Thursday, July 19, 2012

Un-"should-ing" NVC

The question as posed by Cynthia Streefkerk:
  In NVC there is no "right" or "wrong", "good" or "bad", did I get that correctly?  So why then, even though the jackal is valuable, are we trying to speak giraffe, not jackal? Doesn't that mean that one holds more value than the other to us? Something about personal preference.  I got myself tangled up in a nice chicken-and-egg situation I think.

My reply:

I don't see the implications of NVC as negating "right", "wrong", "good" & "bad" (for it would be a performative-contradiction to say that "right", "wrong", "good" & "bad" was the *wrong* way to go about things); rather, I see the implications of NVC to be that "right", "wrong", "good" & are thought-patterns/consciousness that can be less open to authenticity/connection, which can result in a reduction of the likelihood of getting our needs-met; and being in touch with our needs, and the needs of others, to explore solutions in which all needs can be met, is central to my practice of NVC.

One the most difficult hurdles in my own practice of NVC, has been to remove the "should" from my practice of NVC ("I *should* give this person empathy, I *should* practice NVC... etc). The "right", "wrong", "good", "bad", "should", "should not" are thought patterns of absolutes, which may allow less room for openness/authenticity. If I give a person empathy, out of a feeling of guilt or "should", how will that affect the connection? Might that result in resentment, if I find myself giving empathy out of a "should"? I might better meet my needs, and the needs of others, if I remain connected to what I am feeling and needing in the moment, without a consciousness that limits what is "possible" by thinking in absolutes.

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