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: The Nonviolent Communication process strengthens our ability to remain human, even under trying conditions. It provides tools to promote peaceful living on a daily basis. Be aware today of the times that your behaviors or attitudes promote distrust and self-protection, rather than compassion and humanity.
Working for racial justice is a shift in perspective—a shift in understanding and empathy that leads to a change in our actions: to listen instead of talk, to follow instead of lead, to yield rather than dominate. And to accept that I will continue to mess up. Part of working to undo racism is having the humility to know when our own understanding is limited. Read on for more this, and how it relates to meditation -- plus personal and collective liberation.
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: When we are authentic about who we are, and our preferences, we give everyone and ourselves a better opportunity to open up dialogue about how to meet our collective needs better. We simply express our truth, and in that way we value our own needs as much as those of others.
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.
Tolerating reactivity, name-calling, blaming, guilt-tripping, or stonewalling can lead to resentment and hurt. Plus, the more you stay in a reactive dynamic, the more you are likely to reinforce the pattern. Setting life-serving boundaries arund reactivity is about letting another know that you aren’t going to participate in that kinds of dynamics. This means knowing what helps with handling difficulties and asking for that.