I think it’s been taught pretty much everywhere that communication is addressed that you should always use “Me” messages – making communication about the way *I* feel about something, rather than becoming accusatory or generalising. That one I can definitely agree with!!
Not everyone will respond in kind, though. I guess this isn’t entirely on topic for this issue, but one thing I’ve found is that while I use “I” messages and try to talk about my side of the street, lots of people then concentrate and respond to MY feelings – when the intent was to get them to open up about theirs. For example, at meetings we’re told to talk about our own ESH and people respond with their own; outside programme, though, people will listen to what I share and not reciprocate. I find that difficult…
The statement that I am obliged to communicate my feelings to the person struck me. I don’t do that. In fact, the more important someone is to me the less I tend to communicate my feelings (because I think they’re not valid, because I’m afraid of disappointing or hurting them, because I’m afraid of showing my true colours because I think they’re awful…). If I don’t care about someone, I’ll give them my feelings – no problem – and yes, I can do that concisely and professionally without personal offense. But with the people that matter to me, the more they matter, the less I’m willing to show myself. I hate it when others do it to me, but I do have a tendency to try and be whatever the other person wants me to be.
Probably – no, definitely – it has to do with self-value and a subconscious conviction that what is inside me would repel people.