Couples who attended counseling before their marriage ended up having a 30% higher success rate than others. One of the reasons for this is the tools you learn in such sessions, such as “I-statements”, which you use to communicate with your partner. Although, what are these statements and how can you use them in your relationship?
The following should answer any questions you have and give you all the tools you need to improve your partnership in the future.
What Are “I-Statements”?
When discussing relationship issues, it can be easy to fall into the habit of talking about the other person. This avoids talking about your feelings and instead can feel like berating another person.
I-statements encourage people to talk about their feelings and how another person’s actions make them feel. This can increase the other person’s empathy towards how their actions affect you. This is more effective than framing their actions as “bad” without offering an impact they might have.
How Do You Make an I-Statement?
To make an “I-statement”, you should start by encouraging yourself to start with the words “I feel”. Not all statements will work in this way, but it is a good start.
This should lead to the emotion you feel at a specific time. For example, “I feel unappreciated when I do the washing and you never thank me for it because you only complain when it is not done.”
Why Are They So Useful?
I-statements encourage positivity by lowering the likelihood of a person feeling trapped. Complaints can sometimes make another person feel like they are being asked to limit themselves. Instead, I-statements can help them see a way that something is hurting someone, and as such create a tangible way to avoid doing it in the future.
A Few I-Statement Examples
- “I feel stressed when I have to look after the children when you go out with your friends every Friday.”
- “I feel scared when you never let me know where you are.”
- “I feel upset when I think you don’t take my work seriously.
Using This Tool
One of the major benefits of this is it can lead straight into talking about resolving your feelings. You can work out how to change the person’s behavior to prevent negative feelings from occurring. Or, the person making the statement can get the reassurances they need to not have the feelings anymore.
Compromise can sometimes happen, rather than only one person making all the effort, although that is not always the best course of action.
More on How I-Statements Can Help You
I-Statements are important for both partners’ mental wellness and can improve a relationship for the better. Still, there is much more that might need to occur before any partnership overcomes some of its worst issues. For that reason, organizations like ours exist.
You can work with us to find a way to work on your and your partner’s communication. Our therapists are ready to take you on and prevent further breakdown of your household peace. All you need to do is give us a call today and we will start you on your journey.