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.
We can choose our stories of interpretation, and how to respond. And while stories of self-sufficiency can (to a degree) give us more influence over our own lives, they don't erase oppression, war, nor climate change. When stories omit a lens that includes impacts of interdependence, oppression, and structural inequities, stories can also keep us disconnected and blocked from compassion for...
In this brief audio snippet, CNVC Certified Trainer and founder of the CNVC Parenting Project, Inbal Kashtan, explores observation in contrast to interpretation, and leads an exercise in observation skills.
In this book excerpt, Kathleen and Jared offer a path to reach deeper clarity, distinguishing between revealing ourselves and projection.
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...
In this brief introduction to The Work from Byron Katie, Arnina shows the connection of The Work to Nonviolent Communication. Arnina points out how the first two questions of The Work correspond to the observation step of the NVC process, and invites us into deeper self-inquiry.
When someone expresses upset about our actions, and we focus on our intention being seen and understood (e.g. "I didn’t mean to hurt you”) it doesn't support the speaker in being heard more deeply with care. Here we'll explore this dynamic in a way that supports more clarity and the possibility of greater personal liberation. Read on for more.
When you or anyone is upset, what could underneath the trigger? There may be more than is immediately visible. This article invites us to explore what it looks like to inquire deeper, take self-responsibility, examine our assumptions, attachments, interpretations, and "certainties" that could be hidden behind the needs that are aching to be attended to...
Please join us as we remember the work and life of Inbal Kashtan. She offered this parenting Q&A session in NVC Academy's 2013 Parenting Conference.
Society gives us short-sighted explanations about human nature, life and what’s (un)changeable. The coronavirus pandemic is disrupting that explanation. Our current social order upholds impoverishment, police brutality, and is leading us towards our extinction. Change begins with people mobilizing resources towards a vision that holds systemic care for all, plus engages shared risk and...
2 - 3 minutes
Ask the Trainer: “I would like some suggestions on how to interact with a member of the practice group I started. This individual speaks and acts in a manner I interpret as angry and controlling.”
Unappreciated, Judged, Disrespected, Offended, Manipulated... people use these words to describe feelings but these are all words that describe interpretations instead. They're also words that get people's backs up. Talk about unproductive! The solution? Develop a vocabulary of feelings so you can minimize defensiveness in others and facilitate connection.
When asking for respect it helps to first get clear about your interpretations of other's behavior. You can do this by asking about the other's intentions before believing your thoughts. You can also make a clear request for what specifically you want to see happen instead. Read on for more.
The more we can stay present with our hurt, and own our interpretations, we are more likely to express what's important to us without blame and also to become resilient. From there, the listener can have more space to offer their full presence and empathy. Read on for more.
12 - 18 minutes
Why is it so difficult to not take things personally? It's because everything reinforces the sense that whatever is being said is indeed about us – both from without and from within. However, we can get better at not taking things personally with a practice of shifting our focus by being open to multiple interpretations, understanding that our reaction is about our own need, and noticing how...
Yvette Erasmus shares her interpretation of the difference between "faux" feelings and feelings. "Faux" feelings imply that someone is doing something to you and generally connote wrongness or blame.
4 - 6 minutes
Listening is more than just being quiet while people talk. It involves going beyond what the words to identify the issues that matter to the other person. Issues that are embedded deep within what the other person is saying. Even if we miss the mark on accurately interpreting what the other person is saying, we can find our way back on track with the other person's input...and also with...
Ask the Trainer: “I would love some clarity about the NVC perspective on the cause of our feelings. It seems to me that my needs may be met or not, but the cause of my painful feelings is my story around the situation.”
Ask the Trainer: "I understand that I'm not responsible for someone else's feelings, but my girlfriend doesn't. Do you have ideas for how I could get her to understand this concept?"
Listen to the Universe is a fun group exercise to explore how we focus our attention and interpret what we experience.