying “you” are manipulating “me”)