The question “Is X an evaluation?” (where “X" represents whatever word is under discussion) has taken up some controversy in the NVC network. Often, context changes the meaning and assessment of words (eg. use of the term "domination" as in "You’re trying to dominate me!” vs. “domination societies”). Read on for several questions that can support understanding whether a term is evaluative, and...
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Recalling Krishnamurti, Marshall referred to the capability of distinguishing observation vs observation mixed with evaluation as "the highest form of human intelligence." Read on for an exercise to help practice the skill of observation in combination with mindful walking.
Trainer tip: Beware that your expression of feelings helps you own how you feel, rather than blaming the other person for doing something you see as wrong. Expressing your feelings helps the other person know how deeply this issue affects you. Plus it can bring more clarity and connection to all parties. Read on for more.
Trainer Tip: Every time you criticize yourself, you cause yourself to feel shame and guilt, which promotes depression and stagnation. Instead, bringing in more self compassion can increase opportunities for change. Do this by acknowledging your needs (or values) that aren’t met by your actions. Read on for how to do this.
Trainer tip: From the NVC perspective, everything someone says or does is either a “please” or a “thank you". In our culture, saying “thank you” usually involves an appreciation in the form of judgment or evaluation. Remember, whether we judge someone as good or bad, judgments and evaluations can create disconnect or tension. Instead, notice how their actions have enriched life, and what...
Trainer Tip: Today, identify the facts, without adding your ideas about why people behave in certain ways. Then consider connecting with the person about what was going on with them. You will find that the more you observe life without judgment and evaluation, the more open you will be to hearing and connecting with other people.
Trainer Tip: There's often a large gap between what we experience, and the story we make up about it. Noticing how our judgments and assumptions cloud our observations can be critical to creating a connection with others and maintaining a Nonviolent Communication consciousness.
Trainer Tip: When we express appreciation using words like "good", "great" or anything else evaluative, it conveys we are in the position to judge, and that we've judged them or their actions. Instead, to express appreciation without judgment state what they did, how you feel about what they did, and which of your needs are met by their behavior. Such an expression of appreciation clearly...
Trainer Tip: Changing your thoughts can change the way people experience you. Just for today, see if you can notice when you have judgmental thoughts about yourself or other people. Then look to translate those thoughts into your feelings and needs. Read on for an example of how this works.
Here are some very basic forms and distinctions of NVC. It covers the 4 D's, OFNR, some NVC distinctions, tips, quotes from Marshall Rosenberg, and "feelings and needs" lists, and more. As with any art, these rudiments necessarily must be learned, practiced, understood, embodied and then let go of so as not to become rote and block creativity.
When your dedication to something is fueled by a profound intention to benefit all life, you may call it your spiritual practice. This means cultivating compassion, wisdom, and skills to notice what truly serves life. Its a discovery and experiment in what does and doesn't serve life, and what you can do now - its not about what you believe or not. Continuously inquire: "What most deeply serves...
Here's a list of words that pose as feelings, but are actually interpretations of what you think someone is doing to you. They trigger defensiveness in another thereby preventing a connected dialogue. Behind each of these words are precious feelings and needs. This sheet includes ways to distinguish feelings from interpretations.
Trainer tip: Whenever we judge someone else in any way, we create a barrier and distance between us and the other person. Instead, consider shifting from judging other people to awareness of how their behavior affects your feelings and needs. This can make a profound difference in your ability to live peacefully. Read on for more.
Trainer tip: Comparisons are a form of judgment. The minute we compare ourselves to other people, we are setting ourselves up for pain and discouragement. We are setting them up too, and erecting a barrier between ourselves and them. Instead, notice how you feel about other people’s assets or foibles, and what needs come up for you. Read on for more.
Trainer tip: Judging others can affect our ability to communicate effectively with that person, or enjoy the relationship. Translating the static judgments (enemy images) we have of others into our own and others' feelings and needs can help us move into greater understanding, healing, and relief -- which can foster compassion and connection. Read on for more.
Trainer tip: Various life circumstances that can seem to be something that we don't want, and we may think of them as bad. And then later the situation may reveal that it's a circumstance that we do want, and we may think of it as good. Instead, of evaluating our day as good or bad we can acknowledge the feelings and needs that are present. Read on for a few anecdotes that illustrate this.
Trainer Tip: Our inner critic judges ourselves and other people; and it is the most likely to get scared when we begin to make a change. It holds wisdom for us if we are willing to listen. When we acknowledge our inner critic and empathize with its need, we gain insights into ourselves and we clear the way for resolution.
Sometimes even a very skilled empathy practicitioner can go into offering a non-empathic response, even when asked for empathy. Why? One reason could be that our brains might be less receptive because of unseen forces that affect our brain and relationship with others. This article speaks to the deeper "why" and also to one thing we could do to turn it around...
This ten question exercise will help build your feelings vocabulary. It is helpful to differentiate between words that describe what we think others are doing around us, and words that describe actual feelings. These "faux feelings" often reveal more about how we think others are behaving than what we are actually feeling ourselves. Feeling words are always about us, not the other person.
Trainer tip: When we express moralistic judgments we are implying that other people are wrong or bad because they don’t act in ways that are in harmony with our values. Judging the situation or people can create distance and hurt. Instead, we can express our needs and how we're affected, bringing greater connection and healing. Today, notice how often you judge, and how you feel when you judge.