With the stress of uncertainty, confinement, loss we are all traversing a difficult time right now. One of the easiest things to do, when we feel afraid and under pressure, is to lash out at those around us.
Communication, it turns out, depends a lot on how we feel about ourselves and our circumstances. When we are in a good place and things are going well we are more able to be communicative. We have more patience. We take the time to listen and express ourselves carefully.
When times are tough, it can be difficult to see beyond the immediate problems. We get frustrated easily and say things we don’t mean.
A friend introduced me to the practice of non-violent communication (NVC).
It is a method of communicating created by Marshall Rosenberg. According to the Center for Non-Violent Communication website, it facilitates, “more sustainable, compassionate, and “life-serving” human relations in the realms of personal change, interpersonal relationship and in social systems and structures, such as business/economics, education, justice, healthcare, and peace-keeping.”
honestly expressingSource: https://www.cnvc.org/learn-nvc/the-nvc-model
The basic idea is that by listening with attention and compassion, and speaking honestly without blaming or aggression, people can break through the patterns of anger and reaction that can derail communication.
Now, more than ever, we need to be there for each other emotionally. Communication is what connects us, what enables us to relate.
NVC is a tool we can use to practice being kinder, more open, more mindful and more compassionate.
For more info, watch this introduction on YouTube.