Thursday, March 23, 2006

Thursday, March 23: New place, thoughts on Non-Violent Communication

Non-violent /communication.

This is a way cool system developed by Marshall Rosenberg, and it’s on my mind this morning because I’ve been looking at a book here in New Jersey, while staying at my sister’s place. The plane flight was interesting, as long as I was just “there” with each phase of the trip, everything was sweet. Even being crammed into a small space on the long part of the flight was okay if I didn’t get into wanting it over. There was a book to read, on Feldenkrais and skiing, and napping to do, a big empty spaces of country with snow to look at. All and all, an enjoyable experience.

Anyway, back to nvc, the short for non-violent communication, with the idea being: listen to the feelings that people are trying to express, or at least are underneath what they say. Don’t get caught in their words, or even their judgment. In the Katie work we get out of other people’s business when they judge us ( if we remember), and just reflect back, “Oh, I hear you think that I’m a jerk. Maybe you are right.” In nvc, the goal is to hear what’s going on behind the remark. “Are you feeling angry with me?”

Listening to what they are feeling or what they need, and that’s a whole other subject the need thing, but for now let’s let it go. “You seem to need to feel validated and I haven’t been doing that,” or some such.

An aside: laptops are ergonomic hell. Either the screen is way down and you can’t keep your neck level, or if the screen is at eye height the way it should be, you have to type up in front of your face. What a mess, and I never knew that before.

Anyway, in nvc you listen, you take a guess what the person is feeling. You try to feel actual empathy for that. And if you say anything from your side, it is what you are feeling in the moment, rather than a program of how you want the other person to act. “I feel afraid when you call me a jerk,” “I feel small and worthless when you call me a jerk.” “I feel angry when you call me a jerk.”

But apparently you wait until they feel you have really heard them before you stick your two bits in.

This is all wonderful as examples of breaking out of habitual behavior, which is essentially to go to war when things aren’t going our way, go to war or go into hiding. It’s also an example of how Feldenkrais is so effective, by starting where people can move and connect with themselves and then moving on from that.

That’s enough for today in this weirdness of writing on a laptop.


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