Use “I statements”. Avoid “You statements” of blame and accusation

I feel ___ when ____
ex: I feel worried when I think that you’ll be home for dinner and you aren’t here for hours and I don’t hear from you.

Avoid words that may seem like emotions, but really imply the action of your partner: “I feel…ignored, annoyed, mistreated, manipulated, controlled, cheated, abandoned, etc.”

Refer to the behavior, not to the person

Some possible sentence starters
• When I’m…. • When I…. • I think that I…. • I feel that I…. • My concern is….

How does this behavior affect me or make me feel
• I feel unappreciated when….
• I’m worried that something will go wrong if…. • My concern is that…. • I get really anxious when…. • I get really scared when…. • I feel hurt when….
• I feel tired when….

Scroll to Top