Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About MySpondylitisTeam

Tap Into the Power of Directness: Use "I"

Posted on August 15, 2019

Living with spondylitis can mean having limited energy, time, and bandwidth. You may find yourself needing to say "no" more often than you did before you developed inflammatory arthritis. 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 spondylitis and managing spondylitis-related symptoms like back or neck pain.
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 spondylitis 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 MySpondylitisTeam shared some of their experiences with communicating directly:

"I told him it hurt me."

"I get so afraid of being judged for the medications I take."

"Today I said to him, 'I cannot have you in my home or in my life. You're taking risks that impact me because you don't take care of yourself.'"

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

A MySpondylitisTeam Member said:

Yes I tend to suffer in silence and I feel very alone. I am afraid if I tell anyone they won't be my friend. Everyone is so use to me BEING STRONG

posted about 2 months ago

hug (3)

Recent articles

Spondylitis and neck pain
Article written by Max Mugambi Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is an advanced form of axial...

Managing Ankylosing Spondylitis and Neck Pain

Article written by Max Mugambi Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is an advanced form of axial...
Myspondylitisteam hero long journey
Article written by Heather Lapidus Glassner According to a Clinical Rheumatology article on...

The Long Journey to a Correct Spondylitis Diagnosis

Article written by Heather Lapidus Glassner According to a Clinical Rheumatology article on...
Myspondylitisteam hero seeking answers
Article written by Heather Lapidus Glassner As many people with chronic health conditions will...

Seeking Answers: Many Doctor Visits Are Required Before a Spondylitis Diagnosis

Article written by Heather Lapidus Glassner As many people with chronic health conditions will...
Myspondylitisteam carousel wish had known
Article written by Heather Lapidus Glassner Diagnosis can provide a sense of relief to members,...

What People With Spondylitis Wish They Had Known Earlier

Article written by Heather Lapidus Glassner Diagnosis can provide a sense of relief to members,...
Myspondylitisteam carousel early signs
Article written by Annie Keller Early symptoms of spondyloarthritis are often overlooked, and it...

Early Signs and Symptoms of Spondyloarthritis

Article written by Annie Keller Early symptoms of spondyloarthritis are often overlooked, and it...
Myspondylitisteam carousel intense pain
Article written by Laurie Berger Nonradiographic axial spondyloarthritis is an early form of...

Intense Pain, Invisible Damage: What X-Rays and MRI Can’t Reveal

Article written by Laurie Berger Nonradiographic axial spondyloarthritis is an early form of...
Myspondylitisteam carousel diagnosed
Article written by Annie Keller Axial spondyloarthritis is usually diagnosed by a combination of...

How Is Axial Spondyloarthritis Diagnosed?

Article written by Annie Keller Axial spondyloarthritis is usually diagnosed by a combination of...
Myspondyteam 2of3 whenyourdoctorwontlisten contenthero
Article written by Laurie Berger As a woman with axial spondyloarthritis, getting a doctor to...

When Your Doctor Won’t Listen: Tips for Women With Spondyloarthritis

Article written by Laurie Berger As a woman with axial spondyloarthritis, getting a doctor to...
Myspondyteam 1of3 spondyinwomenvsmen contenthero
Article written by Nyaka MwanzaWomen and men with spondyloarthritis typically experience...

Spondyloarthritis in Women vs. Men: What Are the Differences?

Article written by Nyaka MwanzaWomen and men with spondyloarthritis typically experience...
Myspondyteam 3of3 isaxialspondylounderdiagnosedinwomen contenthero
Article written by Nyaka MwanzaAxial spondyloarthritis was long thought to be a man’s disease,...

Is Axial Spondyloarthritis Underdiagnosed in Women?

Article written by Nyaka MwanzaAxial spondyloarthritis was long thought to be a man’s disease,...
MySpondylitisTeam My spondylitis Team

Two Ways to Get Started with MySpondylitisTeam

Become a Member

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

sign up

Become a Subscriber

Get the latest articles about spondylitis sent to your inbox.

Not now, thanks

Privacy policy
MySpondylitisTeam My spondylitis Team

Thank you for signing up.

close