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.
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.
In this transcript, clinical psychologist and organizational consultant, Roxy Manning, PhD, offers ways for us to increase our capacity to (1) See things that we otherwise wouldn't; (2) Bring more relevance to our groups, organizations and social change movements; (3) Talk openly about microaggressions: statements or (in)actions that (inadvertently) minimize, diminish or negate somebody's experience. Also, NVC Academy's cofounder, Mary Mackenzie, speaks to how NVC helps us to find ways to bridge our differences in ways that value all of us.
If we are in the dominant group, intervening to prevent violence or an "ouch" is a way to ally with marginalized folks. We can intervene to meet their needs, rather than our own. In other words, we can intervene without putting our experience at center stage. To that end, here are six ways to ask if an intervention is welcome.
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.
In treating everyone the same, we perpetuate inequities. If we want NVC consciousness to spread globally, it's crucial to acknowledge how various demographics are have varying capacities, and are differentially perceived, treated and impacted. Modifying our NVC teachings can increase equity and reduce the frequent judgement, disbelief, denial, insistence, non-resonance and re-marginalization that so many experience in NVC circles.