Opinion: "We" Versus "Me" Mindset In Relationships

Libby Shively McAvoy
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“Me/ I/You” Vs. “We/Us” Mindset In Relationships

A “we” mindset embraces equal effort and contributions in a relationship. It also reassures your partner by using “we” rather than “I” that you are in life together. “Me” creates separateness.

A “me” mindset devalues your partner’s needs and desires while focusing on your own. Leaving your partner out of your plan may not be your intention, but one small word can change an entire situation.

When you make decisions, consider your partner’s feelings. Using the terms “me, you, and I” imply solitude and withdrawal, whereas using “we/us” means you are working together and supporting each other as partners.

“Psychology research shows the use of the pronouns “we” and “us” is associated with happier relationships and better conflict resolution than when couples focus on “me” and “you.” ~The Motion Machine

The “we” mindset leads to wellness in relationships. The words and tone of voice we use influence the outcome we receive. The slightest shift in how you say something can make an enormous impact. Your partner wants reassurance that the relationship is secure and that you will consider them in your future plans.

Examples of “I/me/you” Statements that put our partner on edge:

“I can’t wait to move to Florida with my son.” He may have meant to include his girlfriend, or perhaps it was implied. Here is how he could do better: “I cannot wait until we can move to Florida with my son.” Adding “we” assures the girlfriend he will not move and leave her behind.

“You always leave dishes in the sink.” This implies guilt and shame. A better way to say it would be, “I would appreciate it if we both rinse our plates and put them in the dishwasher.” This puts our partner at ease to be more receptive to the request.

“I am planning to go out this weekend.” This is a big one because it implies you have no intention of including your significant other. Instead, try saying, “Could we go out this weekend? I think we could both use some fun.”

“I am so stressed out I need space.” Instead, try saying, “Could we take a time out so I can compose my thoughts?” This is helpful because it gives your partner some authority in the decision and doesn’t confuse them.

“I can’t wait for vacation.” This might suggest you are going on a solo trip or with friends. Instead, try saying, “I am super excited about our upcoming vacation. Where do you think we should go?”

Final Thoughts

If you want to be single, do so. But, in a committed relationship, it is necessary to take your significant other into account. Be impeccable with your word.

Being in a “we/ us” mindset is about collaboration and abundance. Two minds are better than one. “We/us” are all about connection and collaboration. Being in a “me/I” mindset creates fear and scarcity and brings the need for control. When we try to control things, we meet with resistance rather than remaining in flow. 

When entering a committed relationship, you surrender your independent life and adopt an interdependent life where you both find fulfillment and support.




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Libby is a Personal Development and Relationship coach specializing in emotional intelligence. By blending motivational speaking, leading yoga and wellness retreats, and writing, she has mastered the art of living her best life while helping others.

Cincinnati, OH

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