Flavours of Nonviolent Communication

Two of the main components of NVC appear to be:
1) Care & Consideration for others
2) Self-responsibility.
The flavour of NVC that I serve up emphasises the second component more than many people like. Perhaps there is a third main flavour to be be found too; that a third of the population would actually prefer to the other two.
Malcolm Gladwell (of ‘The Tipping Point’ etc fame) illustrates well how this third main flavour was found with pasta sauce; so why not with NVC?

Rationalisations of desires

“Being creatures of desires, human beings are concerned with things only to the extent that they can be made to serve our own ends…For us things and people exist not in their own right but only as actual or possible means of our own gratification..Usually we do not like to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that our attitude to life is often no better than that of a pig rooting for acorns. Motives are therefore rationalised. Instead of admitting that we hate somebody, we say he is wicked and ought to be punished…
According to the Buddha, all the philosophies, and a great deal of religious teachings, are rationalisations of desires.”
Sangharakshita (from ‘The Essential Sangharakshita’, p105-106)

Eureka, It works!

Within a minute of the last posting on this blog, I tried my own suggestion, and it worked! I said “I didn’t have a sense of completion after you had expressed your distress to me the other day. I’d be keen for us to have an open and frank discussion later today about this.” He said “OK”. It looks like we’re breaking through, beyond the uncomfortable silences. Is the progress made just a toe in the water, or a whole foot?

Open frank discussion

If someone is ever angry at me again, today’s strategy for the future involves getting quickly to the question as to whether they’d “like to have an open, frank discussion about the incident that has upset them?”. If they say yes, then the question is “what works best for you, do you think, so that both of us can be open and frank?’
What is happening in doing that is that you are both following their wishes and steering both you and them towards conditions that are more likely to get everyone’s needs met.

Is this me?

What behaviour am I modelling?

The wisdom of mourning ‘the path not taken’?

One thing I wish for is lots of space to do my chosen thing at my chosen pace. In making this, and many other choices, there is much mourning to do about what has been lost with others -eg relationship – because of the choices I have made. Does empowerment require this despair work just as recognising the suffering inherent even in the most pleasant sense-desire experiences appears necessary in striving for enlightenment?

'Long haul trucker'

One thing I wish for is lots of space to do my chosen thing at my chosen pace.

In making this, and many other choices, there is much mourning to do about

what has been lost with others -eg relationship – because of the choices I

have made. Does empowerment require this despair work just as recognising the

suffering inherent even in the most pleasant sense-desire experiences appears

necessary in striving for enlightenment?

Patience, patience; indulge yourself in seeing yourself as practicing the patience of a saint.

When people use words to you that appear to you as judgement/blame/ denial of responsibilty for how they meet their needs, or even inaccuratw observations (in your opinion), the best advice I’ve heard is to use their words, say sorry etc and let their phrases lead. Then, I suggest, you focus on the presence with them that reaches the point whereby they are saying yes, yes or giving other signs that they have some/ sufficient sense of having been heard that they may then become open to you. When the connection is there to a sufficient extent, say eg there’s a few things I’d like to check, or I see things a bit differently, or something that allows your perspective into the equation without losing them.
Patience, patience; indulge yourself in patient restraint; it pays off. The alternative is losing connection and bearing grudges. (The alternative to patient presence, in my experience is an even deeper pain, with nothing sweet about it that I can easily see). Go on, be a saint instead.