I-Statements – Owning your Voice


“Daring leaders who live into their values are never silent about hard things.” Brene Brown

I-Statements – Owning Your Story

One way to effectively manage conflict is to own your story and your voice by using I-statements. Statements that directly express your thoughts, needs, feelings, and experiences to the people around you. I-statements allow us to take responsibilities for our experiences and places the power of our lives in our hands.  I-statements look like this:

  • I feel…
  • I think…
  •  I experienced it like this…
  • I want…
  • I need…

I-statements are contrasted with You-statements.  Statements that imply the other person is responsible for something.  You-statements typically blame on the other person.  You statements look like this:

  • You made me feel…
  • You don’t care about me.
  • You never think about how that would impact us.
  • You didn’t…
I-Statements vs You-Statements
I felt unappreciated. You don’t care about me.
I need some help. You are a freeloader and never help.
I felt… You made me feel….
It makes me sad to be left out. You never invite me out with your friends.

Watch out for those fake I-Statements that so regularly sneak into our conversations. “I feel you…”, “I think you”, “I want you to…” are hidden You-Statements.


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Making Conflict Suck Less: The Basics Copyright © 2020 by Ashley Orme Nichols is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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