Using “I” rather than “you”

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When people are emotional about a situation, they often become aggressive and abrupt, using language that attacks another person rather than language that takes responsibility for their role or at least their feelings.  “I” messages are a way to communicate thoughts and feelings in a non-aggressive manner.

Here are some examples of how you can convert a confrontational “you” message into a more effective “I” message.

“YOU” Message

“I” Message

You really wrecked the project when you took over. I feel very upset about the direction the project has taken since you took over.
I can’t believe you did that! I am really upset about the decision you made.
You don’t even care about the success of this project. I feel disappointed because it seems like you are not concerned about the success of the project.

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