The massive propaganda of "I say" as a means of preventing conflicts has, it seems, led to opposite results: the more the enthusiasm for "I-statements" spread, the more misunderstandings and conflicts became. Noticing this, psychologists repeatedly introduced more and more refinements, like "I-sayings" used correctly, but as-no, but gradually the following circumstance was clarified: the more "I-statement" was elaborated, the less it resembled itself, turning into itself something else... There was a choice: either we hold on to the "I-statement", or we want to find soft forms of interaction, effectively preventing conflict.
In our opinion, in this situation it is necessary to introduce the concept of "I-message" and talk about it as an effective admission of conflict prevention. What is the difference between these concepts? "I-utterance" is external, it is sounding words, and "I-message" is what sounds after these words. In the "I-message" the person speaks about himself, but is turned to the partner, the center does not itself, but the partner. I-message is a form of a soft request, the justification of which is the description of a person by his state. For example: "Your opinion is important to me, but now it’s hard for me to talk to you: the TV is working and we are distracted. Do you mind if I turn it off yet?".
When a person, especially a loved one, simply and calmly say what is in your soul, it is usually not unimportant for him. The main thing is that your message is directed to him, and not against him: then he will hear you. See I-messages: examples and I-messages to the child.
Any request, which is based on something, even if something meaningless and formal, sounds more convincing. Moreover, if a person as a justification describes his feelings in relation to what circumstances, the request does sound more weighty and motivating. On the other hand, in the I-message format, a person speaks only about himself, about his feelings, and this reduces the risk of reproaches, accusations and other conflict-like opinions, often sounding in the format of "you-statements."
I-message is a good format of communication between close people, which in many respects prevents conflicts and the emergence of mutual insults. This format is close to women, as women understand the language of feelings well, besides they like to talk about feelings in general and about their feelings in particular. It is also important that in the process of learning this format people are taught to talk about their emotions correctly, taking responsibility for their emotions on themselves. The format of the "I-message" in many cases successfully replaces literate criticism.
If you want to learn how to use "I-messages", pay attention to the following rules.
• I-message loves syntones, start your treatment with warm feelings. After all, what hurts you, does it not at all cancel? "Sunny, I love you, but now I’m uncomfortable."
• I-message does not contain conflictogens. Remove any reproaches and accusations. Not "you touched me," but "it hurt me to hear such words." Moreover, exclude all the reinforcements "forever," "always," "never." I-better to do the message with warm feelings and soul.
• Formulate your "I-messages" accurately, from your own person, without pretending to be objective. It is important to be able to distinguish between "me bad" and "you are bad." Speaking about your feelings, tastes and opinions, talk about it, about your subjectivity, and not about something objectively inherent in people and things. Not "your hair is terrible", but "I do not like these haircuts." This is your attitude, and talk from yourself and about yourself.
• Do not abuse the negative. A little negativity in describing one’s state and feelings in I-messages is allowed. Too much negativity in describing your feelings is perceived by the partner already as pressure on him and as a manipulation. "Finally you came back! I was terribly worried about you, I could not fall asleep ... I was so afraid that something had happened to you!" - this is pressure and manipulation.
• Give the instruction, as clearly as possible, what you want from the partner. It is important! A partner does not always understand what you want, what you want from him. If you want him to warm you up or hug you - tell me. If you need to be praised or sorry - it’s completely different, he needs another text from you and other actions. Help the partner do what you need.
"I-message" is a competent and intelligent form of treatment, but do not overestimate its capabilities. As a way to prevent conflicts, I-messages work only for close people with whom you have a good, trusting relationship. If you try to talk about your negative feelings in a conflict situation, it is likely to provoke a conflict, and in a conversation with completely outsiders to you it will most likely just not be effective. In addition, for many men, women’s talk about feelings seems superfluous. Just ask how a person is clearer, easier and more convenient: to hear a simple clear request or "I-message", and you will understand how to act better.