Week 3: Stop the "You" Statements

Sharon

Week 3: Stop the "You" Statements

Sharon
direction-631854_640Well, last night was Week 3 of Powerful Tools for Caregivers. It was about communication. We tend to make a lot of "you" statements that create adversity, lack of respect and lots of other negative feelings. For example, when someone says "You do not help me enough", or "You always seem to be too busy to help". Those types of statements never get us what we want and often makes things worse. Practice changing "you" statements to "I" statements. For example "I need help, can we talk about a plan?" or "I know there is a lot to do in a day, but I need a commitment of 15 minutes a day."

We, as caregivers, get tired and I don't know about you, but when I am tired I turn into Oscar the Grouch! I tend to do the "you" song when I am tired and have lost patience. We discussed how we need to practice "I" statements so they are the norm, not the exception.

It reminds me of the old adage, you get more flies with honey than vinegar. It isn't easy to confront family non caregivers when you need help and to stay positive. It is the time when all the resentment of being the primary caregiver bubbles up and out of your mouth in a string of "you" statements. The problem with that is it probably won't get you what you need and may make matters worse. We need to leave the stress out of our requests, ditch the resentment and start using the "I" statements in order to make our life easier.

Journal your stress, meditate your way out of resentment, exercise your frustration away, but knock out those "you" statements and transform them into powerful "I" statements that get the job done. After all, the goal is to get help, get what you need or talk about an important decision, a little "I" goes a long way.

Someone also brought one of those new coloring books for adults. It is sort of Zentangle for the artistically impaired, or paint by number. It gives you intricate patterns to color and relieves stress. I think I will sharpen my crayolas, go buy a book and maybe a few lollipops to suck on while I stay between the lines!

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Hussy

Sorry, I meant Sally's comment about staying the lines!

Hussy

Sharon, thank you for letting us know what you are learning in these classes. It's really helpful. The idea of converting \"you\" statements to \"I\" statements is simple but powerful. Of course, it can still be a bit of a challenge to keep it positive. I can think of at least one occasion when my \"I need help\" came out sounding plaintive and angry. But overall it's a better approach.\r\n\r\nI love the idea of an adult coloring book. Someone gave me an Amazon gift card so I just ordered one! About twenty years ago, I went through a particularly stressful period. I don't know if adult coloring books existed back then, but I certainly didn't know they did and in any case I was living in a very rural area with very limited shopping opportunities. Anyway, I went to the local drugstore and bought a Barbie coloring book and a 64 count box of Crayola crayons! (I loved Barbie dolls when I was a girl and still remember that excited feeling we kids always got when we got a new 64 count box of Crayolas and all the crayon tips were sharp!) Well, I colored away while watching cartoons (for the total regression experience lol) and I have to tell you, it was incredibly soothing. \r\n\r\nSharon, your comment about staying in the lines reminded me of when I was in kindergarten. We were given a very simple picture of a bear to color. I started coloring outside the lines and making patterns. The kindergarten teacher scolded me for doing so and asked me why I was doing it. (Of course this would never happen today -- way too politically incorrect lol). I told her I thought it was too easy and boring to stay in the lines! :)