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Back to the Basics

We live in an intensive time, don’t we? Many of us are confronted with loved ones whose perspective is remarkably different from our own – and both sides often feel quite desperate and overwhelmed.

So I’m thinking it’s time for me to come back to the basics, and maybe this is true for you too. I frequently come back to the basics when my relationships seem challenging or harder than I think they need to be. So, please join me in NVC Basic 101…

What do you do when someone close to you has a remarkably different perspective than you?

Empathize with them.

What do you do when you can’t muster the empathy because the differences seem too painful for you to endure?

Empathize with yourself first, either through a Self-Empathy practice or by receiving empathy from someone else. Once you’ve been heard, empathize with the loved one you disagree with. And remember to speak your truth – once you think they’ve been heard – in a way that demonstrates love and respect.

Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of NVC, once said, “In order to create a true connection, honesty is just as important as empathy.”

Many of us forget this crucial point because it can feel scary to speak our truth. I understand this, and I also know that many relationships fail because of a lack of honesty.

I found my authentic voice 15 years ago, and because of that was liberated from a lonely, frustrated existence.

If you struggle with speaking up for yourself, consider developing a Self-Empathy practice or asking someone to be your empathy buddy. Then, begin to open up one bit at a time with your loved ones.

When we empathize with others and speak our truth, we are expressing love – a true act of love because we are giving our real self and receiving their real selves.

Here’s to love in your life and many opportunities to give and receive empathy!

Tags: challenges, compassion, Connection, Empathy

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