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.
Here are some very basic forms and distinctions of NVC. It covers the 4 D's, OFNR, some NVC distinctions, tips, quotes from Marshall Rosenberg, and "feelings and needs" lists, and more. As with any art, these rudiments necessarily must be learned, practiced, understood, embodied and then let go of so as not to become rote and block creativity.
Trainer tip: Feelings of hurt, anger, fear, and resentment can often sound alike. Fear and excitement have the same physiological effects on us, and are often expressed in the same body language. Clearly and specifically naming our emotions and the intensity level can help us resolve conflicts, with a much greater opportunity to get our needs met.
Join Kelly Bryson and go Psychologically and Spiritually Spelunking into your own Caverns of Consciousness, using the inner mining tools of NVC Self-Empathy, Progoff Journaling processes, Focusing, and individual work. Get self-empathy tools that will help you rejuvenate yourself and your relationships.
The first session of this course is available for all to listen to and enjoy.
Unhook from a reactive dynamic, by staying with your needs and requests, and release attachment to outcome. Start by shifting your attention from the other person to get clear on what's true for you. Read on for strategies to transform reactivity, possible boundary setting behaviors, typical signs of escalation, and more.
In general, criticism is a reactive response discomfort. When someone criticizes, they are not yet able or willing take responsibility for their needs. All criticism is a tragic expression of feelings and unmet needs. When you meet that criticism skillfully you not only care for yourself, you can facilitate clarity, and constructive communication, about what the other person is truly asking for.
When someone's in immense pain and uses words that are hard to hear, see if you can bring in as much attention and compassion as you would to someone who was cut with a sword. Focusing on what's important to them, and not so much on how it was said. This may support greater understanding and healing. Otherwise, we risk prioritizing needs, norms, and inequities of the dominant culture, over caring for people who bear the invisible brunt of such norms.
Want to increase diversity, plus improve group dynamics and group functioning? There are things you can do to make NVC settings more welcoming to people of color. Learn more about how to use NVC; attend to impact; help the community understand and demonstrate more awareness; factor in historical context; engage; create a more inclusive climate; and more!
Has someone ever talked to you to the extent that you're no longer enjoying it, and you now wonder if they even know you're there? Learn ways to bring in emotional understanding, engage more honestly and open-heartedly, and bridge next steps to the type of conversation that engages everyone's needs.
When we're on the receiving end of pain-stimulating assumptions, a microaggression, or prejudice --when we're reactive and resultingly have self-doubt, guilt or shame in ourselves-- is it possible to be intensely authentic while holding care for everyone in the situation? Can we effectively do this even as a third party witnesses to these things? Self-empathy, empathy, and a commitment to authenticity have become essential tools I need to keep sharpened in my toolbox if I am to show up and do the work I value in this world.