I-messages are statements containing three or four key parts that can be put together and said to communicate assertively. Here are the key parts of an I-message:
Part 1: “I feel” or “I am” or “I have”…
Part 2: …“when”…
Part 3: … “I want”…
Part 4: … “because”…
Here is an example of an I-message:
“I feel frightened when you use big medical words. I want you to speak slower and use smaller words because English is my second language.”
People of Native cultures often feel uncomfortable using I-messages. I-messages are usually identified with non-Native cultures and are considered to be too focused on ones-self rather than on family and community.
However, the reality is that you will probably be talking to a provider who needs you to ask questions in a way that s/he can understand. I-messages are a good way to help your provider understand what you need.
Let' go to the interactive I-message maker by clicking on the "Interactive I-messages" leaf above and try making some I-messages of your own.