Do you ever notice that when you try to get somebody’s attention to tell them how their behavior bothers you, you tell them how they are? You say, “You’re thoughtless,” “You’re inconsiderate”, “You’re a jerk.” Well even if you are right, you are going to get defensiveness from that person. Suppose you really want to get their attention and want them to change their behavior. Instead of saying, “You’re thoughtless, which is called a “you message,” suppose you say, “I have trouble with your behavior.” It’s called an “I” message. So replace those “you” messages with “I” messages. So instead of saying, “You’re a jerk,” “You’re thoughtless,” “You’re inconsiderate.” You would say, “I have trouble with your behavior, which by the way appears to be very jerk-like.” When you do it that way, you are going to get much more receptiveness with a lot less defensiveness.

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