I Statements

Appropriate assertiveness and open communication are the foundation of any strong, healthy relationship. Even in the happiest of relationships, whether that be professional, personal or romantic, conflicts are frustrations are likely to arise. Appropriate assertiveness allows someone to clearly state their opinions, feelings, and wants. This helps to reduce the tension in a given conflict and allow the conversation to proceed productively and respectfully without escalating. I statements allow us to communicate feelings and needs in a clear and calm way. An I statement is comprised of three parts:

"I feel…"
"I need/I would like/it would be helpful if…"

The ideal “I” statement is free of expectations and communicates exactly how someone is feeling and why they feel that way. It is a communication style that acknowledges the feelings and actions of everyone involved without assigning blame or being accusatory.

You Statement: You always leave your towels on the floor. It's so annoying! You’re just being so lazy!

I Statement: I’ve noticed that there have been towels left on the floor lately. I feel really frustrated because I enjoy having a clean bathroom. It would be really helpful if they were placed in a laundry bin or hung up instead.