While there is truth to speaking in I-statements vs. You-statements among interpersonal arguments & discussions, it can also be weaponized destructively in two dangerous ways:

1) An evasive tool used to derail/detract conversations from focal points. Suddenly you’ll be arguing about how you argue while sidestepping the original issue.

2) I-statements can be gamed as a passive aggressive tool by merely adding “I feel” before every you-statement. A offensive strategy merely masking intent.


1) “You like to undermine my parenting” get’s the following response: “You keep saying you-you-you. You need to speak in I-statements; talk about yourself”. (Notice the use of “you” to call out you-statements while negating the original accusation).

2) “You are a c#unt” can be restated as: “I feel you are a c#unt”. Any less hurtful? No.

The I-statement concept can quickly degrade into useless semantics. The structural presence of “I” does not guarantee conceptual efficacy. Even if it is good practice, negating the merit of entire conversations through failing to speak in I-statements can be destructive. No one will get any argument perfect.

Don’t get it twisted: therapy-speak can & is weaponized. Patients & therapists included.

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