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The Energy Behind Our Words

by | Nov 27, 2023 | Healthy Relationships, Personal Growth, Systemic Change

On this week’s podcast, people asked a variety of questions about the best ways to introduce our loved ones to Nonviolent Communication – when we really think they need it!

As a powerful tool for transformation, Nonviolent Communication gives us practical, do-able ways of bringing love into action and creating a world that works for all people – no wonder so many of us want to share it!

And just like many other things, I think that the best way to inspire others to learn something is by putting it into action by living it.  

If you’d like to inspire others to learn NVC, nothing is more powerful than giving them the lived experience of being in connection with a more authentic, more loving, and less judgmental you.  
So, what does it mean to really live nonviolently and relationally?
Here are three ideas to get you started.
  1. Focus on the energy fueling your words: Words are important, but the energy underneath them conveys more truth.  If you’re screaming “I LOVE YOU” at me in an aggressive tone of voice, I’m unlikely to feel loved, or to trust your words.  How you say something often takes priority over what you are saying.  (Watch Skilled Words or Empathic Energy for more explanation on this idea.)
  2. Lead from the vulnerability of the present moment.  Sometimes, the thing that needs to be said is the thing that you’re saying to others as you are trying to fugue out what to say.  There was a moment on the call this week, when I suggested to someone, “Why not try saying exactly what you just said to me?”  In debriefing a situation with others, we often the right words just find us. These same words can be hard to find when we make the mistake of thinking that a moment of connection hinges on some well thought out plan or phrase. Remember, all that is needed for deep connection is our soft vulnerability.
  3. Name the feelings and needs alive in the now.  This strategy is especially effective when someone else is triggered and using a lot of demand energy. When you can bypass the demands being made, and instead empathize with the feelings and needs of the other person, you can deescalate the situation and create space for more awareness and presence.  (Watch How to Empathize Without Agreeing for more on this)

You can check out the full podcast here.  If you’re interested in skipping to a particular part, here are the show notes:

Show notes:
[0:00] Intro
[3:40] How can I share NVC?
[8:32] What is the best way to inspire others to learn NVC?
[16:20] The importance of focusing on the process, not the content
[18:22] I want to be seen and known as competent.  What can I do?
[27:30] How to respond to a demand
[35:30] We stay connected to others as far as we can stay connected to ourselves
[42:00] How can I integrate childhood messages that no longer serve me?
[46:00] Addressing the heart of religious trauma
[48:00] How can I skillfully ask for a reflection?
[50:26] Outro

How do you live what you’re learning?  I’d love to know.  Leave a comment below!

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