Non violent communication
I don't know about you, but I don't like conflict. And yet I spent my life in it. My classic pattern since I was young: I take the disparaging remarks without saying a word for about 2 and a half seconds, it goes up, I explode at one too many, then I say something that shouldn't be, in anger. In less time than it takes to say it, I therefore go from victim to executioner, I feel guilty, and I am therefore, of course, going to apologize (while, let us remember, at the base, I was not at fault), I justify myself, because I want people to understand me, which in no way helps my self-esteem since I lowered myself, then it calms down, and everything returns to normal until 'on the next note...
Cries, insults, fights, anger, nervous breakdowns, throbbing heart, hot temples, clenched fists, clenched jaws, the conflict and its harmful consequences for the body and the spirit, I know well... But this time is gone! Finally, at least, I try and I progress! Yes, yes, the conflicts, I have almost no more and yet as you have seen, I have come a long way...
Since my burnout, I have discovered that if healthy relationships go first and foremost through a lot of work on yourself and managing your emotions, learning to communicate in a peaceful way comes right after. Knowing how to communicate is the basis. And there's a super cool and effective tool to help you do that. Come on, let's go, I'll explain.
Nonviolent communication, what is it?
Developed by Marshall B. Rosenberg in the 1970s, nonviolent communication is a method of communication based on benevolence, authenticity, responsibility and empathy. Its name is directly taken from the pacifist movement of Ghandi which advocates peaceful human relations devoid of any violence. The author of the method, also inspired by the work of economists analyzing human needs, wanted to create a way of communicating with others without harming them and therefore developed a system to teach us to feel in better relationship with ourselves. even, to better understand our needs and to formulate our sentences in such a way that our interlocutor does not feel attacked. Its learning can be done with a coach or specialized trainers, but you can also find the method in more detail in videos, podcasts or in many books.
How it works ?
I wouldn't have enough of a column to explain to you all the exercises to put in place to completely change the way of communicating, but I can give you some basics of the method to start with.
Non-violent communication is based on 4 pillars: observation, feelings, needs and demand.
When a situation makes you feel uncomfortable, when you feel negative emotions gaining you, try to follow these 4 steps:
Step 1: Objective observation of the situation
Stay on the facts without judging and without making generalizations. Don't make assumptions, just assess the situation.
Step 2: Feelings
Asking ourselves how we really feel when the situation becomes problematic. Identify your emotions by differentiating them from our interpretations and judgments.
Step 3: Needs
Behind every negative emotion hides an unmet need, recognizing it is essential in understanding the situation. Asking ourselves why this affects us so much: “Do I need to be reassured? What do I want ? »
Step 4: the request
This is the last step, and the most complicated in my opinion. Once you have identified your emotions and needs and analyzed the situation objectively, you know a priori what you want, it is now time to formulate it. Formulating a clear and benevolent request to the other allows to open the dialogue and to let the 2 parties concerned express themselves. This is the most delicate phase because it is a question of choosing your vocabulary well so that the other does not feel attacked while expressing their emotions. You will find in the articles and other books dealing with the method a list of vocabulary and phrases to help you, but basically, it's talking about your needs and feelings and as little as possible about the other.
Do not say: "you are never happy" (which is a judgment and an attack)
But rather: “you make a lot of remarks to me, it touches me, I would like us to talk about it”
Ah! It seems so simple said like that.
In practice, what does it give?
In practice, it's quite complicated to set up, I'm not going to hide it from you.
Already, you have to manage not to react on the spot, to manage your emotions, which is not an easy task. Breathing helps me a lot. General calm, too, which I am achieving more and more thanks to meditation, walking and putting less stress on my shoulders. Being calmer in general helps daily to resist tense situations, to take a step back. Tolerance and compassion towards others is also essential to judge less.
And then, when a hurtful remark is made to us, even when we manage to manage our emotions, formulating its request is not always easy. These are DSLRs to set up and, at first, it looks really weird. Saying to someone, “What you just said hurts me deeply, I would like you to stop” is absolutely unnatural. We must train. But I assure you that the results are convincing, I have much less conflict than before.
So, ready to try?