Many believe it's only a true NVC request when we can ask for what we need without urgency or insistence. But what if we're the target of oppression and hate in a world with systemic inequality? Is it still nonviolence to abdicate power by allowing the person enacting harm to be the one to decide whether harm continues? The intensity of the need, degree of harm, and how chronically unmet the need is, are factors to guide us for when to apply force and demand within NVC. We can be attached to outcome, without being attached to strategy.
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.
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.
Little negative impacts can become big when left unattended. Watch for things like using a sharp tone, choosing not to share something, going along with something when you don’t really want to, trying to convince your partner, impulsively turning away, shrinking, losing access to parts of yourself, hiding, daydreaming about a different life, and judgmental thoughts. Instead, shift the dynamic: take responsibility, provide empathy, and commit to change.
What do we actually mean by “use of force” and what counts as such? Here's a template that will be unpacked in this article: "Use of force is consistent with nonviolence to the extent that we use the least amount of force possible, with the most love possible, aiming at (re)creating conditions for dialogue; that we make the choice using as much nonreactive discernment as possible, with as much support for the choice as possible, and while mourning not seeing another way to respond to a situation in which vital needs are at stake except to use force". Read on for more.
When someone expresses upset about our actions, and we focus on our intention being seen and understood (e.g. "I didn’t mean to hurt you”) it doesn't support the speaker in being heard more deeply with care. Here we'll explore this dynamic in a way that supports more clarity and the possibility of greater personal liberation. Read on for more.
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.
The existing unequal risks and impacts people of certain race, class and identities face in society is magnified in these strenuous times -- especially with things such as illness, financial well being, discrimination, attacks, and death. As responsive NVC practitioners we can stand in solidarity with those who are differentially impacted. Read on for this, and additional ways to spot common pitfalls of doing so.
Amidst racial violence, there are things that NVC can offer. And there are places where NVC culture needs to be more vigilant. Here are examples of where, amidst incredible loss and pain, "allies" and communities commonly (and often unknowingly) create false equivalences, minimization and re-injure those who've been historically marginalized -- even when they offer empathy, or aim to stay "safe". Read on to cultivate greater understanding and ways to respond differently.
"All humans share the same needs" -- tragically, this idea can hide the reality that some people with less power in society have needs that go unmet to a greater extent, much longer, and with more dire consequences. Often, when the marginalized bring up experiences related to their membership in a certain group, their pain isn't acknowledged, and focus shifts to the listener's discomfort. The concept of universal human needs can be used to silence and minimize their pain. Read on for how to proceed.