Response to each question must be in the form of a 150 to 250-word well-developed paragraphcontain well-developed sentences, correct spelling, and proper grammardemonstrate your achievement of those o

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Sustainability 232

Response to each question must

  • be in the form of a 150 to 250-word well-developed paragraph
  • contain well-developed sentences, correct spelling, and proper grammar
  • demonstrate your achievement of those objectives for the lesson in your response
  • include data, facts, key terminology, specific examples and direct quotations from the textbook and other resources to support your main point.
  • include appropriate citations and a resource list for all sources used.
  • 2 resources are required.

Question 1: Which method of cultivating self-compassion  would most enhance your interpersonal strengths and improve your interpersonal weaknesses and why?

Question 2: Which elements of Chapter 5 Taking Responsibility for Our Feelings, did you find most useful in relation to caring self-management? Please cite the specific passages and give examples of how you might use this information in everyday life.

Question 3: Develop a plan to implement one of the practices for the remainder of the course. You will repeat your self-assessments at the end, and write an essay on your experience in the last lesson. Share your plan here.


resources down below also included file for the first resource!!

https://www.excelatlife.com/questionnaires/self-efficacy.htm

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/nurturing-self-compassion/201703/how-cultivate-more-self-compassion

https://self-compassion.org/category/exercises/

https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/features/getting-enough-sleep.html

Response to each question must be in the form of a 150 to 250-word well-developed paragraphcontain well-developed sentences, correct spelling, and proper grammardemonstrate your achievement of those o
Non vio le n t C om mun ic atio n : A L an gu ag e o f L if e © 2 015 P udd le D an ce r P re ss A P udd le D an ce r P re ss B ook All r ig h ts r e se rv ed . N o p art o f t h is p u bli c atio n m ay b e r e p ro du ce d , d is tr ib u te d , o r t r a n sm it t e d i n a n y fo rm o r b y a n y m ean s, i n clu din g p h oto co p yin g, r e co rd in g, o r o th er m ech an ic a l o r e le ctr o n ic m eth od s, w it h ou t t h e p rio r w rit t e n p erm is s io n o f t h e p u bli s h er, e x ce p t f o r u se a s b rie f q u ota tio n s em bo d ie d i n c rit ic a l r e v ie w s a n d c e rta in o th er n on co m merc ia l u se s a s p erm it t e d b y c o p yrig h t l a w . T o re q u est p erm is s io n , c o n ta ct t h e p u bli s h er a t t h e f o llo w in g a d dre ss , “ A tt e n tio n : P erm is s io n s C oord in ato r.” P udd le D an ce r P re ss , P erm is s io n s D ep t. 2 240 E ncin it a s B lv d ., S te . D -9 11, E ncin it a s, C A 9 2024 T el: 1 -7 60-6 52-5 754 F ax : 1 -7 60-2 74-6 400 w ww.N on vio le n tC om mun ic atio n .c o m E m ail@ Pudd le D an ce r.c o m O rd erin g I n fo rm atio n P le a se c o n ta ct I n dep en den t P ubli s h ers G ro u p, T el: 3 12-3 37-0 747; F ax : 3 12-3 37-5 985; E m ail: f r o n td esk @ ip gb o ok.c o m o r v is it w ww.I P G bo ok.c o m f o r o th er c o n ta ct i n fo rm atio n a n d d eta ils a b ou t o rd erin g o n li n e A uth or: M arsh all B . R ose n berg , P hD E dit o r: L u cy L eu C op yed it o r: K yra F re esta r P ro je ct d ir e cto r: J e an ne I le r C over a n d i n te rio r d esig n : L ig h tb ou rn e (w ww.l i g h tb ou rn e.c o m ) P hylli s L in n, I N DEX PR ESS a n d K ath le en S tr a tt a n , E D IT O RIA L SU PP O RT S E R V IC ES M an u fa ctu re d i n t h e U nit e d S ta te s o f A m eric a 3rd E dit io n , 1 st P rin tin g, S ep te m ber 2 015 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 I S B N : 9 78-1 -8 92005-2 8-1 L ib ra ry o f C on gre ss C ata lo gin g-in -P ubli c a tio n D ata R ose n berg , M arsh all B . N on vio le n t c o m mun ic atio n : a l a n gu ag e o f l i f e / M arsh all B . R ose n berg , P hD . — 3 rd e d it io n . pag es c m IS B N 9 78-1 -8 92005-2 8-1 ( tr a d e p ap er : a lk . p ap er) 1 . I n te rp ers o n al c o m mun ic atio n . 2 . I n te rp ers o n al re la tio n s. 3 . N on vio le n ce. I . T it le . B F637.C 45R 645 2 015 153.6 — dc2 3 2015011660 What P eo p le A re S ay in g A bou t N on vio le n t C om mun ic a tio n ™ R ela tio n sh ip s: “M arsh all Rose n berg ’s dyn am ic co m mun ic atio n te ch n iq u es tr a n sfo rm p ote n tia l c o n ic ts i n to p ea ce fu l d ia lo gu es . Y ou ’l l l e arn s im ple to ols t o d ef use a rg u m en ts a n d c re ate c o m pass io n ate co n nectio n s w it h y o u r f a m ily , f r ien ds, a n d o th er a cq u ain ta n ce s.” — JO H N G RAY, a u th or, M en A re F ro m M ars, W om en A re F ro m V en u s “N on vio le n t C om munic a tio n c a n c h an ge t h e w orld . M ore im porta n tly , it c a n ch an ge y o u r l i f e . I c a n not r e co m men d i t h ig h ly en ou gh .” — JA C K C A N FIE LD , a u th or, C hic k en S ou p f o r t h e S ou l S erie s “ M arsh all R ose n berg p ro vid es u s w it h th e most eff ectiv e to ols to fo ster h ea lt h a n d r e la tio n sh ip s. N on vio le n t C om munic a tio n c o n nec ts s o u l to s o u l, c re atin g a l o t o f h ea li n g. I t i s t h e m is s in g e lem ent i n w hat w e do.” — DEEPA K C H OPR A , a u th or, H ow t o K now G od a n d A gele ss B od y a n d T im ele ss M in d “I h av e t a k en c o n vers a tio n s t h at w ere hea d ed fo r t h e du m ps, s ta rtin g u sin g th ese t e ch n iq u es, a n d e n ded u p w it h a v er y u sef ul b on din g ex per ien ce.” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er “ If y o u w an t t o b e h eard , a n d t o h ear w hat y o u r lo ved o n es a re tr u ly s a y in g beh in d w hat t h ere s a y in g, r e a d t h is b o ok! I t w ill c h an ge y o u r l i f e .” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er “ R ose n berg h as d ev elo p ed a s im ple m ethod o f c o m mun ic atin g t h at h elp s t o a v o id tr ig gerin g a d efe n siv e r e a ctio n , a n d in ste a d s tim ula te u n der sta n din g an d ag re em en t. It is in valu ab le in all yo u r re la tio n sh ip s, an d d e nit e ly s h ou ld b e r e q u ir e d r e a d in g f o r e v er yo n e.” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er C on fl ic t T ra n sfo rm atio n : “N on vio le n t C om munic a tio n i s o n e o f t h e m ost u se fu l p ro ce ss es y o u w ill e v er le arn .” — W IL LIA M U RY, c o au th or, G ettin g t o Y es “In t h is b o ok, y o u w ill n d a n a m azin gly eff ectiv e la n gu ag e f o r s a y in g w hat’s o n y o u r m in d a n d i n y o u r h eart. L ik e s o m an y es sen tia l a n d e leg an t s y stem s, it ’s s im ple o n t h e s u rfa ce, c h alle n gin g t o u se in t h e heat o f t h e m om en t a n d pow erfu l i n i t s r e su lt s .” — VIC K I R O BIN , c o au th or, Y ou r M on ey o r Y ou r L if e “ A s fa r as n on vio le n ce an d sp ir it u al activ is m , M arsh all R osen ber g is it ! A pp ly in g th e co n ce p ts w it h in th es e bo oks w ill g u id e th e re a d er to w ard s fo ste rin g m ore c o m pass io n i n t h e w orld .” — MARIA N NE W IL LIA M SO N, a u th or, E very d ay G ra ce a n d h on ora ry c h air p ers o n , P ea ce A lli a n ce “ L ik e N oam C hom sk y, R ose n berg ’s w ork is in tr in sic a lly r a d ic a l, it s u bver ts o u r w hole sta tu s-q u o sy ste m o f p ow er : b et ween ch ild ren a n d a d u lt s , th e sa n e a n d th e p sy ch otic , th e c rim in al a n d th e la w . R osen ber g’s d is tin ctio n b etw een p u n it iv e a n d p ro te c tiv e f o rc e s h ou ld b e re q u ir e d r e a d in g f o r a n yo n e m ak in g f