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'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.
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.
Why does NVC practice, and NVC training/coaching, appear to be not enough to bridge divides between people? This article takes a look at the trickle down effect of our societal conditioning, what we can add to our NVC lense, and what we can do "upstream" when NVC doesn't seem to be enough. Additionally, the article talks about unseen constraints that men, women and minority groups face in organizational settings...
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...