To tell the difference between empathy and investigation, watch for distinctions along four different dimensions: energy, subject, intention and trust. These distinctions can help us engage awareness and skill to meet your needs and respond to others’ needs in more direct ways. The more you meet your needs in conscious and direct ways, the more present you can be for others. Read on for more about how to do this.
What's the real reason you choose to talk about something or not? "Privacy" can become a misplaced label that's used to hide harmful behaviour. Secrets typically come from reactivity -- and can carry shame, fear or threat of harm, and take a toll. And yet, if something private gets mislabeled as a "secret" it can also trigger shame and fear. The key to all this may be in relating to privacy from a place of clear differentiation, boundaries, agency, care and discernment.
What we refer to as "selfishness" is action taken without concern for the impact or cost of that action. Self-responsibility, on the other hand, includes actively living from the truth of interdependence, care for your and others needs, thriving of all, and more. We can access clarity of self care when we have open flexibility, curiosity, and responsiveness. Read on for more on the indicators and attributes of each of these distinctions.
The attention you enjoy may not be motivated by true caring for you. There are three key questions that can help you discern whether you are receiving care or charm: How does caring show up under duress? How are differences treated? How consistent is the ability to consider the impact of their behavior on others? Be mindful of your judgments and notice any patterns.
Here are 14 more key differentiations that are not, at time of publishing this, on the CNVC key differentiations list. They can be used to support people who are on the path of learning and integrating NVC in making sense of their own understanding of their journey and where they are within it. And it can be used to support people who share NVC with others in offering brief information in support of understanding and learning.
When someone's behavior costs us, we may attempt to negotiate as much as possible. After some rounds of this, if there's no change we may reach a tolerance limit. So we may set a boundary for self care and clarity about what's unworkable. But depending on intentions and the way its said, this may or may not be a punishment to get even. Here, clarity about intentions, feelings, needs, actions and dialogue may support us.
When someone behaves in a way that you may label convincing, cajoling, guilt-tripping, threatening, analyzing, or criticizing, you may be tempted to guess they have a "need" for control. Instead, name what this person is doing that isn't meeting your needs. If it is a true need your heart will have softened. If you feel resentment or resistance, you are likely making a judgment rather than guessing what they are needing.
Trainer Tip: When we sympathize, we relate an aspect of someone’s story to ourselves. When we empathize, we reflect the feelings and needs of the other. Empathy helps people connect more deeply to their own and another’s pain, and helps resolve issues with clarity and ease. Notice when you're giving someone sympathy rather than empathy.
In NVC we define needs as resources that life requires to sustain itself. All human beings have the same needs. The strategy is what we do to meet that need. Strategies are specific; we all choose unique ways to meet our needs. The more we can see the difference between the two, the more likely we are to resolve conflicts with ease. Today, look for opportunities to notice the difference in the given situation.
If we’re selfish, all we care about is our own needs. If we’re selfless, our needs don’t enter the picture; others needs are the focus. But what if serving others meets our needs? What if being only selfish ultimately results in our needs being unmet? Do you find yourself bouncing between being a selfless doormat and then resenting it, and beating yourself up for being “selfish”? Instead, care about others’ needs AND your needs.