Becoming Fluent in I-messages 


 Do you find yourself using you-messages when communicating with your partner and find yourself feeling frustration and disappointed with the outcome? When trying to effectively communication we often lack the skills to clearly get our feelings across. The use of You-messages focuses on what other person have done in a way that makes that feel as though they are being attacked. When we point fingers and make accusations, the person we are communicating with will mostly stop listening. And who could blame them? In return, they are focusing on what they are going to say in response to your attack. It is my hope that after reading this blog, you are able to transform your you-messages to I-messages so that you can become fluent in I-messages, not imessage (which is a texting app for iPhone user). 
I-messages tell what you feel, what the person has done to make you feel that way and why you feel the way that you do. By using I-messages versus you-statements, you can decrease tension and conflict. When there’s less tension and conflict, it makes it easier for you and the other person to create a solution. Let explore some an example of how to practice this communication skill.

You partner comes home 2 ½ hours late.

You are always late and inconsiderate

I’m worried when you are not home at your regular time because it makes think something happened to you.
It’s easier to listen to and respond to I-messages versus you-message. Practice using this I-message when communicating with someone that you care about and notice how they respond to you. Just in case you forgot how to use the technique here is the template. 
I feel…when you…because….

Additional I-messages sentence starter:

I want …
I would appreciate…
I think….
I expect….
I wish…
I understood you to say….
I thought you said…
It was understanding that…

Improve your Relationships, Improve your Mood


We all need people and having positive relationships in your life will help improve your mood. I can name at least four go to friends that can help boost my mood when I feel down. It’s important to maintain a balance in the relationship which means the relationship is meeting your needs as well as the needs of the other person. Therefore, when my friends need me, I am there for them as well. However on the flipside, unhealthy relationship exist, and if we want to live a healthier life, we may want to consider ending them. I’m sure we can all think of a relationship in 2015 with a friend or family member that has caused us pain or produced negativity. You may want to consider ending those relationships in 2016. Check out these seven tips on improving your relationships for experiencing a healthier new year.

Connection. Remember that one primary goal most of us have in life is to have other people care about us; needing other people in our life is a part of what makes us human.

Communication. We all have different communication styles from somewhere, so try not to judge yourself as aggressive, passive or passive-aggressive person. Accept it and work on making some healthy changes in the way you interact with others.

Maintenance. While it’s important to work out the big problems in your relationship when they arise, it’s, even more, important to take good care of your relationship on an ongoing basis to prevent the relationship from ending.

Mindfulness. Being mindful when communicating with others will benefit your relationship. People notice when you are present and actively engaged in your interaction with them.

Self-care. Work towards having balance in your relationship so that sometimes you’re putting your needs first. This is not selfish, it self-care and it will benefit the relationship.

Positivity. The relationship we have in our lives influences how we feel, so it is important to work towards having positive, healthy people around us on a regular basis.

Girl bye (also referred to as Goodbye). Not all relationships are salvageable. Take an inventory of the relationships you have in your life and think about how healthy they are. If you find yourself talking about this person when they are not around, you dread spending time with them and it’s hard to set boundaries with them; it may be time to end that unhealthy relationship. Acknowledge that your attempts at making the relationship more positive are unsuccessful.

As you take inventory of these 8 simple steps towards improving your relationships with others, observe what deficits that are neglect your friendship(s).  Make an effort to reach out to a dear friend this week to say, “HELLO.”  I’m sure reaching out them will bring a smile to their face and a smile to yours as you two shoot the breeze.  Do not underestimate the power of social contact with others and its effect on your over mental health.


Van Dijk, S. (2012) Calming the Emotional Storm: using dialectical behavioral therapy skills to manage your emotions and balance in life p155-167

Morin, Amy (posted October 15, 2015) 9 Signs it’s time to get a toxic person out of your life

Shayla Peterson, LCSW