Why Didn’t NVC Work??? . . .
Have you ever tried to use NVC and wondered,
“What went wrong?”
You had the best of intentions, you got clear on your needs, you imagined what they may be needing, you stayed present. BUT… somehow it actually happened very differently from the sweetness of how you imagined the interaction would go. And perplexed, you may have wondered “what did I do wrong?”
I remember telephone calls with my ex husband where I wanted to work out some new arrangement. I would prep myself by connecting to what my needs are, what his might be, and still… argh! It was painful for both of us.
Sadly it took me many years to work out some of what might have been happening. I hope you may learn quicker than I did.
So here are 3 reasons you may not be getting the connection you’re looking for and what you can do about them.
Reason One – My needs as Precious?
Even though I had connected with my needs, there was still a whisper in the back of my mind that saw that need as a burden rather than precious for every human being to have – even me. And although I didn’t realise it then, I was also carrying quite a bit of guilt and shame around leaving the marriage and this came through in every interaction I had with him.
The result was I entered the conversation with a “kick me” energy (which strangely invariably happened!) rather than a “Santa Claus” energy, where I knew I was offering something wonderful – regardless of whether they said yes or no to my request.
So before the conversation (or quickly during it) check that you are connected to the beauty of the need bodily — not just intellectually.
And if you are not, then:
• listen to and translate these jackals to precious needs, or
• the need you think you have may not be the deepest need, so sense if there is a deeper need here, or
• connect with what the world would be like if everyone in it had this need met.
Keep going until you are able to come from a Santa Claus energy, offering the beauty of what is important to you.
Reason Two – Enemy Images about you (or me)
Sometimes, even though I am using my best giraffe language, I may still be telling myself stories about you. “You are always late”, “You should want to stay connected for the sake of our children”, “You are so inconsistent”, “How can you even hold that opinion?”, “You are so ignorant, if only you listened to me you would understand how right I am”, “You have the emotional intelligence of a gnat!”.
If I am holding any of these thoughts about you, it is as though I have a big layer of cling wrap between us and I am speaking to my image of who I think you are rather than the presence of the person here in front of me. I am not authentically here with you so it is unlikely we will have this sweetness of connection. Also, I will be listening to you through these filters and its hard to hear the beauty of what you are offering me.
So the first step is to check, am I holding any negative thoughts about you and if so, listen to these thoughts and translate them into the beautiful needs within. Then try again.
Reason Three – I’m Going for a Desired Outcome
How much do I want you to say “yes” to my request? How clearly do I see that this is a wonderful solution I am offering you here and that you would be crazy to say no to it?
If I am holding a particular outcome with a closed fist rather than an open hand, there will be a subtle (or not subtle) ‘demand’ conveyed. And for innately free human beings, there is little joy in saying “yes” to a demand. Rather our natural response is to resist, rebel or retreat.
Before having the conversation you may want to check “how willing am I to hear no to this request”. If you feel even a tad torn around this question, there is more work to do to connect with the infinite strategies you have to meet this need. Only then is the other person likely to hear the gift you are offering.
I hope this enriches your relationship with everyone close to you. And if you would like to deepen in these skills, we invite you to join us at the upcoming Returning To Love, Embodying NVC Consciousness Training on 26th Feb to 3rd March.
Shari (Linda and Dorset)