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...
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.
Here's a list of words that pose as feelings, but are actually interpretations of what you think someone is doing to you. They trigger defensiveness in another thereby preventing a connected dialogue. Behind each of these words are precious feelings and needs. This sheet includes ways to distinguish feelings from interpretations.
Sitting with not knowing is an NVC skill because its the opposite of reactivity. In our haste to find relief from the discomfort of not knowing, we often become defensive, jump to conclusions, and blame and criticize others. Sitting with not knowing requires us to suspend our distrust, tolerate fear and uncertainty - creating space within us. NVC provides a way forward to enter into a space of wonder, possibility, and creativity.
If you ask for or give empathy and are met with accusations of codependency, there are a number of things you can do to check that you are coming from a place of healthy differentiation. You can see if you're doing so from a place of healthy differentiation -- and notice signs of healthy differentiation when you offer empathy. You can also bring a profound respect for differences, and clear boundaries. Read on for more.
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.
What can you do to move towards connection when you you sense reactivity, defense, withdrawal or conflict arising? You can make a connection request, check the congruence between your body language and your words, and get curious about the impact of your actions. When you've tried everything you could also acknowledge that something is off, and choose to come back together when both parties have had time to reflect. Read on for more.
When conflict or criticism occurs, we can notice two layers of meaning to create connection: the content and the needs the speaker is holding. When we are able to recognize this --and ideally engage open-heartedly, with curiosity, make clear requests, imagining what they want, no matter how their expression was framed -- we have more opportunity to support the longevity of our relationships, and to decrease our loneliness when together.
Anger can result in violence or in a movement towards positive change. We can see this happen in the push for racial justice. When you perceive anger as a form of violence your nervous system becomes activated. Your perspective narrows and old conditioning can take over leading to overwhelm, defensiveness, hatred, or violence. Read on for four ways to to respond to our own or others' anger in a way that mobilizes desired change.