o re ig n p oli c y o r p oli c in g o u r s tr e et s.” — D. K IL LIA N , r e p orte r, O n  e F ro n t L in e, C le v ela n d F re e T im es “ W e h av e li v ed tr a u m atic m om en ts o ver a n d o ver a g ain — mom en ts o f fe ar a n d p an ic , in co m pre h en sio n , fr u str a tio n s, d is a p p oin tm en t, a n d in ju stic e of all so rts , w it h n o h op e o f e sc ap e— whic h m ad e it e v en w ors e . N on vio le n t C om munic a tio n o ff ers u s a p ea ce fu l a lt e rn ativ e f o r e n din g t h is in ter m in ab le R w an dan c o n ic t.” — TH EO D ORE N YIL ID AN D I, R w an dan D ep artm en t o f F ore ig n A ffair s ; K ig ali , R w an da “In o u r p re se n t a g e o f u n civ il d is c o u rs e an d m ean -s p ir it e d d em ag o gu er y, t h e prin cip le s a n d p ra ctic e s o f N on vio le n t C om munic a tio n a re a s t im ely a s t h ey are n ece ss a ry to th e p ea ce fu l res olu tio n o f co n ic ts , p er so n al o r p u bli c , d om estic o r i n te rn atio n al.” — MID W EST B O OK R EV IE W , T aylo r’s S h elf “ R ose n berg d esc rib es h ow , in n u m erou s c o n ic ts , o n ce ‘en em ies ’ h av e been a b le t o h ear e a ch o th er’s n eed s, t h ey a re ab le to c o n nect c o m pass io n ate ly a n d n d n ew s o lu tio n s to p re v io u sly ‘i m poss ib le ’ im pass es . I f y o u w an t to le arn w ay s o f m ore sk illf u l sp eech I h ig h ly re co m men d th is c le ar, e a sy -to -r e a d b o ok.” — DIA NA L IO N, B udd h is t P ea ce F ello w sh ip , T urn in g W heel M aga zin e “A sim ple co m mun ic atio n pro ce ss th at eli m in ates th e co m pet it iv e, a d vers a ria l, an d vio le n ce pro vo cativ e sty le of co m mun ic atio n th at has in fe c te d m ost o f o u r l i v es.  is i s n ot a b ou t t h e m eek i n her it in g t h e w orld o r b ein g n ic e d ocile c o gs i n o u r p ow er -o ver , h ier arc h ic a l s y ste m . I t i s a b ou t t h e ‘p ro te c tiv e u se o f fo rc e,’ v u ln era b ili t y , h eart- to -h eart d ia lo gu e, a n d g et tin g ou r n eed s m eet i n a w ay w e w ill l es s l i k ely r eg ret .” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er “A s a p ro fe ss io n al in th e eld , I c a n sa y th at th is b o ok p ra ctic es w hat it p re a ch es, a n d I f o u n d t h e s te p -b y-s tep a p pro ach , ex ercis es , a n d ex am ples t o b e c le ar a n d e a sy t o p ra ctic e.” — A r e a d er i n M ary la n d “I h av e n ev er re a d a cle are r, m ore str a ig h tfo rw ard , in sig h tfu l bo ok on co m mun ic atio n . A m azin gly e a sy t o r e a d , g re at e x am ples , a n d c h allen gin g t o p u t i n to p ra ctic e — th is b o ok i s a t r u e gi t o a ll o f u s.” — A r e a d er i n W ash in gto n P erso n al G ro w th : “N on vio le n t C om munic a tio n b y M arsh all R ose n berg i s a g re at b o ok t e a ch in g a c o m pass io n ate w ay t o t a lk t o p eo p le— ev en i f y o u ( o r t h ey ) a re an gry.” — JO E V IT A LE , a u th or, S p ir it u al M ark etin g,  e P ow er o f O utr a geo u s M ark etin g “C han gin g th e w ay th e w orld h as w ork ed fo r 5 ,0 00 y ears s o u n ds d au ntin g, b u t N on vio le n t C om munic a tio n h elp s li b era te u s fr o m a n cie n t p att er ns o f vio le n ce.” — FR A N CIS L E FK O W IT Z, r e p orte r, B od y & S ou l “A r e v o lu tio n ary w ay o f l o okin g a t l a n gu ag e. I f en ou gh p eo p le actu ally m ak e u se o f th e m ate ria l in N on vio le n t C om munic a tio n w e m ay so on li v e in a m ore p ea ce fu l a n d c o m pass io n ate w orld .” — W ES T A Y LO R, P ro gre ssiv e H ea lt h “  e s in gle t o u gh est, m ost d an ger ou s o p p on en t I ’d e v er f a ce d — th e on e th at tr u ly h u rt m e t h e m ost, c au sin g m e t o s p en d 3 0 y ears o f m y li f e beh in d b ars — was m y o w n a n ger a n d fe ar. I w rit e th es e word s n ow , a g ra y -h air e d o ld m an , h op in g t o G od — befo re y o u s u ff er w hat I ’v e su ff er ed — th at i t w ill c au se y o u t o li s te n a n d le arn N on vio le n t C om munic a tio n . I t w ill t e a ch y o u h ow t o re co gn iz e a n ger b efo re it b eco m es v io len ce, a n d h ow to u n der sta n d, d ea l w it h , a n d t a k e c o n tr o l o f t h e r a g e y o u m ay f e el.” — A p ris o n er w rit in g t o f e llo w i n m ate s “  is is th e m ost co n cis e , m ost cle arly w rit t en m an u al o n in ter per so n al co m mun ic atio n I ’v e e v er c o m e a cro ss . I ’v e been c h allen ged b y t h is b o ok to b e t h e c h an ge I w an t t o s e e i n m y w orld .” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er “ L it e ra lly , a n yo n e w ho s p ea k s c o u ld b en et f r o m r e a d in g t h is b o ok! I t h elp s u s to re a li z e n ot o n ly th e p ow er o f w ord s, b u t h ow to c h oose ou r w ord s bett e r an d ult im ate ly en han ce both co m mun ic atio n an d re la tio n sh ip s! H ig h ly r e co m men ded !” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er “ B y ta k in g a ste p back fr o m daily fr u str a tio n s, dis a p p oin tm en ts , an d str e ss o rs , a n d r e -e x am in in g th e p u rp ose of m y o w n a n d o th er s’ n eed s, th is b o ok h as h elp ed m e li s te n m ore deep ly , act m ore gen u in ely , an d n d acce p ta n ce i n d iffi cu lt s it u atio n s. W ell d on e!” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er “ I a m o n e o f th ose p eo p le w ho is h ig h ly c rit ic a l o f m yse lf .  is b o ok is t e a ch in g m e t o lo ve m yse lf s o I c a n t r u ly c a re fo r o th er s. I t c a n p av e th e w ay fo r p ea ce b etw een p eo p le , d iff er en t et hn ic g ro u p s, co u ntr ies , et c., an d I b eli e v e o u r w orld r e a lly n eed s t h is .” P are n tin g a n d F am ily C om mun ic a tio n : “W it h th e gro w th in to d ay ’s d ysfu n ctio n al fa m ili es an d th e in cre a se of vio le n ce i n o u r s c h ools , N on vio le n t C om munic a tio n i s a g o d se n d.” — LIN DA C . S T O EH R, L os C oli n as B usin ess N ew s “ is b o ok is e ss e n tia l re a d in g fo r a n yo n e se ek in g to e n d th e un fu l lli n g cy cle s of arg u m en t in th eir re la tio n sh ip , an d fo r paren ts w ho w is h to in u en ce th eir c h ild re n ’s ’ b eh av io r b y en gen der in g c o m pass io n r a th er th an sim ply a ch ie v in g o b ed ie n ce.” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er “In a d dit io n to s a v in g o u r m arria g e, N on vio le n t C om munic a tio n is h elp in g us re p air o u r re la tio n sh ip s w it h o u r g ro w n ch ild ren an d to re la te more d eep ly w it h o u r p are n ts a n d s ib li n gs. I f a n gels d o m an if es t in p hysic a l f o rm h ere o n t h is e arth , t h en M arsh all R osen ber g m ust b e on e.” — A r e a d er i n A riz o n a “M y re la tio n sh ip w it h m y h u sb an d, w hic h w as g o o d a lr e a d y, h as b eco m e ev en b ett e r. I’v e ta u gh t N VC to m an y p aren ts w ho h av e sin ce gain ed a d eep er u n dersta n din g o f th eir c h ild ren , th u s en han cin g th ei r re la tio n sh ip a n d d ecre a sin g t e n sio n a n d c o n ic t.” — A r e a d er i n I lli n ois “ N on vio le n t C om munic a tio n a llo w ed m e t o o verc o m e m y t o xic c o n dit io n in g an d n d t h e l o vin g p are n t a n d p er so n t h at w as l o ck ed i n sid e. D r. R osen ber g has c re ate d a w ay t o t r a n sfo rm t h e vio len ce i n t h e w orld .” — A n u rs e i n C ali f o rn ia “ U sin g N on vio le n t C om munic a tio n w as v it a l t o h ea li n g m y r e la tio n sh ip w it h m y s is te r; a n d fo r m e, it s e rv es a s a g u id e fo r a p p ly in g B udd h is t p ra ctic e to c o m mun ic atio n .” — JA N E L A ZA R, Z en S tu den t i n R esid en ce / N VC T ra in er “ W hat b eg an a s a s e arc h fo r a b et ter d is c ip li n e sy ste m fo r o u r s ix -y ear- o ld h as t u rn ed o u t t o b e a p h ilo so p h ic a l a p pro ach a n d c o m mun ic atio n t o ol t h at is t r a n sfo rm in g h ow w e r e la te t o e a ch o th er a n d o u rs e lv es .” