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.
What's my intention? What needs am I trying to meet? What do I want the other person to know or understand? How can I say it in a way they are most likely to hear? These are four questions we can use in preparation for an important conversation. Read on for more on this, plus four accompanying practices.
The less blame and criticism, the easier it is for others to hear us. From this perspective, it’s in our best interest to come from curiosity and care. This way differences can bring us together and help us know one another. The more mutual understanding, the easier it is to work together and find creative solutions. Read on for more on this, with a story about how a black man inspired 200 members of the KKK to leave the organization.
Sometimes when we regard needs as something that could be met or unmet by another person or by a situation we unconsciously hold the belief that our needs should be met. Or we end up holding blame or implying wrongdoing. People are more likely to resist a request made from this stance. Instead, here are practices to increasingly losen any remaining attachment or demand energy -- and open our hearts to ourselves and others while we make requests.
Being self-responsible is about empowerment — via noticing what is potentially in our locus of control, getting to know ourselves better, looking at our own role in how we experience life, and making conscious choices to act within our own power. This requires us to be mindful in relating our stories to our needs. Read on for more on this, and the various pifalls within thinking about self responsibility.
Our world is facing stressful times. And the more stress you experience, the less resourced you can become. But consider that you're not messed up, but rather, the challenges you bear is a response to manufactured environments and culture that are more hostile than they are kind towards our human souls and bodies. Cultural repair must be part of our work if we are going to attend to the whole.