I love teaching my clients about I Statements. I statements are an effective and respectful way of communicating your feelings, reasons for those feelings, and advocating for your needs. For example, if you or your child/teen says, “You never listen to me!” it is likely that the recipient will respond defensively, shift the blame, and five minutes later a battle ensues.
Lets consider another alternative. “I feel frustrated when you don’t look me in the eyes when I am talking to you, because it makes me feel as if you aren’t interested in what I’m saying. What I need is help finding the right time to express my concerns so that you will be able to give me your full attention”. Yes, this type of statement will take skills such as emotional regulation and identification, problem solving, and patience but the effort is well worth it!