What do you think of when you hear the word “you messages?”
I’m sure that many people immediately think about arguments and fighting. While this is often true, an assertive communicator uses “you” messages to help solve problems and get what they want. This blog post will discuss how these “you” messages can be used in a way that helps rather than hurts, as well as some tips for using them correctly.
How to Use “You” Messages:
I. Make statements rather than demands or questions This is one of the most basic rules of assertive communication, but it’s so important that I’m mentioning it first. Statements are a lot less likely to be interpreted as attacks because they don’t make any accusations (i.e., “you never do anything right”).
On the other hand, making demands and asking questions can easily come across as blaming others for your problems (“why didn’t you pick up your clothes from the floor?”) or being confrontational in an unproductive way(“where were you all day?”).
II. Ask how he wants things done instead of telling him how to do them When someone feels like their input.