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er “ In cre d ib le b o ok t h at h as t r a n sfo rm ed m y w ay o f b ei ng a n d c o m mun ic atin g. I h av e e v ery o n e i n m y f a m ily r e a d in g i t n ow !” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er “ I s p en t 4 0 y ears o f m y li f e tr y in g to r e ce iv e em path y fr o m m y d ad . A er on ly r e a d in g h alf o f t h is b o ok, I w as a b le to ex pres s m yse lf in a w ay t h at h e w as a b le t o n ally h ear m e a n d g iv e m e what I n eed ed . I t w as a g i b ey o n d w ord s.” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er S p ir it u ali t y : “In m y estim atio n , N on vio le n t C om munic a tio n is as ra d ic a l an d ch an ge- m ak in g a s th e E ig h t- F old P ath . I p re d ic t th at a ctiv e use of N VC in o u r sa n gh as w ou ld s ig n i ca n tly c u t t h ro u gh f r u str a tio n s a n d g ro w in g p ain s.” — JO AN S T A RR W ARD , m em ber, S p ir it R ock C en te r, C ali f o rn ia , a n d t h e B udd h is t P ea ce F ello w sh ip “ B udd h is m a n d N on vio le n t C om munic a tio n a re r o om s in t h e s a m e h ou se . I s tr o n gly re co m men d N VC as a h ig h ly eff ectiv e pra ctic e fo r d ev elo p in g cla rit y a n d g en u in e c o m pass io n .” — LE W IS R H AM ES, V ip ass a n a I n sig h t M ed it a tio n , M in im al S ecu rit y U nit , M on ro e C orre ctio n al C om ple x “ F or c o n vic ts im mers e d in a n e n vir o n m en t w hic h in ten si es a n d r ei nfo rc es co n ic t, d is c o verin g t h is s te p -b y-s tep m ethod olo gy a d vo catin g c o m pass io n th ro u gh c o m mun ic atio n i s e n orm ou sly l i b er atin g.” — DOW G O RD ON , F re ed om P ris o n P ro je ct, S eatt le , W ash in gto n “ N VC is th e la n gu ag e o f e n li g h ten men t. S o sim ple yet so d iffi cu lt . U sin g N VC c a n c h an ge y o u r li f e , b rin g c la rit y to y o u r th in kin g, a n d tr a n sfo rm re la tio n sh ip s.” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er E du ca tio n : “M arsh all’s s tr a te g ie s fo r a ctiv e li s te n in g r e a lly w ork . I t e a ch m id d le sc h ool, a n d it h as w ork ed b oth a t w ork a n d w it h m y fa m ily . A g o o d s tep a lo n g t h e w ay t o t r a n sfo rm atio n .” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er “  ro u gh c o m pelli n g, r e a l l i f e e x am ples , R osen ber g b rin gs t h e N VC p ro ces s to li f e . M y c o lle g e stu den ts , e sp ecia lly th e old er o n es, sh are wit h m e th at re a d in g t h is b o ok h as c h an ged t h ei r li f e . T ry in g t o p ra ctic e t h e step s m yse lf i n d aily in te ra ctio n s, at m eetin gs, an d in th e cla ss ro om , h as als o h ad a p ow erfu l e ff ec t o n m e.” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er “ N VC h as m ad e a h u ge d iff eren ce in m y li f e wit h m y c h ild ren , re la tiv es , te a ch ers o f s c h ools , w ork , a n d t h e li s t g o es o n . W hen I d is c o ver ed t h is b o ok, I w as r e a lly d ou btfu l th at a n yth in g c o u ld h elp m e ch an ge th e natu re of m y re la tio n sh ip s w it h o th ers a n d I a m a sto n is h ed a t t h e dep th a n d s im pli c it y o f N on vio le n t C om munic a tio n .” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er P ro fe ssio n al  era p y a n d M ed ia tio n : “ e q u ali t y o f e m path y I n ow a m a b le to p ro vid e has en li v en ed m y t h er ap y p ra ctic e.  is b o ok g iv es m e h op e th at I c a n c o n tr ib u te to t h e well b ei ng o f m y c li e n ts , a n d a ls o c o n nec t d eep ly w it h m y f r ien ds a n d f a m ily .  e step -b y- ste p e m path y s k ills i n t h is b o ok a re le arn ab le by a n yo n e.” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er “A s a th era p is t, I h av e fo u n d th is b o ok to b e help fu l to c li en ts w it h a n ger m an ag em en t d iffi cu lt ie s, a n d p ro blem s w it h c o n ic t i n r e la tio n sh ip s b ecau se it p ro m ote s se lf – a w are n ess an d se lf – a cce p ta n ce. N VC ta k es p ra ctic e, b u t on ce y o u u n dersta n d a n d in te rn ali z e th e gen eral a tt it u de pro m ote d in th is b o ok, i t s tic k s. A nd t h en i t s e ep s i n to y o u r l i f e li k e a s o oth in g b alm .” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er “ I h av e n ev er re a d a cle are r, m ore str a ig h tfo rw ard , in sig h tfu l bo ok on co m mun ic atio n . A er s tu dyin g a n d t e a ch in g a ss er tiv en ess s in ce t h e 70s, t h is b o ok is a b re ath o f fr e sh a ir . R osen ber g a d ds th e brilli a n t in sig h t in to th e li n kag e o f fe eli n gs a n d n eed s a n d ta k in g res pon sib ili t y a n d c re ates a tr u e to ol.” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er B usin ess: “ e p rin cip le s o f N on vio le n t C om mun ic atio n t a u gh t b y D r. R osen ber g a re in str u m en ta l in c re atin g a n e x tr a o rd in ary a n d fu l lli n g q u ali t y o f li f e . H is c o m pass io n ate a n d in sp ir in g m essa g e cu ts rig h t to th e heart o f su cces sfu l co m mun ic atio n , h is h eartfe lt m essa g e an d g en u in e lo ve fo r h u m an k in d is i n sp ir in g, a n d h is str a te g ie s h old th e pow er , n ot o n ly c h an ge li v es , b u t to t r a n sfo rm y o u r w orld . “D r. R ose n berg h as b ro u gh t t h e s im pli c it y o f s u cce ss fu l c o m mun ic atio n i n to t h e fo re g ro u n d. N o m att e r w hat is su e yo u ’r e fa cin g, his str a teg ies fo r co m mun ic atin g w it h o th ers w ill s et y o u u p t o w in e v er y t im e.” — TO N Y R O BBIN S, a u th or, A w aken t h e G ia n t W it h in a n d U nli m it e d P ow er “I g o t to th is b o ok th an ks to a r e co m men datio n b y S aty a N ad ella ( C EO o f M ic ro so  ).  e bo ok pre se n ts a sim ple te ch n iq u e an d ex am ples to e m path iz e a n d c o n nec t w it h p eo p le ’s fe eli n gs. I n ste a d o f ju dgin g p eo p le by th e m ess a g e, th e b o ok h elp s y o u u n dersta n d th e need s b eh in d a n d w hat fe eli n gs a n d e m otio n s a re d riv in g t h em . H ig h ly r e co m men ded .” — An o n li n e r e v ie w er Con te n ts Fore w ord b y D eep ak C hop ra , M D Ack n ow le d gm en ts 1 G iv in g F ro m t h e H ea rt In tr o du ctio n A W ay t o F o cu s A tt e n tio n  e N VC P ro ce ss A pp ly in g N VC i n O ur L iv es a n d t h e W orld N VC i n A ctio n : “ M urd ere r, A ss a ss in , C hild -K iller !” 2 C om mun ic a tio n  at B lo ck s C om passio n M ora li s tic J u dgm en ts M ak in g C om paris o n s D en ia l o f R esp on sib ili t y O th er F orm s o f L if e -A li e n atin g C om mun ic atio n 3 O bse r v in g W it h ou t E va lu atin g  e H ig h est F orm o f H um an I n te lli g en ce D is tin gu is h in g O bse rv atio n s F ro m E valu atio n s N VC i n A ctio n : “  e M ost A rro gan t S p ea k er W e’v e Ever H ad !” E xerc is e 1 : O bse rv atio n o r E valu atio n ? 