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Feelings vs Interpretations

Article  • 1-2 minutes • 04/2020
Beginner Skill Level
Article
1-2 minutes

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.


Grounded Responses for Challenging Comments

Article  • 3 - 5 minutes • 09/2019
Beginner Skill Level
Article
3 - 5 minutes

When someone responds with painful sarcasm, criticism, or dismissal you can respond with empathy, or with clarity about your intention, need and request. If you're unable to do this, later you can privately write what they said, identify the feelings and needs of both of you, then write possible responses. This can help you remember to stay with your intention and what’s true for you without getting caught in defensiveness or reactivity.


Lonely Together

Article  • 5 - 7 minutes • 05/2020
Beginner Skill Level
Article
5 - 7 minutes

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.


Responding to Anger

Article  • 5-8 minutes • 05/2018
Beginner Skill Level
Article
5-8 minutes

When someone wants to speak angrily about another, do you want to move away, try to calm them, argue, set a boundary, or offer empathy? What supports you to stay self connected? You can set boundaries regarding listening so that you're less likely to defend the other party, or attempt to talk your friend down from their judgments, thereby escalating the situation. Disagreements can also ignite curiosity and celebration. Read on for more.


Dissolving Reactivity With Your Partner

Article  • 3-5 minutes • 2/2019
Intermediate Skill Level
Article
3-5 minutes

Most reactivity in intimate relationships comes from a lack of confidence in maintaining intimacy, autonomy, or security. What may help is naming what's happening, interrupting shame, and anchoring or reassuring yourself. You can also reflect on the effects of acting from reactivity. Knowing what helps center you, ask your partner to do or say specific things that might help. Read on for more.


How I Continue to Mess Up Being an Ally

Article  • 5 - 8 minutes • 06/2020
All Skill Levels
Article
5 - 8 minutes

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.


To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate - How to Connect With What Matters

Article  • 8 - 12 minutes • 8/2021
Intermediate Skill Level
Article
8 - 12 minutes

To help you stay connected to yourself and the other person when in challenging discussions about COVID-19 vaccines or other hot issues, without labeling others as reactive or otherwise, you can begin by tracking signs of your own reactivity to bring mindfulness onboard, then shifting your attention to universal needs; and asking to connect about it later. Read on for more.


Practice Tracking Various Living States of Being

Practice Exercise  • 3 - 5 minutes • 12/30/2021
All Skill Levels
Practice Exercise
3 - 5 minutes

Use this exercise to identify what state you're in at any moment, and as an exercise to grow capacity for self-awareness and self-compassion. Identify what happened, thoughts, sensations, feelings, longings, etc. Includes a table that outlines three states of being: Protective/Defensive, Vulnerability, Essence.


A Positive Relationship With Reactivity

Practice Exercise  • 4 - 6 minutes • 03/02/2022
Beginner Skill Level
Practice Exercise
4 - 6 minutes

With practice we can prevent reactivity from overtaking and harming: notice signs of reactivity, bring compassion to it, see reactivity as the misperception of threat and a distortion of what's happening, plus engage and pursue connection and the clarity to weaken reactive impulses. In taking responsibility like this overtime, you can live from your values and from care. And life can get easier for you and others around you.


Timing of a request

Trainer Tip  • 1-2 minutes • 10/2005
Beginner Skill Level
Trainer Tip
1-2 minutes

Trainer Tip: Stating our observations, feelings and needs can still be heard as criticism if we don't follow it up right away with a specific, doable request. Ending your statement with a request for what you want can clarify the situation and reduce the chances that you'll be met with defensiveness. Read on for an example.


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