Do you remember the last time that you were really upset? Somebody said something, did something or maybe didn’t do something. But whatever it was, that was totally unfair! Let’s take a look at nonviolent communication.
We often think in this way. “I feel <choose feeling> because <name> did/said <input>”. But is this really true? Can other people really “make us” feel some way or the other?
I have found that for me it is not the situation that makes me feel some way or the other, but rather how I choose to relate to the situation.
We are never angry because of what others say or do. It is our thinking that makes us angryMarshall B. Rosenberg
It is really our minds that create our reality. Once we realize that we can take full responsibility for the way we feel. We don’t need to blame the people around us for our emotions. And with this comes great freedom.
“What are you talking about dude? My partner just told me that he/she hates me. How am I supposed to not feel bad about that?”. Well, here I would like to introduce a little practice known as nonviolent-communication.
Practically, it is a way of communication consisting of 4 components that has done wonders in my personal life. The components are
- observations without evaluation,
- inquiring after feelings,
- inquiring after needs and
- a request for a specific action
It might looks as follows:
You: “I hear you say that you hate me, and I see you are stepping away from me . Are you saying that you feel angry  and have a need for more attention ?”
Partner: “Of course, I am angry. And no, I don’t want more attention. Can’t you see? You never give me any space. Just leave me alone.”
You: “So I hear that you would like me to be less on top of you . I would like to give that to you. Could you tell me what you need from me to feel this space? ”
Partner: “Yes that is exactly it. Actually, I would just like to have an evening alone at home. Could you just meet up with some friends or something and leave the house to me? ”
You: “I can do that. I wanted to meet up with the boys/the girls anyway, to be honest. I just thought that you needed me here, since you seemed so upset.”
Partner: “Haha, that’s quite a misunderstanding. Yes, that would be great. But could you be home again tomorrow? I don’t want to be without you for too long…”
In short, nonviolent-communication can be summarized by two sentences:
- Receiving empathically: “I see/hear <observation>. Are you feeling <feeling>, because you have a need for <need>? Would you <request>?”
- Expressing honestly: “When I see/hear <observation>, then I feel <feeling>, because I have a need for <need>. Would you <request>?”
It’s basically just these two sentences. And these two sentences have changed the way in which I approach conflicts in my day-to-day life. The concept is ridiculously simple, but it works in many conflict situations.
Instead of playing the game ‘Making Life Wonderful’, we often play the game called ‘Who’s Right’. Do you know that game? It’s a game where everybody losesMarshall B. Rosenberg
In a previous blog, Never suffer from the media’s silly distractions again, I talked about uncomplicating situations. And nonviolent-communication does just that. You are the only person who can make you feel any way at all. So be patient with yourself and listen to your feelings with the honest intent to understand.
When I see that you reached the end of this blog, I feel blissful because my need for sharing ideas is met. Would you come back and read my next blog too?