What could be, more often than not, overlooked when we think about or represent NVC or Marshall Rosenberg's work? This article busts some commonly held ideas and approaches to NVC. It challenges us to widen the lens of what it really means to be "life-serving", or speaking and hearing the "language of life". And it also speaks to how thinking can deepen feeling and relatedness...
Here's a list of words that pose as feelings, but are actually interpretations of what you think someone is doing to you. They trigger defensiveness in another thereby preventing a connected dialogue. Behind each of these words are precious feelings and needs. This sheet includes ways to distinguish feelings from interpretations.
Sitting with not knowing is an NVC skill because its the opposite of reactivity. In our haste to find relief from the discomfort of not knowing, we often become defensive, jump to conclusions, and blame and criticize others. Sitting with not knowing requires us to suspend our distrust, tolerate fear and uncertainty - creating space within us. NVC provides a way forward to enter into a space of wonder, possibility, and creativity.
Anger can alert us that a need may be threatened. When anger lives in someone as a well-worn habit, it arises from a place of dissociation from one’s heart and is entangled with misinterpretations, a deep sense of threat, a history of pain, and social conditioning that isn’t life-serving. Read on for how intention, mindfulness, and specific actions can change that habit.
Someone may give more weight to your ideas, decisions, and directives based on your experience and what you've learned. This could influence them to project their ideals, fears, hopes, and more onto you. In this case, you can help transform this and contribute to their connection to their own agency, authenticity, and self-trust -- while supporting their ability to learn from what you have to offer.
Where do you feel desperation, resentment, anger about your partner's choices? What do you want to demand of them? Rather than looking for what they're suppose to do, look for your feelings and needs, how would you would respond if you trusted your needs could be met without your partner, and what you choose to do given what your partner offers and does not offer.
Past hurt and pain can get triggered even when it doesn't have much to do with the present. When that happens we can gain perspective by self reflecting, engaging self empathy, grounding an "anchor", noticing the present-moment safety, naming needs and making requests.
Sometimes the empathy you offer may stimulate disconnect or a sense of boundary crossing for the other person. To identify what might have contributed to the disconnect you can look for the signs, the level of attunement and the context, and examine what's happening in you. Read on for more.