There are several words that couples use to fight with each other (also with children). The words to watch out for are You, Should (must, have to, any finger waggling word), always, never, why, mind reading, name calling, sarcasm, and blaming others for your feelings. I’ll be discussing each word in more detail in future posts. Today I was to discuss the word YOU.

You is the word you use to attack another person. Try calling someone a name without starting with You are a… You see how difficult this would be. Turn it around and express your own feelings or thoughts. I feel upset NOT You make me upset. For the next few days, concentrate on expressing yourself by avoiding YOU and replacing it with I. I feel…, I think…, I need…, I see…, I wish…, I prefer…, etc. Beware, don’t start a sentence with I and then go into a You sentence.

Examples: AVOID: You didn’t do the dishes. You are a pig. OR When I walk in the room and see dishes, I feel you are a pig.
TRY THIS INSTEAD: When I walk in the room and see dishes I feel upset.

When you replace You with I, you’ll find people around you will be more cooperative, and you’ll have better communication. I’ll post more next week – I want to give you time to practice this.

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