How would compassionate, nonviolent communication help me?
We are used to hearing "You're an idiot!" "Why did you do that?" "What were you thinking?" "Get lost!" "You're driving me mad!" "You're lazy/ stupid/ careless!" What do you feel when you hear these?
We are so accustomed to hearing or saying these evaluations of us, these blaming words, these judgments, that we tell them to ourselves and beat ourselves up. For thousands of years, humans have become used to pushing away our real feelings of pain, sadness, inadequacy. When we feel inadequate, not good enough, blameable, we can hardly bear to say that, because we're embarrassed, shy, afraid to say how we really feel.
An example of a hurtful communication is "You were rude and unsupportive to your brother and I won't allow you to do that." What we usually do is think of ways to respond to that, to defend ourselves and answer the accusation. Unfortunately, this habit of going into our heads to think, does not serve our real needs and we can end up losing sleep and feeling drained, by the effort of thinking round and round about what to do. This is a habit we've practised for all our lives, so it can take some work and support to find other ways that serve us and help to meet our needs.
A nonviolent response from the person who heard this would be: "When you say that and your message is in my personal space (observation without judgment) I feel hurt, vulnerable and unsafe. What I am needing is peace, safety and autonomy to be in charge of my own space. I request that you do not contact me on my phone, unless my brother is ill and can't call me himself.
The basis for NVC is to say what happened without evaluating it, say how we feel, what our needs are and make a request of the other person to help meet our needs. The difficulty is that the ways we usually talk, come out with judgments and blaming, so we need some support and practice to use nonviolent language. We aren't used to naming our feelings and taking care of our needs, because we associate "needy" with "helpless," - and still, we all have basic human needs. Meeting our needs means we can survive with more ease.
Nonviolent communication is a practice that lets us connect to ourselves and others with compassion and acceptance; it is a language that brings us understanding for ourselves and for others. The language of NVC means we can be with our feelings, soften towards difficult feelings and be genuine about what we long for, alone or with other people.
When I listen to you with empathy (as if I could walk in your shoes), you will know that you are being heard, you will get the message that you matter and are of value, you will feel accepted and able to connect with what you feel and need. Your actions are driven by your needs, so connecting to needs, helps you to take action, to meet whatever arises in your experience. You need a space where you can be yourself, completely free of criticism, judgment or blame and that's what Essence Transformation Coaching offers you.
Practising this language helps people to feel understood . . . then they can relax and get on with being their true selves - not trying to "get it right" to please other people. That's wonderful!
Nonviolent communication (NVC) was founded by Marshall Rosenberg (1934-2015) and shared in his book "Nonviolent Communication - a Language of Life" as well as many youtube videos.