I vs. You

Have you ever stepped back and looked at what you communicated to another person and thought to yourself? Do I really sound like that? Let me be the first to tell you that you are not alone. There are many brilliant conversationalists that simply are too aggressive. It would seem that either this aggressive behavior is learned from one’s parents or learned from a particular type of environment that one has grown accustomed to.  It’s very easy to get carried away with the idea of your own self-worth. Verbal aggressiveness is a method of argument that attacks a person’s self-concept in effort to arrive at a point.

I was supposed to help my friend with a project at home. I said that I was simply going to dinner with my cousin and that I would return shortly after. Well, I did not return right away. In fact, I was gone for several hours. My friend was completely infuriated with me because I had failed to keep the promise I made to assist with the project. In the middle of our argument, I made a comment that sounded something like this: You just don’t know what you want. Of course, I was anxious to complain about everything other than my ownership of the problem. I pointed to everything that my friend had done, instead of focusing on what my actions meant in relation to the issue. As a result, a simple grievance turned into a very snippy, very critical argument.

In speech and relationships, it’s helpful to explicitly state intentions. Instead of saying: “You smack constantly and it drives me crazy”.

You could say: I feel annoyed when you don’t chew your food carefully. The effective use of  “I” in communication allows a person to take appropriate responsibility for themselves, while also allowing the other person to feel better, because there is no accusation of blame.

“I” allows people to maintain independent thoughts while not infringing on another person’s specific right to express their own opinions, views, or, observations.  Examine the number of times the word “you” comes up in your conversation with others. It may unearth an unpleasant surprise.

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