The pandemic asks us to examine the way we have always done things. It asks to try something new and notice what happens. This is an opportunity to ask why you have done holidays in a certain way and what needs it met to do it that way. Perhaps it is an opportunity to experiment and see what new things might arise. Read on for questions to ask yourself that might help you process your triggers, "should's", feelings, needs and dilemmas.
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.
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.
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.
Trainer tip: NVC focuses on shared human values and needs, and encourages the use of language that increases good will -- plus avoidance of language that contributes to resentment or lowered self-esteem. It emphasizes taking personal responsibility for choices and improving the quality of relationships as a primary goal. For today, focus on making observations without moralistic judgment in at least two of your interactions.
Here's a list of words that pose as feelings, but are actually interpretations of what you think someone is doing to you. They trigger defensiveness in another thereby preventing a connected dialogue. Behind each of these words are precious feelings and needs. This sheet includes ways to distinguish feelings from interpretations.
Trainer tip: When you want to thank someone expressing what that person did, how you felt about and what needs were met for you, can provide the other person with more information. It can also help her more fully understand how she contributed to you, and deepen your connection with her.