The “mind” or our “ego” are often depicted as a static entity, an unchangable part of human nature, and as obstacles or negative parts of ourselves to overcome. This view creates maligning, a split within us, while remaining invisibly part and parcel of authority-based societies --the dominant culture and institutions into which we are born. Instead, I want to advocate an integration of reason and emotion, mind and heart, plus self and others.
Start here to discover how Nonviolent Communication (NVC) will enrich and deepen all your relationships. You'll love this practical and enlightening approach to empathic listening and effective self-expression. Learn on your schedule with self-paced learning modules in this 30-day program. Our 30-day NVC introductory course is conveniently available within the Library to all NVC Library subscribers.
Trainer Tip: Our particular needs and expectations in the moment, influences how we feel. So if you are feeling hurt, sad, angry, or disappointed, try to consider what your unmet needs are, and see if there are other ways you can get them met. Today, track how your needs affect your feelings.
Trainer Tip: Making a request is critical because it can greatly lessen any tension in the situation. Plus, it can clarify for you and the people in your life what it would take to meet your need. Make at least one specific and doable request to someone today.
We can choose our stories of interpretation, and how to respond. And while stories of self-sufficiency can (to a degree) give us more influence over our own lives, they don't erase oppression, war, nor climate change. When stories omit a lens that includes impacts of interdependence, oppression, and structural inequities, stories can also keep us disconnected and blocked from compassion for self and others -- and perpetuating an oppressive status quo. However, with this lens we can make greater compassion and collective liberation possible. Even as the outcome is unknown.
Trainer Tip: What do you value the most? Take a look at your actions and notice the values that your actions demonstrate (not what you want them to show, but what they do show), and see if they are in alignment. Where there is a gap take steps to create actions that are in alignment with your values
By focusing on NVC process and practice without factoring in the interdependent, systemic dimension we unwittingly diminish the power of NVC. We reinforce the dominant paradigm, rather than challenging it -- making NVC one more tool for compliance. NVC principles can turn against its own purpose in cruel ways. NVC could also empower social change. We'll need our attention on this matter if we are to contribute to transforming the oppression we face and our collective march towards extinction.
We can see throughout many examples in history that when we look for "who" is at fault, and thereby seek social change through shaming that person (or that group), it tends to lead to disastrous long term consequences. Even if it works in the short term. Instead, if we want to end cycles of violence we can seek to understand systemic causes and context of individuals' behaviour. And from there, look for solutions that stem from this understanding.