Our feelings point toward our Needs
Needs are at the heart of NVC. One way to access our needs is by slowing down and feeling our feelings. Our feelings give us lots of information and they connect us to our needs. We welcome our feelings, like a dear friend.
Feelings are carried in the body and in our nervous system. As a daily practice, I take a breath, slow down, and connect with myself. I ask myself, what am I feeling? Needing?
- We take 100% responsibility for our feelings, which means my feelings are my responsibility and your feelings are your responsibility.
- We remind ourselves that people’s actions are the trigger and not the cause of our feelings. The cause of our feelings is our thinking, history, or story and not what someone is saying or doing.
“Marshall Rosenberg’s dynamic communication techniques transform potential conflicts into peaceful dialogues.” – John Gray, author, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus
Emotional distress is often linked to painful events from the past and triggered in the present by a similar stimulus. This might be a facial expression, tone of voice, gesture, phrase, etc. These are often embedded with unconscious beliefs, behaviors, emotions, and unprocessed memory from the past.
We habitually blame, shame and judge others because in the moment we go into flight, fight or freeze. The bottom line is this can unconsciously continue to impact our lives if this is not brought into our awareness. We can habitually choose the same, familiar relationships, work environments etc. that don’t work.
The good news is: Human brains are changeable and we can create new neural pathways with empathy.
The following lists are neither exhaustive nor definitive. They are meant as a starting place to support anyone who wishes to engage in a process of deepening self-discovery and to facilitate greater understanding and connection between people.
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(c) 2005 by Center for Nonviolent Communication. Website: www.cnvc.org