Premarital and Couples: "I - You" Statements | Couple's Net | Chandrama Anderson | Palo Alto Online |

Local Blogs

Couple's Net

By Chandrama Anderson

E-mail Chandrama Anderson

About this blog: About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and grief and have lived in Silicon Valley since 1969. I'm the president of Connect2 Marriage Counseling. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in ...  (More)

View all posts from Chandrama Anderson

Premarital and Couples: "I - You" Statements

Uploaded: Feb 12, 2021
"I - You" Statements. No, that's not a typo. I hear these a lot when I encourage partners to use "I statements" or to share how s/he is feeling. Here are examples of what to skip, and what to try:

Skip:                                                                                                                        Try:

I feel YOU are angry at me.                               I feel nervous. What are you feeling?

I feel like this is a . . . (these are thoughts vs. feelings)             I feel misunderstood.

I think YOU aren't listening.                                                                     I feel unheard.

YOU made me feel like I don't matter.                                             I feel unimportant.

What's the difference; why does it matter?

There is nothing to argue with when we use an actual "I statement" because it just is how you feel in that moment. What, are you going to answer, ""No, you don't feel unheard,"? I hope not. In order for there to be a sticking point, there has to be a hook to get caught on (think Velcro). Velcro needs two perfectly matched pieces in order to stick. When you simply state your feeling, you are smooth.

No one wants to be told "You this" or "You that." So your partner is more likely to listen to you.

Of course the impulse to justify is often stronger than the desire to listen. So watch YOURSELF (not your partner) in this regard.

So, use I statements, and then give attunement (which is the only place for YOU statements).

You Hear:                                                                                                       You Say:

I feel nervous. What are you feeling?          Oh, you're nervous. I'm feeling agitated.

I'm feeling agitated.                          Oh, you're agitated. Will you tell me about that?

I feel misunderstood.                              You feel misunderstood. What is important

                                                                   that you want me to understand?

Do you get the idea? It's slow, maybe you even think it's cheesy. However, it works. So experiment for yourself, and talk with your beloved about how it's going.
We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

There are no comments yet for this post

Follow this blogger.
Sign up to be notified of new posts by this blogger.

Email:

SUBMIT

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Palo Alto Online sent to your inbox.

Michelin-starred chefs bring Korean & Taiwanese fare to State Street Market in Los Altos
By The Peninsula Foodist | 1 comment | 5,141 views

Premarital and Couples: I look like THAT??!!
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 3,074 views

I am a covid coward – and also angry at anti-vaxxers
By Diana Diamond | 9 comments | 1,062 views

 

Meet the Winners

To show appreciation for the local business community, readers voted for their favorite places to eat, shop, work out or spend time with family and friends. The Palo Alto Weekly is proud to unveil this year's Best Of recipients and Hall of Fame honorees.

View Winners