4 Id en tif y in g a n d E xp re ssin g F eeli n gs  e H eav y C ost o f U nex p re ss e d F eeli n gs F eeli n gs v ersu s N on -F eeli n gs B uild in g a V oca b u la ry f o r F eeli n gs E xerc is e 2 : E xp re ss in g F eeli n gs 5 T ak in g R esp on sib ili t y f o r O ur F eeli n gs H earin g a N eg ativ e M ess a g e: F ou r O ptio n s  e N eed s a t t h e R oots o f F eeli n gs  e P ain o f E xp re ss in g O ur N eed s v er su s t h e Pain o f N ot E xp res sin g O ur N eed s Fro m E m otio n al S la v ery t o E m otio n al L ib er atio n N VC i n A ctio n : “ B rin g B ack t h e S tig m a o f I lleg it im acy !” E xerc is e 3 : A ck n ow le d gin g N eed s 6 R eq u estin g  at W hic h W ou ld E nric h Lif e U sin g P osit iv e A ctio n L an gu ag e M ak in g R eq u ests C on sc io u sly A sk in g f o r a R e ec tio n R eq u estin g H on esty M ak in g R eq u ests o f a G ro u p R eq u ests v ersu s D em an ds D e n in g O ur O bje c tiv e W hen M ak in g R eq u es ts N VC i n A ctio n : S h arin g F ears A bou t a B es t F rien d’s S m okin g E xerc is e 4 : E xp re ss in g R eq u ests 7 R ece iv in g E m path ic a lly P re se n ce : D on’t J u st D o S o m eth in g, S ta n d  ere Lis te n in g f o r F eeli n gs a n d N eed s P ara p h ra sin g Su sta in in g E m path y W hen P ain B lo ck s O ur A bili t y t o E m path iz e N VC i n A ctio n : A W if e C on nec ts W it h H er D yin g H usb an d E xerc is e 5 : R ece iv in g E m path ic a lly v er su s N on -E m path ic a lly 8  e P ow er o f E m path y E m path y  at H ea ls E m path y a n d t h e A bili t y t o B e V uln er ab le U sin g E m path y t o D efu se D an ger E m path y i n H earin g S o m eo n e’s “ N o!” E m path y t o R ev iv e a L if e le ss C on ver sa tio n Em path y f o r S ile n ce 9 C on nectin g C om passio n ate ly W it h O urse lv es R em em berin g t h e S p ecia ln ess o f W hat W e A re E valu atin g O urs e lv es W hen W e’v e B een L es s  an P er fe ct T ra n sla tin g S elf – Ju dgm en ts a n d I n ner D em an ds N VC M ou rn in g Self – F org iv en ess  e L ess o n o f t h e P olk a-D ott e d S u it D on’t D o A nyth in g  at I s n ’t P la y ! T ra n sla tin g “ H av e t o ” t o “ C hoose t o ” C ult iv atin g A w are n ess o f t h e E nerg y B eh in d O ur A ctio n s 10 E xp re ssin g A nger F u lly D is tin gu is h in g S tim ulu s F ro m C au se A ll A nger H as a L if e -S erv in g C ore S tim ulu s v ersu s C au se : P ra ctic a l I m pli c atio n s Fou r S te p s t o E xp re ss in g A nger O fferin g E m path y F ir st T ak in g O ur T im e NVC i n A ctio n : P are n t a n d T een D ia lo gu e A L if e-  re ate n in g I s su e 11 C on fl ic t R eso lu tio n a n d M ed ia tio n H um an C on nec tio n N VC C on ic t R eso lu tio n v ersu s T ra d it io n al M ed ia tio n N VC C on ic t R eso lu tio n S te p s— A Q uic k O ver vie w O n N eed s, S tr a te g ie s, a n d A naly sis E m path y t o E ase t h e P ain  at P re v en ts H earin g U sin g P re se n t a n d P osit iv e A ctio n L an gu ag e t o R es olv e C on ic t U sin g A ctio n V erb s T ra n sla tin g “ N o” N VC a n d t h e M ed ia to r R ole W hen P eo p le S ay “ N o” t o M eetin g F ace to F ace In fo rm al M ed ia tio n : S tic k in g O ur N ose in O th er P eo p le ’s B usin es s 12  e P ro te ctiv e U se o f F orc e W hen t h e U se o f F orc e I s U nav o id ab le  e  in kin g B eh in d t h e U se o f F orc e T yp es o f P un it iv e F orc e  e C osts o f P un is h m en t T w o Q uestio n s  at R ev ea l t h e L im it a tio n s o f P un is h m en t  e P ro te c tiv e U se o f F orc e i n S ch ools 1 3 L ib era tin g O urse lv es a n d C ou n se li n g O th ers F re ein g O urs e lv es F ro m O ld P ro gra m min g R eso lv in g I n te rn al C on ic ts C arin g f o r O ur I n ner E nvir o n m en t Rep la cin g D ia g n osis W it h N VC N VC i n A ctio n : D ea li n g W it h R esen tm en t a n d S elf – Ju dgm en t 14 E xp re ssin g A ppre cia tio n i n N on vio le n t C om mun ic a tio n  e I n te n tio n B eh in d t h e A ppre cia tio n  e  re e C om pon en ts o f A ppre cia tio n R ece iv in g A ppre cia tio n  e H un ger f o r A ppre cia tio n O verc o m in g t h e R elu cta n ce t o E xp res s A ppre cia tio n E pilo gu e B ib li o gra p hy In dex  e F ou r- P art N on vio le n t C om mun ic atio n P ro ce ss S o m e B asic F eeli n gs a n d N eed s W e A ll H av e A bou t N on vio le n t C om mun ic atio n A bou t P udd le D an ce r P re ss A bou t t h e C en te r f o r N on vio le n t C om mun ic atio n T ra d e B ooks F ro m P udd le D an ce r P res s Tra d e B ook le ts F ro m P udd le D an ce r P res s Abou t t h e A uth or N Fore w ord D eep ak C hop ra , M D Fou n der o f th e C hop ra C en te r fo r W ellb ein g a n d a u th or o f m ore th an e ig h ty b o oks tr a n sla te d in o ver f o rty -th re e l a n gu ag es, i n clu din g t w en ty -tw o N ew Y ork T im es b ests e lle rs o o n e d ese rv es o u r g ra tit u de m ore th an th e la te M arsh all R osen ber g, w ho l i v ed h is l i f e j u st a s t h e t it le o f o n e o f h is b o oks s ta te s: S p ea k P ea ce in a W orld o f C on flic t. H e w as k een ly a w are o f t h e m ax im ( o r w arn in g) t h at’s c o n ta in ed i n t h e s u btit le o f t h at b o ok: W hat Y ou S ay N ex t W ill C han ge You r W orld . P ers o n al re a li t y alw ay s co n ta in s a sto ry, an d th e sto ry w e li v e, b eg in nin g fr o m in fa n cy, is b ase d o n la n gu ag e.  is b eca m e th e fo u n datio n o f M arsh all’s ap pro ach to co n ic t res olu tio n , g et tin g p eo p le to ex ch an ge w ord s i n a w ay t h at e x clu des j u dgm en ts , b la m e, a n d v io len ce.  e co n to rte d fa ce s of pro te sto rs on th e str e et s th at m ak e su ch d is tu rb in g im ag es o n th e e v en in g n ew s a re m ore th an im ag es . E ach fa ce, e a ch s h ou t, e a ch g estu re h as a h is to ry. E ver yo n e cli n gs t o t h ei r h is to ry w it h a v en gean ce, b ecau se it a n ch ors th ei r id en tit y . S o w hen M arsh all a d vo cate d p ea ce fu l ta lk , h e w as a d vo catin g a n ew id en tit y a t th e sa m e tim e. H e fu lly r e a li z e d th is fa ct. A s h e sta te s a b ou t N on vio len t C om mun ic atio n a n d th e ro le o f t h e m ed ia to r i n t h is n ew t h ir d e d it io n , “ W e’r e tr y in g t o l i v e a d iff er en t valu e s y ste m w hile w e a re a sk in g f o r t h in gs t o c h an ge.” I n h is v is io n o f a n ew v alu e s y stem , c o n ic ts a re res olv ed w it h ou t th e usu al fr u str a tin g co m pro m is e s. In ste a d , th e co n ten din g p arties ap pro ach e a ch o th er w it h re sp ec t.  ey ask ab ou t ea ch o th er ’s n eed s, an d in an atm osp h ere f r e e o f p ass io n s a n d p rej udic e s, t h ey r e a ch a c o n nectio n . G azin g on a w orld r if e w it h w ar a n d v io le n ce, w here u s-v ersu s-th em t h in kin g i s t h e n orm , an d w here co u ntr ie s ca n b re a k a ll b on ds o f civ ili z e d ex is ten ce to c o m mit u n beara b le a tr o cit ie s, a n ew v alu e sy ste m s e em s fa r a w ay. A t o n e E uro p ean c o n fe re n ce f o r m ed ia to rs , a s k ep tic c rit ic iz e d M arsh all’s a p pro ach a s p sy ch oth era p y. I n p op u la r l a n gu ag e, i s n ’t h e ask in g u s t o s im ply f o rg et t h e past a n d ju st b e f r ie n ds, a r e m ote pro sp ect n ot ju st i n t h e w ar- to rn a re a s b u t in a n y d iv o rc e c a se ? V alu e s y ste m s a re p ack ed i n t h e l u ggag e o f e v er y w orld vie w . N ot o n ly a re th ey in esc ap ab le , b u t p eo p le are pro u d o f th em —th er e’s a lo n g tr a d it io n aro u n d t h e w orld o f p riz in g a n d f e arin g w arrio rs a t t h e sa m e tim e. J u n gia n s te ll u s th at th e a rc h ety p e o f M ars , th e vo la tile g o d o f w ar, is im bed ded in e v ery o n e’s u n co n sc io u s, m ak in g c o n ic t a n d a g gres sio n i n ev it a b le , a k in d o f in here n t v ic e. B ut t h ere ’s a n a lt e rn ativ e v ie w o f h u m an n atu re , e lo qu en tly ex pres se d in t h is b o ok th at m ust b e c o n sid ere d , b ecau se it ’s o u r o n ly r e a l h op e. In th is v ie w , w e are n ot o u r sto rie s.  ese sto ries are se lf – c re ate d ctio n s th at re m ain in ta ct th ro u gh h ab it , g ro u p c o er cio n , o ld c o n dit io n in g, a n d la ck o f se lf – a w are n ess . E ven th e b est s to ries c o lla b ora te in v io len ce. I f y o u w an t to u se fo rc e to p ro te c t y o u r fa m ily , g u ard y o u rs e lf fr o m a tt a ck , gh t a g ain st w ro n gd oin g, p re v en t c rim e, a n d en gag e in a s o -c a lle d “ g o o d w ar,” y o u h av e b een c o -o p te d b y t h e s ir e n s o n g o f v io len ce. I f y o u d ecid e to o p t o u t, t h er e’s a s iz a b le c h an ce t h at s o cie ty w ill t u rn o n y o u a n d ex act r et rib u tio n . I n s h ort, n din g a w ay o u t i s n ’t e a sy . In In dia th ere ’s an an cie n t m od el fo r non vio len t li v in g kn ow n as A him sa , w hic h i s c e n tr a l t o t h e n on vio len t li f e . A him sa i s u su ally d e ned a s n on vio le n ce, alt h ou gh it s m ean in g ex ten ds fr o m M ah atm a Gan dh i’s p ea ce fu l p ro te sts to A lb ert S ch w eit z e r’s re v er en ce fo r li f e . “D o n o h arm ” wou ld b e t h e rst a x io m o f A him sa . W hat s o im pres se d m e ab ou t M arsh all R ose n berg , w ho p ass e d a w ay a t e ig h ty , ju st s ix w eek s b ef ore I w rit e th is , is t h at h e g ra sp ed b oth l e v els o f A him sa , a ctio n a n d c o n sc io u sn ess .  