In the "obnoxious stage" we care for our needs in a way that doesn't respect others' needs. In the "emotional liberation" stage we fully care for others' needs as much as our own—while being free of fear, guilt, shame, or obligation. Often NVC training teaches us how to achieve the latter stage without the former. For greater compassion we can be more rigorous in how we talk about “responsibility", impacts and interdependence.
Part of nonviolence is having an infinite circle of care that includes simultaneous care of ourselves, others and groups: no one is beyond the pale. Plus, it's about having an infinite trust in the possibility that we can reach someone's heart even if we don't now know how -- since regardless of what this other person has done, they have the same needs. Without this kind of trust, nonviolence would crumble as way to create change.
Untethering from dominant culture and internalized oppression takes releasing attachments and persistence inspite upheavals -- all with insufficient support. Even in community building we can bring oppression into our efforts to untether. The more we walk towards vision, the more tethers of patriarchy we undo, the more the cost. By exacting such high cost, patriarchal societies reproduce and sustain themselves. To untether we need fortitude.
Our everyday personal experiences of diminishment, and the destruction of our planet has a through-line. Societal traumas lead to us shutting down to avoid pain, and this limits us. The avoidance shifts our brains so we don’t see other beings, species and our planet as wondrous, precious and irreplaceable. Thus, we meet others with diminishment, oblivion, or abuse; trauma keeps passing on. This leads to being blind and mute, and to othering based on social location, and to destruction of our planet.
So often we're habituated to associate a “why” question with being reproached, blamed or shamed – and so defensiveness arises. However, in order to maintain a flow of understanding and collaboration, we need to hear and say the “why” while finding other ways to ask for it. Here we look at how to ask questions that bring each of us vital information that can open up discovery and learning, for our mutual benefit.
Awareness of how we're holding our own and others' needs is important to our development. In learning to value needs, we often go through three stages: passive, aggressive/obnoxious, and assertive/mutual. As we learn and grow, we may relate to the following differently: Whose feelings and needs are important, who is responsible for what, how our choices impact others, and consideration for ourselves and others.
Struggling to say "no"? Here are ways you change your adjacent mind patterns. First, note the differences between those who respect boundaries and those who often don't. Second, review situations in which you lost track of your choice. And rehearse what it would sound, look, and feel like if you kept connection to your choice. Third, seek validation of your experience - from a grounded and mindful (non-reactive) state.
Codependency occurs when others' behavior affects us in unhealthy ways and we get obsessed with controlling their behavior. For example, we may focus on other's needs while neglect what matters to us, and resent it. Or we may depend on others to rescue us from results of our actions. Or we may fix or rescue others' neglected responsibilities. Or we may make others responsible for our needs. Instead, notice your needs, what you can('t) change, and your priorities.
To resolve conflict, information of what's important to each party, plus corrections, needs to be included and built upon. Here we explore nine patterns of ongoing conflict, including diagnosis; assuming understanding; refuting; unhelpful communication mediums; over focus on intent over effect; and “hit-and-run” engagement. This is part one of a two part series.
Here we explore variants of conflict patterns in part two (of this two part series) that include: refuting "straw man arguments"; not checking understanding, repeating unhelpful behaviour; repeatedly asking for what's already given; asserting rather than demonstrating responsiveness; assumptions; denying conflict exists; neglecting interdependence; stonewalling; absence of curiosity, humility, respect, empathy or care (even when reflecting).