It is possible to verbalize one idea in different ways. Conventionally, all our messages to others can be classified into two types, “I-language messages” and “You- language messages”. Thus, it is important to transform “You-language statements” into “I-language statements”, and present real-life example of their use in everyday practice.
Translating “You-language statements” into “I-language statements” I have the following result:
- You are so selfish. – When I see that a person makes everything only for own prosperity, I have no desire to communicate with him/her and want to leave.
- You don’t understand a word I’m saying. – I feel very confused when I am telling something and receive no reaction on my words.
- You are too nosy; mind your own business. – I don’t like when other people are interested in my business.
- You totally humiliated me in front of our friends. – I feel a shame when our friends hear the information about me presented in such a way.
- You never help me around the house. – I feel very angry when a chaos is everywhere. Please help me to clean the house.
It is hard to be always responsible for own deeds, and sometimes I use “You-language messages” in my everyday practice. I know that “You-language message” makes my opponent to feel guilty, or it contains a recommendation to another, putting me aside of a situation. It is a wrong step from my side to be so selfish and think only about own interests. For instance, I like to say my friend that he is always late when I’m waiting him for half an hour and lost my possibilities to be somewhere on time. It looks like the following: “You always late and irresponsibility is a part of you character!” Of course, such message has no effect on my friend, and we have the same situation every time. Thinking about the use of “I-language statements”, I decided to practice it in real life and send him the following message on his phone next time: “I understand that you have to finish some your businesses, but I do not have time to wait, let’s move our meeting to another day?” I was really impressed by the result, because my friend began to be punctual only by the reason that I understand him and believe that he is able to keep his word and do not late.
In conclusion, “I-language messages” are really powerful instruments in verbal communication, which allow not only to accuse others, but to show own emotions and explain own feelings in easy and understandable way.
Fussell, S. (2002). The Verbal Communication of Emotions: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Patterson, K. et al. (2002). Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High. McGraw-Hill.
Shakespeare, P. (1998). Aspects of Confused Speech: A Study of Verbal Interaction between Confused and Normal Speakers. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.