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Only use I-messages for good

I-messages are great ways to communicate assertively in lots of different situations. But it is worth remembering that they can also be used negatively to try and manipulate someone. Like all tools they can be used for good and bad purposes. So how can people manipulate others?
Here are two examples: ‘I feel worthless when we are not together’ and ‘I feel angry when people talk to others without me.’ We have to remember that the context is important. If the speaker is very jealous or wants to control someone they might use I-messages like the examples given. They are trying to manipulate the other person into being with them all the time rather than having interactions with other people.

If it is a one off situation like the speaker is in a place where they know no one and feel unsafe then this is reasonable. But if it were occurring in a wide range of social interactions and places it could be some type of manipulation.

What I wanted to highlight is that any tool can be misused. So if the communication appears assertive but there is some underlying sense that things are not quite right, this could be the reason why. I-messages are a really good skill to teach people but just be aware they can be used for good and bad.
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