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Nurturing Your Bond: Embracing Assertive Communication for a Deeper Connection

couple at home talking.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where miscommunication puts a strain on your relationship? Drawing on my personal and professional background as a psychotherapist, I've observe

d many couples facing similar challenges. However, by adopting a simple yet transformative approach to communication, you can genuinely deepen your connection with your loved one.



Eagerly anticipating a romantic dinner, only to have your partner arrive late.

Instead of pointing fingers and saying,

"You make me angry when you're late for dinner"

consider this assertive alternative:

"I am angry because this is the second time this week you are late for dinner."

Notice the subtle yet powerful shift? By using "I" statements, you express your feelings without laying blame, creating a space for understanding rather than defensiveness.


Effectiveness of "I" statements for nurturing your bonds through communication

When you communicate with "I" statements, such as  "I am angry because this is the second time this week you are ate for dinner." you're not just expressing your emotions but taking ownership of them. This approach fosters a sense of personal responsibility and avoids placing blame on your partner. It creates an environment where both individuals can openly discuss feelings without the fear of judgment or defensiveness. The power of "I" statements lies in their ability to convey your emotions authentically while maintaining a connection with your partner.


Specific vs Generic Statements

Let's distinguish between "Specific I statements about someone's actions" and the confrontational "Generic you statements about a person". The former focuses on behaviour, crucial for maintaining a supportive atmosphere, while the latter focus on the person and can come across as an accusation, escalating tension.

For example:

  • Specific I Statement: "I've been feeling kind of down because you haven't picked up my calls in the past two days"

  • Generic You Statement: "You are ignoring me when you don't answer the phone"

Can you sense the shift from a supportive to a confrontational tone? It's akin to the difference between a reassuring hand on the shoulder and a finger pointed in accusation.


Criticism and Behaviour

Here's a crucial point: any criticism should be directed at behaviour rather than the person, and it should be specific. For instance

  • "I get angry because you're always late"

This is an "I" statement concerning a behaviour, but it  still sounds aggressive becasue it is not specific ("always late"). Therefore, it does not provide actionable information for your partner to address the situation.


Another example of aggressive communication:

"I get angry because you're irresponsible."

This statement outright criticizes the person, not their behaviour. You irresponsible as a person in general, not in a specific way you behaved recently in a specific situation.


In Conclusion

I invite you to practice these concepts in your daily interactions. Introduce specific "I" statements into your dialogue and observe the beautiful transformation in your relationship's communication. Share your experiences in the comments. Let's foster a supportive discussion on evolving our communication styles and forging stronger bonds with our partners. Your journey towards heartfelt assertive communication starts with this loving step.



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