In our first article Non-violent communication we focused on how we do observations in real life, the feelings that we learned to suppress and the needs that we cannot express. We now are going to learn how to express our feelings and needs in a not threathening manner.
Expressing your needs is not enough, you need a concrete and specific request. And as you might have expected, simply requesting your needs is not enough.
The trainers also advised us not to start too big. Start small and grow big. If you already manage sometimes to observe in stead off judge people and situations, you can already be proud of yourself. All wisdom starts with consciousness and being aware what is happening in stead off being overwhelmed by the situation.
Don’t put your jackal masque on, we are not demanding something. Start from yourself, your needs and feelings. Be concrete and realistic (don’t ask the impossible). Leave a choice for the person you address. Let the person repeat what you said and check the person’s feelings.
“I want you to clean up you room right now” will probably not work. A request is made up of different parts:
- Action (concrete time, place)
In the example we used in the previous article, we could say:
“When I see the state of your room, I am feeling sad and angry because the cleaning lady will arrive in one hour. I don’t have time to clean up all the rooms. Would you cleanup your room each week before the cleaning lady arrives at 10?”
Now we have expressed our request and hopefully with the expected result, we can go a step further. What if somebody is asking you something?
Do not interrupt the person. Give her all the space needed and do not prejudice.
Now we need to put on our giraffe’s ears. Probably we will only hear observations, feelings and needs. And some facts.
Check the feelings and needs from the person. This means that you say you see some feelings and needs with the other. Do you feel … because you need? Dare guessing. And don’t forget to check your own needs and feelings.