I have been working closely with a group of students and our school social worker to work on peer conflict issues. During a recent lunch bunch, we practiced using “I feel” statements. Our social worker explained the importance of using this statements so it isn’t just blaming back and forth. Most importantly, it is important for students to be able to recognize and name their emotions.
After our discussion and practice with the group, Kristine and I began chatting about just how powerful these statements are. “I think some adults could really use this lesson,” she said.
I hope we can get to a place where these “I feel _____ when _____” are used more often, especially with adults. We need to be comfortable sharing our feelings when things bother us, just as we share our feelings when things excite us. On the receiving end, we also need to be okay with acknowledging their feeling and sending our apologies with explanations. I feel assured when my students resolve conflict using these statements. I feel hopeful when we teach our kids to share their emotions. I feel optimistic that the world will hear more “I feel” statements and be better for it.