Many of my clients have this habit so deeply ingrained that they really struggle to change it when they first become aware of it.
They rarely, if ever, talk about themselves on a meaningful level.
Now, wait ‘til you see what I mean by that exactly, because you might be doing this too without knowing it.
If I ask my clients how a certain situation made them feel, they might think about it for a minute and then say:
Or if I ask them how they decided to give up their business, they might say:
Can you see what they’re doing?
I’m asking direct questions about them, and they’re telling me about this fictional second person, by using you instead of I.
Just to be clear, talking about yourself using “you” isn’t wrong…
But the ability to talk about yourself using I and me are tools that you need to have in your arsenal if you want to connect with someone on a meaningful level.
Saying “I” Instead Of “You” Shows You’re Comfortable Getting Personal
Being aware of this gives you the ability to instantly change the vibe of a conversation. Just one single I in place of a you will signal to the other person that the conversation is going deep. That it’s getting personal.
And more often than not, they’ll then start to talk about themselves using I and me as well… showing you that they feel comfortable with you.
If you’re always using you when you’re telling me about yourself, then I don’t feel 100% sure that you’re actually talking about yourself. You might just be talking about people in general.
You’re leaving room for me to have that doubt. You’re keeping yourself safe.
Which gives me the impression that you don’t actually want to take our conversation to a meaningful level. That you don’t want to connect with me. Because maybe you’re not comfortable around me, or maybe you’re just not comfortable in general.
But if you don’t feel comfortable… this is a great way to actually MAKE yourself feel more comfortable. Because when you take the risk of using I and me with someone, you’re giving them an invitation to meet you at that level.
And when they do, you feel accepted by that person. Which increases your confidence around them.
And when they don’t, you learn that you didn’t melt into a puddle. That nothing bad happened. Which also increases your confidence.
So if you responded to my questions with “I felt a bit rejected when they ignored me like that” or “I got to the point where I got sick of trying. I ran out of motivation” … well damn, don’t they just feel like entirely different conversations?
How much distance are you placing between you other people with your choice of words?