Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: anti flame capsule

Author:Eric Bohlman
Posted:9/21/2000; 8:53:06 AM
Topic:anti flame capsule
Msg #:21586 (In response to 21547)
Prev/Next:21585 / 21587

One thing that psychotherapists doing assertiveness training and cognitive/behavioral therapy have long known is that statements that could be perceived as critical of another are best expressed as "I-messages" rather than "you-messages." An I-message describes the way *you* feel in response to someone else's statements or actions. A you-message renders your personal evaluation of the other person's motivation, character, parentage, etc.

You-messages frequently express cognitive distortions such as labelling the other person (which often degenerates into name-calling), mind-reading (stating your beliefs about the other person's motivation, when in fact you're only guessing at his/her motivation), overgeneralization, and "should" statements. All of these tend to provoke defensive reactions, *even if you're completely in the right*.

Example I-message: "I was taken aback by the intensity of your response. I thought I had made it clear that I did *not* believe that a namespace URI should always point to a retrievable schema."

Example you-message: "Try reading for comprehension, you idiot. Quit pretending that I don't understand namespaces. If you had taken the time to read what I was writing, I said that namespace URIs don't always have to point to schemas."

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