I have spent the last week looking at communication; what and how we communicate. I have spent time with a very wise friend and together we have explored what communication really is about.
How do we speak to each-other? Especially when there is anger, disappointment or resentment? By projecting our negative feelings on to the other person, we make them responsible for what we feel and turn ourselves into victims.
This type of communication is usually the biggest problem between couples that come to me for talks. They do not know how to speak with each-other or how to listen to each-other. Each is wrapped up in their own coat of disappointment, anger and negativity, and this is where they fall back each time there is an argument. This kind of communication creates a negative downward spiral that leads to more accusation and grief, feeding itself in every turn, making it impossible to find a solution.
We own our feelings, we need to own our feelings, and we must constantly be aware of this. When there are negative feelings about something it is because we experience an unfulfilled need. When listening to somebody; listen to the need behind the words. We are responsible only for our own feelings and we need to connect to our inner selves to understand why we feel the way we do. Most often it is easier to blame somebody else. The same goes for listening; instead of taking responsibility for another’s feelings, we need to step back, liberate ourselves from this responsibility and listen to the need behind the words. The moment we do this, non-violent communication is activated; we start looking for solutions and we step away from blame, criticism and attack.
Each and every person has a right to feel whatever they are feeling and nobody has the right to say that this is wrong or unacceptable. We choose how to react:
“What others do may be a stimulus of our feelings, but not the cause.”
– Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.,
There is plenty of information on: http://www.nonviolentcommunication.com
On YouTube you can find short films where Marshall B. Rosenberg speaks about nonviolent communication.