One clue we have trauma is when we respond in a way we don't want (eg. being reactive, self sabotaging, etc). Even when we have high level NVC skills our trauma-related mechanisms can activate, and we can lose access to well honed NVC skills. Read on for approaches that involve healing trauma, and approaches that involve managing the effects of trauma and preventing additional trauma.
Being self-responsible is about empowerment — via noticing what is potentially in our locus of control, getting to know ourselves better, looking at our own role in how we experience life, and making conscious choices to act within our own power. This requires us to be mindful in relating our stories to our needs. Read on for more on this, and the various pifalls within thinking about self responsibility.
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.
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.
With abundant evidence that most people have unconscious biases against people --even when that bias runs counter to their own values-- there's a strong chance you recreate this disconnect with people far more often than you recognize. So even with a high degree of NVC skills you may behave in a way that seems "NVC" but also reproduces the painful patterns that marginalized people all-too-often experience. Read on for ways to transform pitfalls of NVC into more reliable connection.