What could be, more often than not, overlooked when we think about or represent NVC or Marshall Rosenberg's work? This article busts some commonly held ideas and approaches to NVC. It challenges us to widen the lens of what it really means to be "life-serving", or speaking and hearing the "language of life". And it also speaks to how thinking can deepen feeling and relatedness...
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.
We can cultivate spiritual clarity through bringing attention to our intentions, mourning, gratitude, and the dynamic flow of feelings and needs. This can bring more autonomy, choice and liberate the energy of connection and contribution. We can also awaken our hearts to see the reality that our well-being is mutually interdependent. Read on for more.
What's my intention? What needs am I trying to meet? What do I want the other person to know or understand? How can I say it in a way they are most likely to hear? These are four questions we can use in preparation for an important conversation. Read on for more on this, plus four accompanying practices.
The less blame and criticism, the easier it is for others to hear us. From this perspective, it’s in our best interest to come from curiosity and care. This way differences can bring us together and help us know one another. The more mutual understanding, the easier it is to work together and find creative solutions. Read on for more on this, with a story about how a black man inspired 200 members of the KKK to leave the organization.
We're more likely to sacrifice trust, connection, and relationship quality when (1.) We use NVC to focus on being seen, understood, heard, or meeting our own needs in a way that eclipses our view and understanding of others needs; (2.) We don't clearly examine our intentions; and (3.) We use the NVC form so rigidly that it becomes difficult for others to connect with us authentically.
Here's an inspiring story of one citizen (the author) who faced a police officer and judge in court to contest a transit ticket... and inspired structural changes in the way one aspect of New York City transit operates. She inspires change with her application of empathy for self and others, acknowledgement, connecting requests -- and an inspiring vision of understanding, shared reality and living in a city where people have some trust in one another's intentions.
For many, spending time with relatives over the holidays may be challenging. In addition to the love and care we may feel, family gatherings can bring up old hurts or expose painful differences. How many family meals have been marred by tense silence or devolved into harsh argument?
Society gives us short-sighted explanations about human nature, life and what’s (un)changeable. The coronavirus pandemic is disrupting that explanation. Our current social order upholds impoverishment, police brutality, and is leading us towards our extinction. Change begins with people mobilizing resources towards a vision that holds systemic care for all, plus engages shared risk and collective action towards that vision.