Improving Comminucation Skills

by | Aug 20, 2023 | Blog

“Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be; embrace who you are.” – Brené Brown

Effective communication is the cornerstone of healthy relationships, whether they’re romantic, familial, or professional. One effective tool that can transform your communication style and promote healthier interactions is the ‘I statement’. Here, we explore what ‘I’ statements are, how to use them, and their positive benefits.

Understanding ‘I Statements’

An ‘I statement’ is a communication technique used to express your feelings, thoughts, and needs in a non-confrontational and assertive manner. It focuses on expressing your emotions and perspectives without blaming or accusing others. Unlike the more common ‘you statement,’ which often triggers defensiveness and resistance, an ‘I statement’ takes ownership of your emotions and encourages understanding and empathy.

How to Use ‘I Statements’

  • Identify Your Emotions: Begin by recognising and labelling your emotions. Are you feeling frustrated, hurt, disappointed, or anxious? Identifying your emotions is the first step in expressing them effectively.
  • State the Behaviour: Describe the specific behaviour or situation that triggered your emotions. Be objective and avoid making assumptions about the other person’s intentions.
  • Express Your Feelings: Share your emotions in a calm and clear manner. Use “I feel” statements to convey your emotions. For example, “I feel hurt when…”
  • Communicate the Impact: Explain how the behaviour or situation has affected you. Be honest and open about your thoughts and needs.
  • Make a Request: If necessary, make a request for a specific change or action that could help improve the situation. Be considerate and realistic in your requests.

Benefits of Using ‘I Statements’

  • Reduced Defensiveness: By focusing on your feelings and experiences, you’re less likely to trigger defensiveness in the other person.
  • Improved Understanding: ‘I statements’ encourage open and empathetic communication, promoting better understanding between individuals. In addition to sharing your feelings, you’re encouraging others to open up as well.
  • Respectful Communication: This technique promotes respectful communication by avoiding blame and accusations. They keep things calm and encourage finding solutions.
  • Conflict Resolution: ‘I statements’ create a conducive environment for resolving conflicts and finding common ground.
  • Boost Self-Awareness: By using this approach, you’re becoming more aware of your emotions and learning to express them positively.
  • Maintain Respect: ‘I statements’ help you avoid blaming and criticism, which maintains respect and nurtures relationships.

Self-Exploration Questions

  • What emotions am I currently experiencing in my relationships?
  • In what situations do I tend to use blaming language or ‘you statements’? How does this impact my communication?
  • Can I recall a recent conflict or disagreement? How might using an ‘I statement’ have changed the outcome?
  • How comfortable am I with expressing my emotions? Do I tend to suppress them or express them in unhealthy ways?
  • What are some recurring communication patterns in my relationships? How can ‘I statements’ help break these patterns?


Mastering the art of communication is a journey that involves self-awareness, empathy, and a willingness to improve. Incorporating ‘I statements’ into your communication repertoire can pave the way for more harmonious relationships, effective conflict resolution, and enhanced personal growth. By taking responsibility for your emotions and expressing them assertively, you’ll create a positive shift in your interactions and nurture deeper connections with those around you.

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