I-language

Getting used to incorporating “I” Language into your communication interactions is extremely important and also can be rather difficult. It takes practice and a definite high level of conscious effort.

There are several strategies for how to use I language to help you own your thoughts and feelings.

The author in your text (pg 172) suggests you start by saying 1. “I feel….” 2. “When you…” 3. “Because….” 4. “and I would appreciate it if you would….”

I was taught yet another approach…

  1. Offer a description of the behavior you noticed.
  2. Give your interpretation of the situation.
  3. Share how you feel about what is going on.
  4. Ask for feedback on what the other person is feeling/thinking.

Either of these approaches can bring positive results because ALL of these approaches have one main theme in common…They all focus on using “I” Language.

Therefore, the purpose of this activity is to rewrite evaluative statements into descriptive statements.

Rewrite each evaluative “you” language statement into a descriptive “I” language statement.

I want you to use the approach given in the text so you have even more examples to work with. Even though I gave you different types above, for this assignment you need to use the approach from the text.

Here’s an example of what your answers should look like. Each of the bolded parts should be in your answers as well!

Example: “You ruined my day!”

I feel/felt– disrespected when you said you were going to be at my house by 7am to pick me up and you did not arrive until after 9, because just like you I have a lot of other things going on and could have really used those two hours to get something done. Next time, I would appreciate if you would at least text me and let me know you are running late or reschedule our time together.

Everyone should be using the above structure I have written in bold! In other words, I should see these bold words in all of your answers.

Be careful to use specific, low level abstractions. Take the responsibility for your own thoughts and feelings (don’t say, “I feel you’re…” or “I feel that you…” or “I feel like….”) Avoid loaded terms like “It seems as if…”, “You wouldn’t even…”, or “you could at least”. Also avoid absolutes like always, never, finally, etc.

Notice, that in every element you are focusing on one event that took place. You are not including a bunch of past events or generalizing the situation with words like always (you’re always late!) or never (you never consider my time!) that would automatically make someone feel defensive. You are owning your own thoughts and feelings by clearly using the word I. You’re not accusing the person of anything. But, instead you’re asking them to explain so you can understand their perspective better. Making these choices will help the other person not be defensive, it will help you feel better by expressing how you felt, it will help solve the specific situation, and you are showing respect to the other person by asking them to explain.

Here are the statements I want you to rewrite using the approach given in your textbook.

  1. “You clearly can’t be trusted.”
  2. “Stop trying to control my life.”
  3. “You don’t ever trust me.”
  4. “You’re so full of yourself.”
  5. “You make me doubt our relationship.”
  6. “You have a bad attitude.”
  7. “You weren’t there for me.”
  8. “You’re not really trying to get a job.”
  9. “You’re such a drama queen.”

    Rubric

    I Language

    I Language

    Criteria Ratings Pts

    This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeFour Bold Parts Included“I feel/felt”, “when you”, “because”, & “I would appreciate if you would” are all clearly included in your rewrites.

    10.0 pts

    Full Marks

    0.0 pts

    No Marks

    10.0 pts

    This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAccurate I languageAfter writing “I feel” or “I felt” a clear emotion is expressed.

    10.0 pts

    Full Marks

    0.0 pts

    No Marks

    10.0 pts

    This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAccurate “when you…”After writing “when you” there is a clear description of a behavior.

    5.0 pts

    Full Marks

    0.0 pts

    No Marks

    5.0 pts

    This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAccurate “because”After writing “because” a clear explanation for why this is important to you is expressed.

    5.0 pts

    Full Marks

    0.0 pts

    No Marks

    5.0 pts

    This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeAccurate “I would appreciate if you would”After “I would appreciate if you would” there is a clear description of doable and fair behavior for the other person that solves the behavior from what you wrote after “when you”.

    5.0 pts

    Full Marks

    0.0 pts

    No Marks

    5.0 pts

    This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeLanguageThere is NO “you” language that assumes or blames. For example “I feel like you…”

    5.0 pts

    Full Marks

    0.0 pts

    No Marks

    5.0 pts

    Total Points: 40.0

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