What do we actually mean by “use of force” and what counts as such? Here's a template that will be unpacked in this article: "Use of force is consistent with nonviolence to the extent that we use the least amount of force possible, with the most love possible, aiming at (re)creating conditions for dialogue; that we make the choice using as much nonreactive discernment as possible, with as much support for the choice as possible, and while mourning not seeing another way to respond to a situation in which vital needs are at stake except to use force". Read on for more.
When someone offers continual unsoliticed feedback or advice, setting a boundary may not be easy if you care about how they might hear you. And if you don't set a boundary, you may eventually become resentful and say something you regret. Instead, here are six ways to respond, with varying degrees of effectiveness.
Trainer tip: Do you get into “right fights”? You know you’re in one when you’re arguing with somebody in order to be right or because you want to win. What needs do I hope to meet from winning or being right? Notice if you enter into a right fight today and shift your focus to your needs and connecting with the other person's needs.
Here's a brief anecdote showing how one woman was able transform a situation, where a man was about to assault or rape her. She responded in a creative way that lead them both to see each others' humanity -- navigating them both to safety. As part of her ingenuity he ended up spending the night in her house, in another room.
True inner freedom arises from self-connection. Without self-connection, we're mostly acting from habits, and those habits do not necessarily attend to our own needs. Here's a practice you can explore in your daily life to deepen your relationship with yourself, and experience true choice and inner freedom.
Trainer tip: When we focus on needs further possibilities are more likely to open up. When we focus on a particular strategy, our world can feel scarce and conflicts can arise. Resolution comes when we value everyone’s needs and seek mutually satisfying solutions. We can ask for support towards this outcome.
The way we talk to one another, and think about or react to our lives, may seem "normal" but eventually, this may reach a point where we realize something isn't working, and we make adjustments. But often the suffering continues if we aren't addressing root causes. In studying NVC we can become more aware of what we are doing and its effects -- plus imagine and implement alternatives that lead to greater fulfillment for self and others.
Subtle boundary violations are more difficult to catch and name in the moment, than obvious boundary violations. Becoming more aware of these moments and finding the words to set a boundary are critical to supporting healthy relating long-term. Three categories of subtle boundary violations are (1.) lack of mutuality, (2.) voice tone and volume, and (3.) speaking for or about someone. Read on to learn more about all three.
Trainer tip: Demands are more likely to limit the possibilities and create distance between people. The trick to asking something as a request is valuing everyone’s needs equally. When you value everyone’s needs equally, then you are more willing to come to solutions that satisfy everyone. It thus opens possibilities and helps build connection.