The notion of "micro-aggressions" may be levied by those in the dominant class - for example white folks may talk about receiving micro-aggressions when a (legitimately) angry BIPOC references them as "white". This shuts down the conversation and feeds a myth that everyone's pain about race is equal. It doesn't foster dialogue that moves us towards a more equitable, compassionate world. Read on for more about the complexity.
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.
For many people, attempting to connect with others across differences can feel akin to walking through a minefield. With humility, tenderness, and courage, Roxy challenges your perspectives and encourages you to open your heart and mind. Roxy uses concrete examples and visual tools to illustrate complex concepts.
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.
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.
"All humans share the same needs" -- tragically, this idea can hide the reality that some people with less power in society have needs that go unmet to a greater extent, much longer, and with more dire consequences. Often, when the marginalized bring up experiences related to their membership in a certain group, their pain isn't acknowledged, and focus shifts to the listener's discomfort. The concept of universal human needs can be used to silence and minimize their pain. Read on for how to proceed.
When someone's in immense pain and uses words that are hard to hear, see if you can bring in as much attention and compassion as you would to someone who was cut with a sword. Focusing on what's important to them, and not so much on how it was said. This may support greater understanding and healing. Otherwise, we risk prioritizing needs, norms, and inequities of the dominant culture, over caring for people who bear the invisible brunt of such norms.