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.
We can choose our stories of interpretation, and how to respond. And while stories of self-sufficiency can (to a degree) give us more influence over our own lives, they don't erase oppression, war, nor climate change. When stories omit a lens that includes impacts of interdependence, oppression, and structural inequities, stories can also keep us disconnected and blocked from compassion for self and others -- and perpetuating an oppressive status quo. However, with this lens we can make greater compassion and collective liberation possible. Even as the outcome is unknown.
Can the Social Order Be Transformed through Personal Practice? The Case of Nonviolent Communication - Part 1 of 2
By focusing on NVC process and practice without factoring in the interdependent, systemic dimension we unwittingly diminish the power of NVC. We reinforce the dominant paradigm, rather than challenging it -- making NVC one more tool for compliance. NVC principles can turn against its own purpose in cruel ways. NVC could also empower social change. We'll need our attention on this matter if we are to contribute to transforming the oppression we face and our collective march towards extinction.
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.
This pandemic is an immense opportunity, and a dire catastrophe in the making. It’s a crisis within many planetary crises — during which, our habits as individuals, and as a collective, are challenged because they don’t sustain us. Now we are pushed to respond freshly and join forces in ways that seemed impossible before.
One way to understand trauma is it means we got a blow greater than our nervous system can tolerate – then we move into hyperarousal, and then hypoarousal or dissociation. This cycle can continue long after. Here, we're not able to fully process emotional cues, information, our body, and others. It's important we consider re-writing the cultural paradigm of separation so that our trauma doesn't get marginalized.
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!
There are times when someone judges us, or meets us with prejudice, and its easier for us to respond by hating them, or judging ourselves as not good enough. How can we love another person instead without excusing their actions? Roxy tells us her story with wonderment, grief and mourning.
If we're to have a better future, our biggest task will be to reexamine what the police are, their place in the system, and more. Police violence exists by systemic design. The myths of where the problems and symptoms lie with the police, capitalism, laws, government, citizens, class and racism --plus the relationship between all these-- is what keeps oppression ongoing on a mass scale. For change to happen, we'll need to find systemic leverage points, and use privilege to benefit those without it. Read on for more.