e a ctio n s a re w ell d esc rib ed in th e fo llo w in g p ag es a s p rin cip les o f N on vio le n t C om mun ic atio n , s o I w on’t r ep eat t h em h er e. T o b e in A him sa c o n sc io u sn ess is m uch m ore p ow er fu l, a n d M arsh all p oss es se d t h at t r a it . I n a n y c o n ic t, h e d id n’t c h oose sid es o r e v en c a re p rim arily w hat t h ei r s to ries w ere . R eco gn iz in g t h at a ll s to rie s le a d to c o n ic t, e it h er o ver tly o r c o ver tly , h e f o cu se d o n c o n nec tio n s a s a p sy ch olo gic a l b rid ge.  is i s i n k eep in g w it h a n oth er a x io m o f A him sa : I t’s n ot w hat y o u d o t h at c o u nts , i t ’s t h e qu ali t y o f yo u r a tt e n tio n . A s f a r a s t h e l e g al s y ste m i s c o n cer ned , a d iv o rc e i s o ver o n ce th e tw o p artie s s e tt le o n h ow to sp li t th ei r a ss et s. B ut th is is fa r fr o m th e re su lt th at’s re a ch ed em otio n ally b et ween th e tw o d iv o rc e d p arties . T oo m uch h as b een s a id , t o u se M arsh all’s w ord in g, t h at c h an ged t h ei r w orld . Aggre ss io n is b u ilt in to t h e e g o s y ste m , w hic h t o ta lly fo cu ses o n “ I, m e, a n d m in e” w hen ev er c o n ic t a ris es . S o ciet y p ay s li p ser vic e to sa in ts a n d th eir v o w t o s e rv e G od i n ste a d o f t h em se lv es , b u t t h er e’s a h u ge g ap b et ween th e v alu es w e e sp ou se a n d t h e w ay w e a ctu ally li v e. A him sa c lo ses t h is g ap o n ly b y e x p an din g a p ers o n’s a w aren ess.  e on ly w ay t o r es olv e all v io len ce is t o g iv e u p y o u r s to ry. N o o n e c a n b e en li g h ten ed w ho s till h as a p er so n al sta k e i n t h e w orld — th at c o u ld b e th e th ir d a x io m o f A him sa . B ut t h is s e em s li k e a te a ch in g a s ra d ic a l a s Je su s in th e Ser m on o n th e M ou nt w hen h e pro m is e s t h at t h e m eek s h all i n her it t h e earth . In b oth c a se s, t h e p oin t is n ’t to c h an ge y o u r a ctio n s b u t to c h an ge yo u r co n sc io u sn ess . T o d o t h at, y o u m ust w alk a p ath f r o m A t o B , w her e A is a li f e b ase d o n t h e i n ce ss a n t d em an ds o f t h e eg o a n d B i s s e l es s a w aren ess. T o be fr a n k, n ob o d y re a lly d esir e s se l es s a w aren ess; fr o m th e vie w poin t o f lo okin g o u t f o r n u m ber o n e, it s o u n ds a t o n ce sc a ry a n d im poss ib le . W hat’s t h e p ay o ff if y o u d ep ose t h e e g o , w hic h is a ll a b ou t p ay o ff s? O nce th e eg o is g o n e, d o y o u s it a ro u n d p ass iv ely l i k e a s p ir it u al b ean bag ?  e an sw er li e s in th ose m om en ts w hen th e per so n al se lf fa lls aw ay n atu ra lly an d sp on ta n eo u sly .  ese occ u r in m om en ts o f m ed it a tio n o r sim ply d eep co n te n tm en t. Sel es s aw aren ess is th e sta te w e’r e in w hen N atu re or art or m usic cre ates a sen se of w on der.  e on ly d iff er en ce b etw een t h ose m om en ts — to w hic h w e c a n a d d a ll e x p er ien ce s o f c re ativ it y , lo ve, a n d p la y — an d A him sa i s t h at t h ey ic k er i n a n d o u t w hile A him sa i s a s e tt le d s ta te . I t r e v ea ls t h at s to ries a n d t h e eg os t h at f u el t h em a re illu sio n s, s e lf – c re ate d m od els fo r s u rv iv al a n d s e l sh n es s.  e pay o ff fo r A him sa is n ’t t h at y o u u p gra d e t h e illu sio n , w hic h is w hat t h e eg o is a lw ay s s tr iv in g t o d o w it h m ore m on ey, p oss e ss io n s, a n d p ow er .  e pay o ff is th at y o u g et to b e w ho y o u r e a lly a re . H ig h er co n sc io u sn ess is to o lo  y as th e ter m fo r A him sa . N orm al co n sc io u sn ess is m ore a cc u ra te in a w orld w her e th e norm is s o a b n orm al th at it a m ou nts t o p sy ch op ath olo gy. I t’s n ot n orm al t o li v e in a w orld w her e th ou sa n ds o f n u cle ar w arh ea d s a re aim ed a t t h e en em y a n d te rro ris m is a n a cce p ta b le r e li g io u s a ct— th ey a re m erely t h e norm . For m e, th e le g acy o f M arsh all’s li f e lo n g w ork d oes n’t li e in h ow h e re v o lu tio n iz e d th e ro le o f th e m ed ia to r, v alu ab le as th at w as. It li es in th e n ew v alu e s y ste m h e li v ed b y, w hic h i n t r u th i s q u it e an cien t. A him sa h as t o b e r e v iv ed i n e v ery g en era tio n , b ecau se hu m an n atu re is t o rn b et ween p ea ce an d vio le n ce. M arsh all R ose n ber g gav e pro of th at en ter in g th is sta te of ex p an ded a w are n ess w as re a l a n d, w hen it c a m e to s et tli n g d is p u tes , v er y pra ctic a l. H e le av es fo otp rin ts t h at t h e res t o f u s c a n fo llo w . I f w e hav e tr u e se lf – in te re st at h eart, w e w ill fo llo w . It’s th e on ly alt er nativ e in a w orld d esp era te ly s e ek in g w is d om a n d t h e en d o f s tr if e . — Deep ak C hop ra I Ack n ow le d gm en ts ’m g ra te fu l t h at I w as a b le t o s tu dy a n d w ork w it h P ro fe ss o r C arl R oger s at a tim e w hen he w as re se arc h in g th e co m pon en ts of a help in g re la tio n sh ip .  e r e su lt s o f t h is r es earc h p la y ed a k ey r o le in t h e ev o lu tio n o f th e p ro ce ss o f c o m mun ic atio n t h at I w ill b e des crib in g i n t h is b o ok. I w ill b e fo re v er g ra te fu l th at P ro fe ss o r M ic h ael H ak eem h elp ed m e to s e e th e sc ie n ti c li m it a tio n s an d th e so cia l an d poli t ic a l dan ger s of p ra ctic in g p sy ch olo gy in t h e w ay t h at I h ad b een t r a in ed : w it h a p ath olo gy- b ase d u n dersta n din g o f h u m an b ei ngs. S eei ng t h e li m it a tio n s o f t h is m od el stim ula te d m e to s e arc h fo r w ay s o f p ra ctic in g a d iff er en t p sy ch olo gy, o n e base d o n a g ro w in g c la rit y a b ou t h ow w e hu m an b ei ngs w er e m ean t t o l i v e. I’m g ra te fu l, to o, fo r G eo rg e M iller ’s a n d G eo rg e A lb ee’s e ff orts to a ler t psy ch olo gis ts to th e n eed to n d b et ter w ay s fo r “g iv in g p sy ch olo gy a w ay.”  ey h elp ed m e s e e th at th e e n orm it y o f su ff erin g o n o u r p la n et re q u ir es m ore e ff ec tiv e w ay s o f d is tr ib u tin g m uch -n eed ed s k ills th an c a n b e off er ed b y a c li n ic a l a p pro ach . I w ou ld li k e to th an k L u cy L eu fo r e d it in g th is b o ok a n d c re atin g th e n al m an usc rip t; R it a H erz o g a n d K ath y S m it h fo r th ei r e d it in g a ss is ta n ce; a n d, fo r th eir a d dit io n al h elp , D aro ld M illi g an , S o n ia N ord en so n , M ela n ie S ears , B rid get B elg ra v e, M aria n M oore , K it t r e ll M cC ord , V ir g in ia H oyte , a n d P ete r W eis m ille r. F in ally , I w ou ld li k e t o e x p re