An I-statement is exactly what it says on the tin: a statement that begins with the word "I". Phrasing things in this way can be used to soften a confrontation. For example:

"I think you watch too much TV."

Is a bit kinder than just:

"You watch too much TV."

The latter is a "you-statement", which places the emphasis on something the second person has done wrong. With an I-statement, the statement emphasizes a perceived wrongdoing, which can be an important social distinction. (Consider also the necessity of saying "in my opinion" after controversial statements.)

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