My friend recently shared a good communication tip with me: when you speak always say “I”.
I feel. I need. State your emotions in a personalized way. Listen to the difference:
“You reject and ignore me!”
“I feel rejected and ignored.”
Saying “I” helps me say what I need to say while owning how I feel. If someone has wronged me, I try not to attack them; I simply tell them how their words and behaviors make me feel. Since welcoming this small change I have noticed myself feeling much more confident and in control of my life.
It’s the feminine way of speaking honestly and it’s working wonders for me so far.
Maybe this was a male-female translation problem. I read an article once that said that when women have a conversation, they’re communicating on five levels:
1. They follow the conversation that they’re actually having
2. The conversation that is specifically being avoided
3. The tone being applied to the overt conversation
4. The buried conversation that is being covered only in subtext
5. And finally the other person’s body language
That is, on many levels, astounding to me. I mean, that’s like having a freaking superpower. When I, and most other people with a Y chromosome, have a conversation, we’re having a conversation.
We’re paying attention to what is being said, considering that, and replying to it.
― Jim Butcher