The “I” Statement

“I” is much more powerful than we often give it credit for being.  This is not something that another person can even debate.

Think about them.  Short.  Powerful.  Defined statements.

I love you.

I am hungry.

I hate Mondays.

I don’t love you.

This isn’t a “We Should” conversation.  “I” is about one person’s needs and views only.

A few weeks ago I wrote an I list.  Things that I want/need to accomplish or experience, a bucket list only better.  It is not comprised of all selfishly focused items, but it is very clearly about my needs and desires.  Writing the list I took into account no budget, partner, employer or regionally based limitations.  I wrote it freely as though any one item could stand alone.

It wasn’t a list of tasks or items that could be checked off one by one (though some can) it is more the bricks of a foundation of what my master vision of who I am and who I would like to evolve to being.

Rereading it you know this is all about me, almost too much so.  Reading my own list I was overcome by my own selfish approach to the rest of the world.

It does not factor in a single “We”  statement and that reality is big for me.  It took me a long time to realize that many of the “We” items of my life had crushed or overshadowed any “I” items.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t believe in becoming completely self centred EVER.  Some of my I statements include items like volunteering more of my time etc., but to the causes that I believe in.  Not causes for my friends or family or employer.

My causes.  My needs. Me. Me. Me.

This week I had a conversation with a friend about a fight with her partner.  It had included many I”statements from both parties.  These strong messages left the two on their own islands wrapped up in their selfish demands.

So how does a person balance sharing a message that is almost overpowering with what they can acceptably say without making it all about their individual needs?

We don’t.

My list of “I” statements is for nobody but me.

When and if I discuss these items with another person I will balance the  “I” focused needs with those of my environment.  I will weigh in the desires, feelings and limitations of my friends, family, locality, partner and/or employer and make a comprmise statement that includes softening factors like “would like to” to each of them to make them more palatable.  It won’t change my list item, but it may leave me in a place that does not abandon me on the me island that these conversations can often deliver us to.

So the next time you hear yourself crafting an “I” statement in your head, decide if it is an “out loud”message.

There is a profound weight associated with words.

Feel the following:

I love you.

I don’t love you.

I leave it to you to deliver your own I list as you define is best, but mine will stay for my eyes only.

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