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Just Say It!

women talking on beachDuring a recent discussion about binge eating, the group agreed that people sometimes over-eat to avoid confrontation. Using food to stuff your anger or hurt may seem safer than standing up for yourself and/or expressing your feelings. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, it may seem impossible to think of what to say. However, in many situations you have another opportunity to address the problem later. The next time you’re steaming about a conflict, put your energy into planning what you’ll say to address the problem.

“I” statements avoid the defensiveness that often results when you use “you” statements (e.g., “You always sabotage my weight loss efforts”). “I” statements focus on how you feel, and they request a specific change:

I feel (emotion: angry, hurt, sad, disappointed, etc)
when (specific, objective event or behavior—not an inflammatory label such as “sabotage” or “food police”)
because (your interpretation).
And I want (specific change you’re requesting in the future).

For example:

I feel angry
when you ask whether I’m allowed to eat a cookie
because I feel like you’re trying to control me, and that you don’t trust me to make my own decisions.
And I want you to please let me make my own food choices.

What conflict or conversation have you been avoiding?

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