I is for Ice cream!!! (Just Kidding “I” Statements)

Taking appropriate responsibility for thoughts, feelings, and actions is key to enjoying a life where you are the one giving it purpose.  It’s also important to be aware of the interdependence between all living beings.  So, no one makes you feel, think, or do anything.  They do have influence though.  Depending on the type of relationship, people involved, and dynamics the amount of influence varies.
“I” statements keep the focus on you.  It shows your awareness of what is occurring as well as how it affects you.  You are opening your heart and sharing from your reality.  This allows the other person to do the same.  
I use the “i” statement to share where I am at emotionally and ask for help.  This statement as outlined in dialect al behavior therapy (DBT) has four parts.  The four parts are in concrete terms what the other person has done, how you feel about this, what you would like the other person to do, and what you will do if they are not willing to help in that way.

  1. Tell how you feel emotionally.  Use feeling words such as sad, scared and/or disrespected.  I feel…
  2. What the other person has done in behavioral terms.  Be clear, concise, and concrete.  When you…
  3. State clearly what you would like the other person to do.  Keep it simple sassy!  State what you want done behavior wise such as speak without yelling, do the dishes after you cook, or call more.  I would like you to…
  4. State what you will do to take care of yourself if number three is not done.  Be realistic, avoid threats, and be honest with what you are willing to do.  If you cannot or will not I will care for myself by…

Example 

I feel scared when you yell and throw things.  I would like you to speak quietly and not throw things.  If you cannot do that I will leave the room until you stop.
This does not guarantee change in others but it does go far in beginning to take your power back.  

Shyra

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