Anger can result in violence or in a movement towards positive change. We can see this happen in the push for racial justice. When you perceive anger as a form of violence your nervous system becomes activated. Your perspective narrows and old conditioning can take over leading to overwhelm, defensiveness, hatred, or violence. Read on for four ways to to respond to our own or others' anger in a way that mobilizes desired change.
When conflict or criticism occurs, we can notice two layers of meaning to create connection: the content and the needs the speaker is holding. When we are able to recognize this --and ideally engage open-heartedly, with curiosity, make clear requests, imagining what they want, no matter how their expression was framed -- we have more opportunity to support the longevity of our relationships, and to decrease our loneliness when together.
Trainer tip: If you are in a relationship (whether personal or work related) that you are not happy with, consider talking to the other person in an effort to connect about both your needs. Talking about it doesn’t guarantee that you will like the resolution, but not talking about it guarantees continued unhappiness. Read on for more.
When something happens that we don't like no amount of resentment nor magical thinking will make it disappear. Instead, we can mourn to dissolve our own resistance, resentment, and numbness of resignation. Mourning can allow us to feel pain with acceptance, and without needing to be okay with what happened. Acceptance can bring us to a place where even all the anguish in the world is fully, part of life.
Here are two practices for connecting with "request energy". One of them helps us practice in the moment (7 steps). The other one helps us connect to ourselves (11 steps).
Trainer Tip: There's often a large gap between what we experience, and the story we make up about it. Noticing how our judgments and assumptions cloud our observations can be critical to creating a connection with others and maintaining a Nonviolent Communication consciousness.
It’s essential to give ourselves time to grapple with the complex feelings surrounding the brutality of state-sanctioned racism and violence. But if all we do is reflect and attend to our emotions we fail to show up, where and when it counts. So let's not perpetuate the violence by standing idly. Instead, here's ten things you can do to move into concrete action to address the continued, untenable, and horrific violence of racism. A list of resources is included.
Amidst racial violence, there are things that NVC can offer. And there are places where NVC culture needs to be more vigilant. Here are examples of where, amidst incredible loss and pain, "allies" and communities commonly (and often unknowingly) create false equivalences, minimization and re-injure those who've been historically marginalized -- even when they offer empathy, or aim to stay "safe". Read on to cultivate greater understanding and ways to respond differently.