"I-messages" are a key strategy for being assertive. They allow us to communicate our needs and feelings without shutting down the conversation.
For a how-to, watch this video from a real-life classroom participating in our 4Rs Program (Reading, Writing, Respect & Resolution).
In the video, a third-grade teacher skillfully guides students in understanding - and roleplaying - both "you-messages" and "I-messages." The teacher pauses the action, allowing students to discuss what is happening, what the characters might do differently, and different possible outcomes.
For more on I-messages, assertiveness, and roleplay, see these lessons and tips:
- I-Messages & The Assertiveness Line
- SEL Tip: Creating Effective “I Messages”
- SEL Tip: The "I Need Message"
- Role-Play as an SEL Teaching Tool
- Be strong, Be Mean, or Give In?
- SEL Tip: Be Naturally Assertive