“I” Language




Student responses should identify a point early in the dialogue when Dave says to Keith, “Listen, I can see you’re angry.


Keith says to Dave, “I understand that, but I don’t want us to give her a loan. I thought we were saving up for a bigger place and a new car.” Describe how using I language in this way can be more productive than if Keith had said, “You promised her a loan without talking it over with me first and so now you’re going to just have to call her back and tell her we can’t afford it.”
Although answers may vary, student responses should indicate that I language is less likely to cause a defensive reaction that has the potential to increase tension like the You language in this example, which can be heard as accusatory and superior.