A sure-fire way to start a fight is to begin with the word “You.”
“You never come home on time.” “You talk down at me.” “You lose your temper too much.”
Starting with the word “You” puts your spouse in a defensive position.
If a fight can be triggered by the word “You,” it can be disarmed by the word “I.”
“I feel anxious when you’re late – I love when you’re home with me.” “I feel hurt when you speak to me that way.” “I miss your smile when you get upset.”
Starting with the word “I” disarms your spouse and puts him/her on your team. It puts them in a position to help you emotionally rather than defend themselves personally.
The next time you and your spouse find yourself frustrated at each other, start with the word “I” and watch how the mood of your discussion will slowly begin to change.