ss g ra tit u de to m y f r ien d A nn ie M uller . H er en co u ra g em en t t o b e c le are r a b ou t t h e sp ir it u al fo u n datio n o f m y w ork h as str e n gth en ed t h at w ork a n d e n ric h ed m y l i f e . Word s A re W in dow s (o r  ey ’r e W alls ) I f e el s o s e n te n ce d b y y o u r w ord s, I f e el s o j u dged a n d s e n t a w ay, B efo re I g o I ’v e go t t o k n ow , Is t h at w hat y o u m ea n t o s a y? B efo re I r is e to m y d efe n se , B efo re I s p ea k i n h u rt o r f e a r, B efo re I b u ild t h at w all o f w ord s, T ell m e, d id I r e a lly h ea r? W ord s a re w in dow s, o r t h ey’r e w all s ,  ey s e n te n ce us, o r s e t u s f r e e . W hen I s p ea k a n d w hen I h ea r, L et t h e lo ve li g h t s h in e th ro u gh m e.  ere are th in gs I n eed t o s a y,  in gs t h at m ea n s o m uch t o m e, If m y w ord s d on’t m ake m e cle a r, W ill y o u h elp m e to b e fr e e? If I s e e m ed t o p u t y o u d ow n, If y o u f e lt I d id n’t c a re , T ry t o l i s te n t h ro u gh m y w ord s, T o t h e fe eli n gs t h at w e sh are . — Ruth B eb erm ey er 1 Giv in g F ro m t h e H ea rt e H ea rt o f N on vio le n t C om mun ic a tio n W hat I w an t i n m y l i f e is c o m pa ss io n , a fl ow b etw ee n m yse lf a n d o th ers b a se d o n a m utu al g iv in g f r o m t h e hea rt. — Marsh all B . R ose n berg , P hD B I In tr o d u ctio n eli e v in g th at it is ou r natu re to en jo y giv in g an d re ce iv in g in a co m pass io n ate m an ner, I h av e b een p re o cc u pie d m ost o f m y li f e wit h tw o q u estio n s: W hat h ap p en s to d is c o n nect u s fr o m o u r co m pass io n ate n atu re , le a d in g u s to b eh av e v io len tly a n d e x p lo it a tiv ely ? A nd c o n ver se ly , w hat a llo w s s o m e p eo p le to sta y c o n necte d to th ei r c o m pass io n ate natu re u n der e v en t h e m ost t r y in g c ir c u m sta n ce s? M y p re o cc u p atio n w it h t h ese q u es tio n s b eg an in c h ild hood , a ro u n d t h e su m mer o f 1 943, w hen o u r f a m ily m oved t o D etr o it , M ic h ig an .  e se co n d w eek a  er w e a rriv ed , a r a ce w ar e ru pte d o ver a n in cid en t a t a p u bli c p ark . M ore t h an f o rty p eo p le w ere k ille d in t h e nex t f e w d ay s. O ur n eig h borh ood w as s it u ate d i n t h e c e n te r o f t h e v io len ce, a n d w e s p en t t h re e day s lo ck ed i n t h e h ou se . W hen th e r a ce r io t e n ded a n d s c h ool b eg an , I d is c o ver ed th at a n am e co u ld b e a s d an gero u s a s a n y s k in c o lo r. W hen t h e te a ch er c a lle d m y n am e du rin g a tt e n dan ce, t w o b oys g la re d a t m e an d h is s e d , “ A re yo u a k ik e? ” I h ad n ev er h eard th e w ord b efo re an d did n’t k n ow so m e p eo p le u se d it in a d ero gato ry w ay to re fe r to Je w s. A er sc h ool, th e sa m e tw o b oys w er e wait in g f o r m e: t h ey t h re w m e t o t h e gro u n d a n d k ic k ed a n d b eat m e. S in ce th at s u m mer in 1 943, I h av e been e x am in in g th e tw o q u es tio n s I m en tio n ed . W hat em pow ers u s, fo r ex am ple , to sta y co n necte d to ou r co m pass io n ate n atu re e v en u n der t h e w orst c ir c u m sta n ce s? I a m t h in kin g o f p eo p le li k e Ett y H ille su m , w ho rem ain ed co m pass io n ate ev en w hile s u bje c te d to t h e g ro te sq u e c o n dit io n s o f a G er m an c o n ce n tr a tio n c a m p. A s sh e w ro te i n h er j o u rn al a t t h e t im e, a m n ot e a sily f r ig h te n ed . N ot b ecau se I a m b ra v e bu t b ecau se I k n ow th at I a m d ea li n g w it h h u m an b ein gs, a n d t h at I m ust t r y a s h ard a s I c a n t o u n dersta n d e v ery th in g t h at a n yo n e ev er d oes . A nd t h at w as t h e re a l im port o f th is m orn in g: n ot th at a d is g ru ntle d yo u n g G es ta p o offi ce r yelle d at m e, bu t th at I fe lt no in dig n atio n , ra th er a re a l co m pass io n , an d w ou ld hav e li k ed to ask , ‘D id yo u hav e a ver y un hap py c h ild hood , h as y o u r g ir lf r ien d let y o u d ow n?’ Y es , h e lo oked h ara ss e d an d d riv en , su lle n an d w ea k . I sh ou ld h av e li k ed to sta rt tr e atin g h im t h ere a n d t h en , f o r I k n ow t h at p it if u l y o u n g m en l i k e th at a re d an gero u s a s s o on a s t h ey a re l et l o ose on m an kin d. — Ett y H ille su m i n Ett y : A D ia ry 1 941– 1943 W hile s tu dyin g t h e f a cto rs t h at a ff ect o u r a b ili t y t o s ta y c o m pass io n ate , I w as s tr u ck b y t h e c ru cia l r o le o f l a n gu ag e a n d o u r u se of w ord s. I h av e sin ce id en ti ed a sp eci c ap pro ach to co m mun ic atin g— both sp ea k in g an d li s te n in g— th at le a d s u s t o g iv e f r o m t h e heart, c o n nectin g u s w it h o u rs e lv es an d w it h e a ch o th er i n a w ay t h at a llo w s o u r n atu ra l c o m pass io n t o ou ris h . I c a ll t h is a p pro ach N on vio le n t C om mun ic atio n , u sin g t h e te rm non vio le n ce a s G an dh i u se d i t — to r e fe r t o o u r n atu ra l s ta te o f c o m pass io n w hen v io len ce h as s u bsid ed f r o m t h e h eart. W hile w e m ay n ot c o n sid er th e w ay w e t a lk t o b e “v io le n t,” w ord s o  en le a d to h u rt an d p ain , w het her fo r o th er s o r o u rs e lv es. In s o m e c o m mun it ie s, th e pro ce ss I a m d esc rib in g is k n ow n a s C om pass io n ate C om mun ic atio n ; th e ab bre v ia tio n N VC is u se d th ro u gh ou t th is b o ok t o r e fe r t o N on vio le n t o r C om pass io n ate C om mun ic atio n . N VC : a w ay o f c o m mun ic a tin g t h at l e a d s u s t o g iv e f r o m th e h ea rt. A W ay t o F ocu s A tt e n tio n N VC is f o u n ded o n la n gu ag e a n d c o m mun ic atio n s k ills t h at s tr en gth en o u r ab ili t y to r e m ain h u m an , e v en u n der t r y in g c o n dit io n s. It c o n ta in s n oth in g n ew ; a ll th at h as b een in te g ra te d in to N VC h as b een k n ow n fo r c en tu ries .  e in te n t is to re m in d u s a b ou t w hat w e alr e a d y k n ow — ab ou t h ow w e hu m an s w ere m ean t t o r e la te t o o n e an oth er — an d t o a ss is t u s in li v in g in a w ay t h at c o n cre te ly m an if e sts t h is k n ow le d ge. N VC g u id es u s in r e fr a m in g h ow w e ex pres s o u rs e lv es a n d h ear o th er s. In ste a d of hab it u al, au to m atic re a ctio n s, ou r w ord s beco m e co n sc io u s re sp on se s b ase d rm ly o n a w aren ess o f w hat w e are per ce iv in g, f e eli n g, a n d w an tin g. W e a re le d to e x p re ss o u rs e lv es w it h h on esty a n d cla rit y , w hile s im ult a n eo u sly p ay in g o th ers a res pectfu l a n d em path ic a tt en tio n . In a n y ex ch an ge, w e c o m e t o h ear o u r o w n d eep er n eed s a n d t h ose of o th er s. N VC tr a in s u s to o b se rv e ca re fu lly , an d to b e ab le to sp ecif y b eh av io rs an d co n dit io n s th at a re a ff ec tin g u s. W e le arn to id en tif y a n d c le arly a rtic u la te w hat w e a re c o n cre te ly w an tin g in a n y g iv en s it u atio n .  e fo rm is s im ple , y et p ow erfu lly t r a n sfo rm ativ e. A s N VC re p la ce s ou r old patt er ns of defen din g, w it h dra w in g, or att a ck in g in th e fa ce of ju dgm en t an d crit ic is m , w e co m e to per cei ve o u rs e lv es a n d o th ers , a s w ell a s o u r in ten tio n s a n d r e la tio n sh ip s, in a n ew li g h t. R esis ta n ce, d efe n siv en ess , a n d v io len t r e a ctio n s a re m in im iz e d . W hen w e fo cu s o n c la rif y in g w hat is b ein g o b se rv ed , fe lt , a n d n eed ed r a th er t h an o n d ia g n osin g a n d ju dgin g, w e d is c o ver t h e dep th o f o u r o w n c o m pass io n .  