I statements in place of questions

I statements ~ Using I statements in place of questions can often alleviate the perception that there is one right answer. Some people with communication delays do not reply to questions because they dotn't want to be wrong. When you use an I statement to point out what you observe or what your idea is, this can take away that right/wrong element. It can also provide a model of how they could approach the current situation. Some examples include:

  • I see you are feeling frustrated instead of Why are you yelling?

  • It looks like you are trying to find something instead of What are you looking for?

  • I wonder what I could help with instead of Do you need help?

  • I see your sister looks really sad right now instead of Why is your sister crying?

  • I remember that you were playing with that outside yesterday instead of Do you remember where you were when you had it last?

By flipping the language just a little, I have seen that it takes the pressure off of the back and forth in those moments. When I use I statements, I have noticed that clients are more likely to reply with their own I statements. They are more likely to problem solve for themselves and they are more likely to borrow the language that I have modeled. This is not scientific and depends on the client, however it can be a harmless experiment that may work for your interactions too.