Updated: Oct 6, 2021
Today I’d like to share some tips about discovering and communicating our feelings and needs.
I gave a big talk to our local electric company recently because they asked me to share some stress relief and communication skills.
So, years ago I met Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, an international mediator who developed a model for communicating that I found absolutely inspirational: Non-Violent Communication (NVC.)
Here’s how he describes it:
“The objective of NVC is not to change people and their behavior in order to get our way; it is to establish relationships based on honesty and empathy which will eventually fulfill everyone’s needs” p73
(Though it would be a lot easier if everyone was just a clone of ME, for sure.) 😊
It has 4 steps:
The 1st step of NVC entails separation of OBSERVATION (neutral) from EVALUATION (judgement.)
When we mix the two, people hear criticism and so reject what we’re saying. Surprise, surprise.
The 2nd step is to express how we’re feeling.
The 3rd step entails finding our unmet needs.
The 4th step addresses the question of what we would like to request of each other to enrich each of our lives.
Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable by expressing our feelings can help resolve conflicts.
We accept responsibility rather than blame other people for our feelings by acknowledging our own needs, values or expectations.
And we know from Qigong that suppressing our feelings or not getting our needs met leads to illness eventually.
Here’s an example of how to shift our perception:
A - “You disappointed me by not coming over last night”
B - “I was disappointed when you didn’t come over because I wanted to talk over some things that were bothering me”
Speaker A attributes responsibility for the disappointment solely to the action of the other person.
Speaker B traces her disappointment to her own desire that was not being fulfilled.
It's worth repeating:
I found copies on Amazon for a few dollars.
May you use it to uncover any unmet needs! Best to you, Judy