“I” Language vs. “You” language
There are two differences between I-language and you-language. First, I-language is language that takes responsibility for the impact the other person’s behavior has on you, whereas you language implies blame on the other person. Second, I language is more descriptive than you language.
- Effective I-Statements consists of three basic elements: Behavioral description Emotional description, and Consequence
- Behavioral Description is a clear, specific, and factual description of a person’s behavior. It uses language to build consensus and avoids exaggeration, judgmental, or abstract content.
- Emotional Description states the emotions felt when the behavior occurred. Developing self-awareness and emotional intelligence skills will aid in identifying emotions. Identifying emotions builds empathy in the other person by helping his or her to know exactly how the speaker is feeling.
A List of Emotional Words
Consequence is the impact the behavior has on you. This element helps the other person understand the connection between his or her behavior and the consequence.
Example of an I-statement
(In the past week you’ve called me several times a day specific, using clear, and factual language)
How you feel about it
(I’m feeling a little overwhelmed using an emotion word)
State the Consequence
(That’s why I haven’t been returning your calls the other person’s behavior has or the impact may have on you.)
Write a 1-2 page paper explaining the ways you typically respond to conflict. Do you tend to rely on I-language or you-language? What are some steps you can take to improve your use of I-language? When you want to resolve an important conflict with someone, what are five important steps toward a collaborative solution?
Please use APA for any references that are including within your paper.