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Talking from the “I” and not the “YOU” for a healthier relationship

Hi, it’s Ginny. I wanted to share with you about talking from the I rather than talking from the you. Now you may go, “Well what does that mean?”

So when we are talking from the I, we are owning the experience. And so if I was to say, “When I see you do this, this is how I feel. This is what I think, this is what I means to me, and this is what I need.” That is my experience that no one can rob that from me, but what I often hear in my room is the word you. “You do this, you do that. You said you were going to do this,” and when you hear that, I hope you can see and hear the difference. When we come from the you, it’s very attacking. And so usually we are then met with defensiveness or attacking or criticism or it just really just blows up.

So it doesn’t actually help us to have constructive conversation. So how do we talk from the I and the you? So what usually happens, you’ll often hear me talking about regulating. So what I mean by that is when my emotions are over this side and my reactivity is, it’s like a seesaw. This is my emotions and my reactivity, and this over here is my cognitive and my ability to think straight.

When they are aligned and I’m in the window of regulation here, then I’m able to think straight because I’m in control of my emotions. But when I have a whoosh moment and I go outside the window of regulation, I’m going to go into fight flight, numb out, or overwhelm.

When we’re in this position and our emotions are up, look where my ability is to think straight. It’s usually in this position that we hear the you come out.

Because when we’re unregulated and we are reactive is going to be the time, most of all when we are going to criticize or show contempt. “So you never get it right. You’re always saying you’re going to do it and you never do.” And it’s very you, you, you statements. So when we do that, it usually, it’s like throwing spears at each other. Not very helpful, not very constructive.
So what we want to be able to do to help regulate is all through breath work. Breath work is the absolute key to being able to actually bring that from this to this, where we can actually calm our emotions down. And then it’s in this position, I can actually think what did get touched for me? What value, what expectation, dream, hope was unmet? What does this remind me of? That, of a past experience where I wasn’t necessarily able to ask for what I needed. And that’s when I’m then going to step forward to my partner and I am going to talk from the I and I am going to say, “When I heard you say this, or, when I saw you do that, this is how I felt. This is what I thought, this is what it meant to me and this is what I need.” And we can have a constructive conversation, which leads to depth into the relationship and brings the relationship closer and forward. And so we’re going like this and forward rather than the you, which is like that and backwards really.

So I hope this is helpful. There is a big difference in talking from the I and owning what it is. And as I say, “People don’t have to agree with you, it’s your experience and that’s what’s important.” And it’s then going to a position of trying to help them understand, or them taking a position of curiosity to try and understand what got touched for you.

So talking from the I rather than the you. Have a lovely day and I’ll see you soon.