Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About MyBCTeam

Tap Into the Power of Directness: Use "I"

Posted on August 15, 2019

Living with breast cancer can mean having limited energy, time, and bandwidth. You may find yourself needing to say "no" more often than you did before you were diagnosed with breast cancer. Do you have a tough time being direct with others about how you feel? It's not unusual to feel awkward or self-centered when turning down a request or an invitation. You may feel at the mercy of the other person's need.

Using "I" statements can help put you back in the driver's seat of the situation. An "I" statement directly communicates your feelings and sets a clear boundary, allowing you to focus on treating your breast cancer and managing cancer-related symptoms like fatigue or hot flashes.
For instance:

I don't feel like going.
I'd rather do something else instead.
I can't do it this week.
Whenever I attend that event, it takes me days to recover.

At first, you may feel vulnerable about using direct "I" statements when saying no. Your true feelings are exposed, and you may be judged for using breast cancer as an excuse. "I" statements can also be freeing! You don't need to pretend or tell a white lie. It's ok to communicate directly about what you need.

Using an "I" statement is a way of taking responsibility for your feelings. You are not blaming or accusing the other person. You are being honest about your needs and making sure they are recognized.

Members of MyBCTeam shared some of their experiences with communicating directly:

"I tried to explain that I need a solid place that I can call my own."

"Don't give up if something's bothering you."

"I applaud you for standing up and being counted."

Have you used "I" statements to set boundaries? How did it feel?
Share your stories about direct communication in the comments below or on MyBCTeam.

A MyBCTeam Member said:

Elizabeth I’m so sorry some people can be so insensitive!

posted 11 months ago

hug (4)

Recent articles

Bsp af 9
Thousands of members of MyBCTeam connect with one another and read each other's stories to gain...

Four Books About Breast Cancer You Should Read

Thousands of members of MyBCTeam connect with one another and read each other's stories to gain...
Mht mybcteam hero overview of metastatic bc
Article written by Nyaka Mwanza Metastatic breast cancer is stage IV of breast cancer...

Overview of Metastatic Breast Cancer

Article written by Nyaka Mwanza Metastatic breast cancer is stage IV of breast cancer...
Mybcteam new treatments mbc contenthero
Article written by Nyaka Mwanza The goals of treatment for metastatic breast cancer (MBC) are to...

New Treatments for Metastatic Breast Cancer

Article written by Nyaka Mwanza The goals of treatment for metastatic breast cancer (MBC) are to...
Breast cancer and needing support of family and friends
Article written by Laurie Berger Whether you’re newly diagnosed, in treatment, or a breast cancer...

Breast Cancer and Needing Support From Family and Friends

Article written by Laurie Berger Whether you’re newly diagnosed, in treatment, or a breast cancer...
Coronavirus
Article written by Kelly Crumrin According to Harvard Medical School, those of us living with...

Canceling Is Kindness: Keeping Safe From COVID-19 With Breast Cancer

Article written by Kelly Crumrin According to Harvard Medical School, those of us living with...
Mht ad cause thumb
Article written by Kelly Crumrin Like all cancer, breast cancer is caused by genetic mutations...

What Causes Breast Cancer?

Article written by Kelly Crumrin Like all cancer, breast cancer is caused by genetic mutations...
Mht ad overview thumb
Article written by Kelly Crumrin Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast begin to divide...

Breast Cancer – An Overview

Article written by Kelly Crumrin Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast begin to divide...
Mht ad stageandgrade thumb
Article written by Kelly Crumrin Once breast cancer is diagnosed, it is graded and staged. The...

Breast Cancer: Stage and Grade

Article written by Kelly Crumrin Once breast cancer is diagnosed, it is graded and staged. The...
Mht ad symptoms thumb
Article written by Kelly Crumrin Some women go to their doctor after they notice symptoms of...

Breast Cancer Symptoms

Article written by Kelly Crumrin Some women go to their doctor after they notice symptoms of...
Mht ad treatments thumb %281%29
Article written by Kelly Crumrin There are now more treatments for breast cancer than ever...

Breast Cancer Treatment

Article written by Kelly Crumrin There are now more treatments for breast cancer than ever...
MyBCTeam My breast cancer Team

Two Ways to Get Started with MyBCTeam

Become a Member

Connect with others who are living with breast cancer. Get members only access to emotional support, advice, treatment insights, and more.

sign up

Become a Subscriber

Get the latest articles about breast cancer sent to your inbox.

Not now, thanks

Privacy policy
MyBCTeam My breast cancer Team

Thank you for signing up.

close