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by Abigail Van Buren

Psychologist Offers Help Expressing Honest Emotions

DEAR ABBY: So many of your letters involve people having difficulty communicating with others. Here's a safe, honest, straightforward technique for targeting the behavior, sharing feelings and explaining the reasons for those feelings. It is called an "I-Statement" and has three parts: (1) "When you ..." (2) "I feel/felt ..." (3) "Because ..."

I-Statements can be used for the sharing of any and all feelings by kids, teens and adults. Feelings are valid because they are our honest emotions. In addition to giving positive strokes to one another, people can learn to better understand each other and have whole, complete and satisfying resolutions to problems. Try it! -- SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST (RETIRED) IN OHIO

DEAR PSYCHOLOGIST: I will! When I received your suggestion about improving communication, I felt grateful that you took the time to share it because it was not only generous of you but also may be helpful to many of my readers. Thank you for sending it.

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