nvc is a beautiful art. Seeing or feeling what is really going on. It can be very challenging but reading the books are very helpful and then making it a part of your language
I like your yoga teacher's advice Klm. I would add helpful to the list in terms of helpful to the discussion, the peson, to the relationship.
As a high school teacher, truly listening for what my students do not say is essential for me every day. I have learned, through much trial and error, not to take things personally when trying to resolve a conflict. Their tone of voice, nonverbal communication, and word choice are taught to them by others; they are not a reflection of me. They need me to listen with an open heart and respond accordingly.
I have never heard of NVC but I like the sound of it. The 'golden rule' I try and remember for successful communication is, "Communication begins when you fully understand the other person's point of view." Good communications isn't 'about' you, it should be 'about' the other person. That's the trick. Telling 'your' truth and knowing it's not necessarily 'the' truth is a great principle but there is a whole other half to the process of communication, and that's listening - utterly self-less and compassionate listening. 'Kindness' sounds so simple but it's so easily confused with egoistic urges; true kindness requires great skill - much more than just the intention.
My yoga teacher taught me something similar. When deciding what to say, think about if it is truthful, necessary and sweet.
In my experience with NVC, a person communicating to me used NVC and made a big deal about compassionate communication when face to face, and then still sent emails to another person in my office which were less than kind! Guess which interaction I remember?
A friend has this simple note posted on his refrigerator:
"When you tell your truth, no one gets hurt."
The secret is: you are telling YOUR truth, not presenting it as THE truth.
What a well-timed topic. With the conventions and the generally contentious tone of the election, we can all benefit from the basic tenets of NVC. Thank you.
I learned The Four Gates of Speech from my instructor, Sandra Thomas Oakley, in yoga teacher training and decided that it would be a part of my yoga class. My students love the guidelines. Here they are briefly:
First, the words must be truthful.
Second, they must be beneficial or necessary.
Third, the timing needs to be right.
Fourth, they need to be said in a kind way.
You could write an essay about this as I did in my Yoga Newsletter to my students. Also during yoga nidra students can incorporate this into their sankapla, stated as, “I will speak with love and compassion” or “I will speak with love and understanding”. To be understood is something we all long for.
Yes I have been trying it and it works when I think about doing it. It has just not become a habit yet. I wish that with the elections coming up that the candidates especially in the presidential race would practice NVC!