ro u gh it s e m ph asis o n d eep li s ten in g— to o u rs e lv es a s w ell a s t o o th er s— N VC fo ste rs re sp ec t, a tt e n tiv en es s, a n d em path y a n d en gen der s a m utu al d esir e t o g iv e f r o m t h e h eart. W e p erc e iv e r e la tio n sh ip s in a n ew li g h t w hen w e u se N VC t o h ea r o u r o w n d eep er n eed s a n d t h os e o f o th ers. A lt h ou gh I r e fe r t o it a s “ a p ro ce ss o f c o m mun ic atio n” o r “ a la n gu ag e of co m pass io n ,” N VC is m ore t h an a p ro ce ss o r a la n gu ag e. O n a d eep er le v el, it i s a n o n go in g r e m in der t o k eep o u r a tt en tio n f o cu se d o n a p la ce w her e w e are m ore l i k ely t o g et w hat w e a re se ek in g.  ere is a s to ry o f a m an o n a ll fo u rs u n der a s tr e et la m p, s e arc h in g fo r so m eth in g. A p oli c e m an p ass in g b y a sk ed w hat h e was d oin g. “ L ookin g fo r m y c a r k ey s,” r e p li e d t h e m an , w ho a p p eare d s li g h tly d ru n k. “ D id y o u d ro p th em h ere ?” in qu ir e d t h e o ffi ce r. “ N o,” a n sw ere d t h e m an , “ I d ro p p ed t h em in t h e a lle y.” S eein g t h e p oli c e m an ’s b affl ed ex pres sio n , t h e m an h asten ed t o e x p la in , “ B ut t h e l i g h t i s m uch b et ter h er e.” I n d t h at m y c u lt u ra l c o n dit io n in g l e a d s m e to f o cu s a tt en tio n o n p la ces w here I a m u n li k ely t o g et w hat I w an t. I d ev elo p ed N VC a s a w ay t o t r a in m y a tt e n tio n — to s h in e th e li g h t o f c o n sc io u sn ess — on p la ces th at h av e th e p ote n tia l t o y ie ld w hat I a m s e ek in g. W hat I w an t i n m y l i f e is c o m pass io n , a ow b etw een m yse lf a n d o th ers b ase d o n a m utu al g iv in g f r o m t h e heart. L et’s s h in e t h e l i g h t o f c o n sc io u sn ess o n p la ce s w here w e ca n h op e t o fi nd w hat w e a re s e ek in g.  is q u ali t y o f c o m pass io n , w hic h I r ef er t o a s “ g iv in g f r o m t h e heart,” i s e x p re ss e d i n t h e f o llo w in g l y ric s b y m y f r ien d R uth B eb er m ey er: I n ev er f e el m ore giv en t o t h an w hen y o u t a ke fr o m m e— when y o u u n dersta n d t h e jo y I f e el g iv in g t o y o u . A nd y o u k n ow m y g iv in g i s n ’t d on e to p u t y o u i n m y d eb t, b u t b eca u se I w an t t o l i v e th e lo ve I f e el f o r y o u . To r e ce iv e w it h g ra ce m ay b e th e gre a te st g iv in g.  ere’s n o w ay I c a n s e p ara te th e tw o. W hen y o u g iv e to m e, I g iv e yo u m y r e ce iv in g. W hen y o u t a ke fr o m m e, I f e el s o g iv en t o . — “G iv en T o” ( 1 978) b y R uth B eb erm ey er f r o m t h e a lb u m Giv en T o W hen w e g iv e f r o m t h e h eart, w e do s o o u t o f t h e jo y t h at s p rin gs f o rth w hen ev er w e w illi n gly en ric h an oth er p er so n’s li f e .  is k in d o f giv in g ben e ts b oth t h e g iv er a n d t h e r e ce iv er .  e re ce iv er en jo ys t h e gi w it h ou t w orr y in g a b ou t th e c o n se q u en ces th at a cco m pan y g i s g iv en o u t o f fe ar, g u ilt , s h am e, o r d esir e fo r g ain .  e giv er b en ets fr o m th e en han ce d s e lf – e ste em t h at r e su lt s w hen w e s e e o u r eff orts c o n tr ib u tin g to s o m eo n e’s w ell- b ein g.  e u se o f N VC d oes n ot re q u ir e th at th e per so n s w it h w hom w e are c o m mun ic atin g be li t e ra te in N VC or ev en m otiv ate d to re la te to us co m pass io n ate ly . I f w e s ta y w it h t h e prin cip les o f N VC, s ta y m otiv ate d s o le ly t o g iv e a n d r e ce iv e c o m pass io n ate ly , a n d d o e v er yth in g w e ca n t o let o th er s kn ow t h is i s o u r o n ly m otiv e, t h ey w ill j o in u s i n t h e pro ce ss , a n d e v en tu ally w e w ill b e a b le to r e sp on d c o m pass io n ate ly to o n e a n oth er . I’m n ot s a y in g th at th is a lw ay s h ap p en s q u ic k ly . I d o m ain ta in , h ow ev er , th at c o m pass io n in ev it a b ly b lo ss o m s w hen w e s ta y t r u e t o t h e prin cip les a n d p ro ces s o f N VC. e N VC P ro ce ss T o a rriv e a t a m utu al d esir e to g iv e fr o m th e heart, w e fo cu s th e li g h t o f co n sc io u sn ess o n fo u r are a s— ref er re d to as th e fo u r co m pon en ts o f th e N VC m od el. F ir st, w e o b se rv e w hat is a ctu ally h ap p en in g in a s it u atio n : w hat a re we ob se rv in g o th ers s a y in g o r d oin g th at is e it h er e n ric h in g o r n ot en ric h in g ou r li f e ?  e tr ic k is to be ab le to artic u la te th is ob ser vatio n w it h ou t in tr o du cin g an y ju dgm en t o r ev alu atio n — to sim ply sa y w hat p eo p le are d oin g th at w e e it h er li k e o r d on’t li k e. N ex t, w e sta te h ow w e fe el w hen w e ob se rv e th is actio n : are w e h u rt, sc a re d , jo yfu l, am use d , ir rit a te d ? A nd th ir d ly , w e sa y w hat n eed s o f o u rs a re co n necte d to th e fe eli n gs w e hav e id en ti ed . A n a w are n ess o f t h ese t h re e co m pon en ts is p res en t w hen w e use N VC t o c le arly a n d h on estly e x p res s h ow w e are . F ou r c o m pon en ts o f N VC : 1. o b se r v atio n s 2. f e eli n gs 3 . n eed s 4. r e q u ests F or e x am ple , a m oth er m ig h t e x p res s th es e th re e pie ce s to h er te en ag e so n b y s a y in g, “ F eli x , w hen I s e e tw o b alls o f s o ile d s o ck s u n der th e co ff ee ta b le a n d a n oth er t h re e n ex t t o t h e TV, I f e el ir rit a te d b ecau se I a m n eed in g m ore o rd er i n t h e r o om s t h at w e sh are in c o m mon .” S h e w ou ld fo llo w im med ia te ly w it h th e fo u rth co m pon en t— a ver y sp eci c r e q u est: “ W ou ld y o u b e w illi n g t o p u t y o u r s o ck s i n y o u r r o om o r i n t h e w ash in g m ach in e?”  is fo u rth co m pon en t ad dres ses w hat w e are w an tin g f r o m t h e o th er p ers o n t h at w ou ld e n ric h o u r l i v es o r m ak e li f e m ore w on derfu l f o r u s.  us, p art o f N VC is to e x p re ss th es e fo u r p ie ce s o f in fo rm atio n v er y cle arly , w heth er verb ally or by oth er m ean s.  e oth er part of th is c o m mun ic atio n c o n sis ts o f re cei vin g th e sa m e fo u r p ie ce s o f in fo rm atio n fr o m o th ers . W e c o n nec t w it h t h em b y rst s en sin g w hat t h ey a re ob ser vin g, fe eli n g, a n d n eed in g; th en w e d is c o ver w hat w ou ld en ric h th ei r li v es b y re ce iv in g t h e f o u rth p ie ce — th eir r e q u es t. A s w e k eep o u r att e n tio n fo cu se d o n th e are a s m en tio n ed , an d h elp o th ers d o li k ew is e , w e e sta b li s h a ow o f c o m mun ic atio n , b ack a n d fo rth , until co m pass io n m an if e sts n atu ra lly : w hat I am o b ser vin g, fe eli n g, an d need in g; w hat I a m re q u estin g to e n ric h m y li f e; w hat y o u a re ob ser vin g, fe eli n g, a n d n eed in g; w hat y o u a re re q u es tin g t o en ric h y o u r l i f e … N VC P ro ce ss  e c o n cre te a ctio n s w e o b se rv e t h at a ff ect o u r w ell- b ein g H ow w e fe el i n r e la tio n t o w hat w e o b se r v e  e n eed s, v a lu es, d esir e s, e tc . t h at c re a te o u r f e eli n gs  e c o n cre te a ctio n s w e re q u est i n o rd er t o e n ric h o u r l i v es W hen w e u se t h is p ro ce ss , w e m ay b eg in ei th er b y ex pres sin g o u rs e lv es o r b y em path ic a lly re ce iv in g th ese fo u r pie ce s of in fo rm atio n fr o m oth er s. A lt h ou gh w e w ill le arn to li s te n fo r an d ver bally ex pres s ea ch o f th es e co m pon en ts in C hap te rs 3 – 6, it is im porta n t to k eep in m in d th at N VC is n ot a s e t f o rm ula , b u t s o m eth in g t h at a d ap ts t o v ario u s s it u atio n s a s w ell a s p ers o n al an d cu lt u ra l sty le s. W hile I co n ven ien tly ref er to N VC as a “p ro ce ss” o r “la n gu ag e,” it is p oss ib le to e x p er ien ce a ll fo u r p ie ces o f th e pro ce ss w it h ou t u tt e rin g a sin gle word .  