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I Message

An "I Message"

Starts with I… not you

  • Clearly and simply states how you feel

I feel ….

  • Clearly and simply states what the other person did or is doing that made you feel that way

I feel ….. when you …..

  • Clearly states why you feel the way you do

I feel ….when you …. because…..

  • Clearly states what you need the other person to do

I feel ….when you… because…… I want you to……

So it might look like this:

I feel angry when you call me names because I have a real name. I want you to start calling me by my real name.  

I feel frustrated when you change the rules in the middle of the game, because it makes it difficult to play fairly. I need you to follow the rules so we can play a fair game.

I’m upset because you push me and I lost my place in line. I need you to let me back in my space and keep your hands to yourself.  

From The Bully Free Classroom by Allan L. Beane, PhD., copyright@ 1999 Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; (866) 703-7322