What percentage of our use of “I feel” is actually followed by a feeling?
When we use phrases like “I feel that” or “I feel like,” we communicate thoughts and judgments instead of feelings. The appropriate use of “I feel” would be to say “I feel hurt” or “I feel frustrated.” Even saying “I feel misunderstood” communicates a judgment.
There is great power in communicating feelings and needs because they enable us to focus on the issue at hand while ensuring we move past passing judgments about others. But, channeling that power requires us to use language the way it was intended.
And, the first step to that is to pay attention to the language we use.. and misuse.
My biggest reflection from this idea is the importance of clarity in our bid to communicate constructively. When I wrote out my theme – “Communicate constructively and with clarity” – I thought of these as two separate goals. But, they’re likely more related than I initially thought.
(H/T: Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg)