“You know when you…”

I found this phrase hard to shake . But it’s been a game-changer for deepening connection and promoting self-awareness.

Here’s the shift. Imagine chatting to a friend and saying:

‘You know when you’re having a shit day, then demolish a whole packet of biscuits and feel completely disgusted at yourself?…”

Instead, try saying this:

“When I’m having a shit day I can demolish a whole packet of biscuits and feel completely disgusted at myself…”

Feel the difference?

What it does for me:

Speaking from ‘I’ brings my sentence back to its rightful owner. There’s nowhere to hide. Instead of talking about what happens to them – or an abstract ‘other’ – I’m sharing myself.

A key benefit is that it stops me from projecting theories and stories onto the other person. In my example above, the original sentence presumes to tell the friend about their experience. A practitioner of Non Violent Communication (NVC) could even argue it’s a verbal act of violence; literally telling someone they’re disgusting.

The beauty of the shift is that I get clearer about what’s happening for me. I’m owning my experiences and sharing honestly about my feelings. The words seem to land differently in my body.┬áIt can feel vulnerable to be witnessed like this. (Or better still: I can feel vulnerable to be witnessed like this.)

A swift and unthinking sentence can become a mini-realisation.

Read: Habits of speech #1: Conscious Bias

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