One way to improve your verbal communication is to own your thoughts and feelings. You-language is a way of speaking that projects responsibility onto another person and tends to be judgmental. I-language, on the other hand, is a way of speaking that owns responsibility and is descriptive rather than judgmental. Study the following example:
“You make me so mad!”
“I feel very angry when you interrupt me when I’m telling a story.”
Complete the following two parts of your written assignment in one Word document. First, show your skill at translating You-language messages into I-language messages. Secondly, apply this skill to your own communication.
Translate the following You-language statements into I-language messages.
Sentences to be translated:
- You are so selfish.
- You don’t understand a word I’m saying.
- You are too nosy; mind your own business.
- You totally humiliated me in front of our friends.
- You never help me around the house.
Think of a You-language statement that you find yourself using when you communicate with a friend, family member, spouse, or romantic partner. Compose a paragraph that explains the situation in which you have used this You-language message. Consider how you would translate this You-language statement into an I-language message.