The Power of “I” vs “You”

communication growth Mar 07, 2024
Illustration of Charis Santillie and the concept of The Power of “I” vs “You”
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🎧 👉 Prefer audio? You can also listen to me share about this in podcast episode #099 here.

Today, I want to talk about a subtle yet powerful shift in how you communicate your experiences and feelings.

The Power of Personal Language
It’s really common that people use the word “You” instead of “I” when they are actually talking about themselves. 

When you start shifting from the impersonal and global "you" to the empowering “I,” you shift from a general, detached observation to a personal, vulnerable admission.

I’ll give you some examples.

"You feel so much better after a good night's sleep."

vs. "I feel so much better after a good night's sleep."

"You can't help but smile when you see a puppy.” 
vs. "I can't help but smile when I see a puppy."

"You get frustrated when you're stuck in traffic.”

vs. "I get frustrated when I'm stuck in traffic."

"You know how it is when your coffee isn't made right in the morning."

vs. "I know how it is when my coffee isn't made right in the morning."

Oftentimes, when you use “You,” you’re not really talking about a universal experience; you’re actually referencing a personal experience and your own feelings. It's a super common habit we would benefit from breaking because it keeps us from owning our feelings and is an assumptive way of looking at the world.

Why It Matters
This change might seem small, but it's actually really significant. Using "I" statements invites vulnerability and authenticity. It's a way of saying, "This is me. This is my truth." It moves you from a place of assumed collective experience to acknowledging your unique perspective and experience.

Practical Tips
So, how do you make this shift? It starts with awareness. Notice when you use the word “you" instead of "I" in your conversations. Pause, reflect, and rephrase. It's a practice that gets easier with time and intention.

The Challenge of Change
Making language shifts like this isn't easy. How willing are you to practice increasing your awareness? And how willing are you to be seen more authentically? It may feel uncomfortable to practice exposing your personal feelings so directly. But this discomfort powerfully expands your comfort zone, leading you to deeper connections with yourself and others.

Final Thoughts
Embracing "I" statements is more than a linguistic choice; this is really about committing to living authentically, owning your stories, and connecting more deeply with the world around you. 

Your voice matters, your experiences are yours to own, and there's power in speaking your truth. 

I invite you to challenge yourself to make this shift, one conversation at a time.


 “Your beliefs become your thoughts,

Your thoughts become your words,

Your words become your actions,

Your actions become your habits,

Your habits become your values,

Your values become your destiny.”

— Gandhi


🎧 👉 Prefer audio? You can also listen to me share about this in podcast episode #099 here.


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