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 does identifying our or others' needs become a coping mechanism that hides the real problems that go unaddressed, and thereby reinforcing problems? This article zooms out to take a look at how dealing with our needs in the absence of the larger picture can inadvertertly support unhealthy ways of operating, rather than become a healthy solution. It asks us to see what could be hidden -- both on the personal and societal levels.
Getting "feel good" empathy can become an addiction. Even to the point of seeing people who don't offer empathy as "not being NVC". Rachelle urges us to notice how this view of NVC can be seductive, and even dangerous. In this article, she explains how we can expand our compassionate awareness when we go beyond equating NVC with harmony and empathy. She asks us to become more open to noticing others' experiences even if it challenges our personal and collective belief systems -- and especially when it upsets us to consider it.
Could our "need for autonomy" be getting in the way of "partnership consciousness" (as NVC is sometimes called). Could "autonomy" also block healthy relationships with not only ourselves and with others, but also with the planet? This article invites us to consider how "autonomy" may colour our NVC practice at the peril of our critical values. Values such as our care for impact, shared responsibility, interdependence, compassion, consideration, and more...
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.
We can't alone (nor with lone communities) transform the hidden structures of violence and domination. Dialogue alone isn't disruptive enough. We can easily be in dialogue with Trump supporters while the planet burns up, millions are still hungry, and we go extinct. NVC seriously risks reinforcing vast inequities and abuses if we're not radically engaging systemic constraints, and impacts of our choices that go beyond our immediate circle. Read on for ways to leverage NVC practices to expand true social change.
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.
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.