you were always in my way


Postby TheCloud » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:27 pm

That's what I think your wife might need, and probably other people in your life as well. Your interactions with others seem to be quite demanding, implicitly if not explicitly. Be fair, be reasonable, don't eat meat, don't drink, don't do drugs. You might be right, but that's not the only thing that's important. It's also important that people listen to you when you're right. If people aren't listening to you, then that's a solid indicator that communication has broken down.

If you aren't listening for what people need, and mainly focus on arguing back against them, it makes you very difficult to deal with. This also applies to yourself, which is to say, your own needs may go unmet because you are halfway deaf to them.

There's a process called Nonviolent Communication (NVC) which I think you can come to appreciate very much. It requires practice to be effective, but it's simple and can be practiced immediately. It has 4 steps; observe the facts, listen for feelings, listen for needs, and make requests. The guy who invented it, Marshall Rosenberg, has done everything from counseling married couples to mediating between warring tribes in the Middle East, using this process. It's a method which makes it possible for you to understand what is important to others, and for others to learn what is necessary for you.

First, observe the facts of the situation. What are you, or the other person, thinking or talking about? Most people have a lot of practice beating around the bush, especially when it comes to sensitive issues, so this can be tricky to nail down. Just take your time and make sure everyone is talking about the same thing.

Second, ask about feelings. Feelings, as in emotions. Anger is a feeling. Stupid is not a feeling. Stupid is a judgment, and judgments are not feelings. Try to be specific; frustrated, furious, and grumpy are all various forms of anger which might more accurately describe what a person is feeling.

Third, ask about needs. Behind every negative feeling, there is an unmet need. If you feel hungry, you need food. If you feel sad, maybe you need a hug. Sometimes all someone needs is to have their feelings listened to. Sometimes, their needs can be very challenging.

Fourth, make requests. If a specific need is identified, and not met simply by talking about it, then a person can make a request. A request is a positive statement. As Rosenberg's book on NVC says, you can't do a don't. If you want someone to stop eating meat, you have to give them an alternative. It's the same with anything; if you want them to stop one thing, you have to ask them to start something else that replaces it.

There's a whole lot more to NVC than what I'm explaining. There are a lot of free resources on the internet, including Youtube, and books if you're interested. I believe that a knowledge of NVC can help you with the difficulties you are having in explaining your ideas to others.
Senior Member
Posts: 1159
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:32 pm
Location: USA
Likes Received: 82


Return to Relationships