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Contributing to Emotional Safety Without Giving Up Honesty

Article •  5 - 7 minutes • 
Beginner Skill Level
Article
5 - 7 minutes

Even in a conflict, you can offer emotional safety without being enmeshed -- and you can do this without sliding into strategies to gain power over another. You can prioritize connection, express your intention, make space for mutuality, honestly reveal what you care about and propose a way forward. This means caring for your needs regardless of their response -- and mourning if their response isn't what you want. Read on for more.


Independence vs. Interdependence in NVC

Article •  3 - 5 minutes • 
All Skill Levels
Article
3 - 5 minutes

For us to have a more peaceful world and relationships, growing our skills to engage interdependently is key. An interdependence-oriented person may choose to attend to both inner factors and outer factors that affect their own and others' experiences. Unfortunately, this is likely to be misunderstood by independence-oriented people as enmeshment -- and this is where conflict emerges. Read on for more.


Abusive Relationships and Nonviolence

Article •  8 - 12 minutes • 
Intermediate Skill Levels
Article
8 - 12 minutes

In order to bring in more nonviolence into the world, we need to take our own needs seriously and recognize that no amount of seeing someone’s innocence would mean putting up with more of their harmful behavior. We need to disentangle compassion towards another from the willingness to tolerate more harmful actions. At times this means finding enough self-love, support, or clarity, to take decisive action. Read on for more.


The Nuts and Bolts of Not Taking Things Personally

Article •  12 - 18 minutes • 
Intermediate Skill Level
Article
12 - 18 minutes

Why is it so difficult to not take things personally? It's because everything reinforces the sense that whatever is being said is indeed about us – both from without and from within. However, we can get better at not taking things personally with a practice of shifting our focus by being open to multiple interpretations, understanding that our reaction is about our own need, and noticing how the other person’s words, no matter how they sound to us, are an expression of their needs. We can then be more present and available to navigate the situation.


How to Balance Differentiation and Bonding

Article •  5 -7 minutes • 
Intermediate Skill Level
Article
5 -7 minutes

When a relationship has both differentiation and bonding you can express differences and unmet needs, and responsibly do your own thing without it being a threat to the bond with another. You honor each others choices. There's trust rather than a sense of resentful obligation. Needs-based negotiation is easier. See if you tend to emphasize only differentiation or bonding in your relationships. Imagine how to support the opposite.


Understanding And Recognizing Enmeshment

Practice Exercise •  4 - 6 minutes • 
Intermediate Skill Level
Practice Exercise
4 - 6 minutes

Enmeshment refers to confusion about who is responsible for what. This lack of clear boundaries results in attempts to manage the other person's experience as a substitute for managing your own. When you think you're contributing to another person, but you're actually acting from enmeshment, there's inner tension and contraction. Read on for 16 common signs of enmeshment so that you can know when to pause and connect to your needs.