e ess e n ce of N VC is in ou r co n sc io u sn ess o f th e fo u r co m pon en ts , n ot in th e actu al w ord s th at are e x ch an ged . T w o p arts o f N VC : 1. e x p re ssin g h on estly t h ro u gh t he f o u r c o m pon en ts 2. r e ce iv in g e m path ic a lly t h ro u gh t h e f o u r c o m pon en ts W App ly in g N VC i n O ur L iv es a n d t h e W orld W hen w e use N VC in ou r in ter actio n s— wit h ou rs e lv es , w it h an oth er p ers o n , or in a gro u p — we beco m e gro u n ded in ou r natu ra l sta te of co m pass io n . I t is t h ere fo re a n a p pro ach t h at c a n b e eff ectiv ely a p p li e d a t a ll le v els o f c o m mun ic atio n a n d i n d iv er se sit u atio n s: in tim ate r e la tio n sh ip s fa m ili e s sc h ools o rg an iz atio n s a n d i n stit u tio n s th era p y a n d c o u n se li n g r e la tio n sh ip s d ip lo m atic a n d b u sin ess n eg o tia tio n s dis p u te s a n d c o n ic ts o f a n y n atu re S o m e p eo p le u se N VC to cre ate gre ate r d ep th an d ca rin g in th ei r in tim ate r e la tio n sh ip s: h en I l e arn ed h ow I c a n r e ce iv e ( h ear), a s w ell a s g iv e (ex pres s), th ro u gh usin g N VC, I w en t bey o n d fe eli n g att a ck ed an d ‘d oorm att is h ’ to re a lly li s te n in g to word s an d ex tr a ctin g th ei r un derly in g fe eli n gs. I d is c o vere d a v er y h u rtin g m an to w hom I h ad b een m arrie d f o r t w en ty -e ig h t y ears . H e had a sk ed m e f o r a d iv o rc e th e w eek en d b efo re th e [ N VC] w ork sh op. T o m ak e a lo n g s to ry s h ort, w e are h ere t o d ay — to geth er, a n d I a p pre cia te t h e co n tr ib u tio n [ N VC h as] m ad e t o o u r h ap py e n din g… . I le arn ed t o li s ten f o r f e eli n gs, t o ex pres s m y n eed s, t o a cce p t a n sw ers t h at I d id n’t a lw ay s w an t t o h ear. H e is n ot h ere t o m ak e m e h ap py, n or a m I h er e to c re ate h ap pin es s f o r h im . W e hav e b oth l e arn ed t o g ro w , t o a cce p t, a n d t o l o ve, s o t h at w e ca n e a ch b e fu l lle d . — a w ork sh op p artic ip an t i n S an D ie g o , C ali f o rn ia O th ers u se i t t o b u ild m ore e ff ectiv e re la tio n sh ip s a t w ork : I h av e b een u sin g N VC in m y sp ecia l e d u catio n c la ss ro om fo r a b ou t on e y ear. It c a n w ork e v en w it h c h ild ren w ho h av e la n gu ag e d ela y s, I le arn in g diffi cu lt ie s, an d beh av io r pro blem s. O ne stu den t in ou r cla ss ro om s p it s , s w ears , s c re am s, a n d s ta b s o th er s tu den ts w it h p en cils w hen th ey g et n ear h is d esk . I c u e him w it h , ‘P le a se sa y th at a n oth er w ay. U se y o u r g ir a ff e t a lk .’ [ G ir a ff e pu pp et s a re use d i n s o m e w ork sh op s as a te a ch in g aid to d em on str a te NVC.] H e im med ia te ly sta n ds u p str a ig h t, lo oks a t th e p ers o n to w ard w hom h is a n ger is d ir e cte d , a n d sa y s c a lm ly , ‘W ou ld y o u p le a se m ove aw ay f r o m m y d es k? I fe el a n gry w hen y o u s ta n d s o c lo se t o m e.’  e oth er s tu den ts m ig h t r es pon d w it h s o m eth in g l i k e, ‘S o rr y ! I f o rg o t i t b oth er s y o u .’ I b eg an to th in k a b ou t m y fr u str a tio n w it h th is c h ild a n d to tr y to d is c o ver w hat I n eed ed fr o m h im (b es id es h arm on y an d o rd er ). I re a li z e d h ow m uch tim e I h ad p u t in to le ss o n p la n nin g a n d h ow m y need s fo r cre ativ it y an d co n tr ib u tio n w er e bei ng sh ort- c ir c u it e d in o rd er t o m an ag e b eh av io r. A ls o , I f e lt I w as n ot m eetin g t h e ed u catio n al n eed s o f t h e o th er s tu den ts . W hen h e w as a ctin g o u t i n c la ss , I b eg an t o s a y, ‘I n eed y o u to s h are m y a tt e n tio n .’ It m ig h t t a k e a h u n dre d c u es a d ay, b u t h e g o t th e m ess a g e an d w ou ld u su ally g et in vo lv ed in th e le ss o n . — a t e a ch er i n C hic a g o , I lli n ois A d octo r w rit e s: u se N VC m ore a n d m ore in m y m ed ic a l p ra ctic e. S o m e p atien ts a sk m e w heth er I a m a p sy ch olo gis t, s a y in g t h at u su ally t h ei r d octo rs a re n ot i n te re ste d i n t h e w ay t h ey l i v e th ei r l i v es o r d ea l w it h t h ei r d is e a ses . NVC h elp s m e u n dersta n d w hat p atien ts ’ n eed s a re an d w hat t h ey n eed to h ear a t a g iv en m om en t. I n d t h is p artic u la rly h elp fu l i n r e la tin g t o p atie n ts w it h h em op h ili a a n d A ID S b ecau se th er e is s o m uch a n ger a n d pain t h at t h e p atie n t/ h ea lt h c a re- pro vid er r e la tio n sh ip i s o  en s er io u sly i m pair e d . R ece n tly a w om an w it h A ID S, w hom I h av e been t r e atin g f o r th e p ast ve y ears , t o ld m e t h at w hat h as h elp ed h er t h e m ost h av e been m y a tt e m pts t o n d w ay s f o r h er t o e n jo y h er d aily li f e . M y u se of N VC help s m e a lo t in th is re sp ec t. O en in th e past, w hen I k n ew th at a p atie n t h ad a f a ta l d is e a se , I m yse lf w ou ld g et c au gh t in t h e pro gn osis , a n d it w as h ard fo r m e to s in ce re ly e n co u ra g e th em to li v e th ei r li v es . W it h N VC, I h av e d ev elo p ed a n ew c o n sc io u sn ess a s w ell a s a n ew la n gu ag e. I a m a m aze d to se e h ow m uch it ts in w it h m y m ed ic a l p ra ctic e. I fe el m ore en erg y an d jo y in m y w ork as I beco m e in cre a sin gly e n gag ed i n t h e d an ce of N VC. — a p hysic ia n i n P aris , F ra n ce S till o th ers u se th is p ro ce ss in th e poli t ic a l aren a. A F ren ch ca b in et m em ber vis it in g h er sis te r re m ark ed h ow d iff er en tly th e sis ter an d h er hu sb an d w ere c o m mun ic atin g a n d r es pon din g t o e a ch o th er . E nco u ra g ed b y th eir desc rip tio n s of N VC, sh e men tio n ed th at sh e was sc h ed u le d th e fo llo w in g w eek to neg o tia te so m e sen sit iv e is su es bet ween Fra n ce an d A lg eria re g ard in g ad op tio n pro ce d u res .  ou gh tim e was li m it e d , w e dis p atc h ed a F re n ch -s p ea k in g tr a in er to P aris to w ork w it h th e ca b in et m in is te r.  e m in is te r la te r att r ib u te d m uch of th e su cces s of her n eg o tia tio n s i n A lg eria t o h er n ew ly a cq u ir e d c o m mun ic atio n t e ch n iq u es . In J e ru sa le m , d u rin g a w ork sh op a tt en ded b y I s r a eli s o f v ary in g p oli t ic a l p ersu asio n s, p artic ip an ts u se d N VC to ex pres s th em se lv es reg ard in g th e h ig h ly c o n te ste d is su e o f th e W est B an k. M an y o f th e Is r a eli set tler s w ho h av e e sta b li s h ed t h em se lv es o n t h e W est B an k b eli e v e th at t h ey a re fu l lli n g a re li g io u s m an date b y d oin g s o , a n d th ey a re lo ck ed in c o n ic t n ot o n ly w it h P ale stin ia n s b u t a ls o w it h o th er I s r a eli s w ho r e co gn iz e t h e Pales tin ia n h op e fo r n atio n al so vere ig n ty in th e reg io n . D urin g a ses sio n , o n e of m y tr a in ers a n d I m od ele d e m path ic h earin g th ro u gh N VC a n d th en in vit e d p artic ip an ts to ta k e tu rn s ro le -p la y in g e a ch o th er ’s p osit io n . A er tw en ty m in ute s, a se tt le r an nou n ce d th at sh e wou ld be willi n g to co n sid er re li n qu is h in g her la n d cla im s an d m ovin g ou t of th e West B an k in to in te rn atio n ally r e co gn iz e d Is r a eli ter rit o ry if h er p oli t ic a l o p p on en ts c o u ld li s te n t o h er i n t h e w ay s h e h ad j u st b een l i s ten ed t o . W orld w id e, N VC n ow se rv es a s a v alu ab le res ou rc e fo r c o m mun it ies f a cin g v io le n t c o n ic ts a n d s e v ere et hn ic , r e li g io u s, o r p oli t ic a l t en sio n s.  e sp re a d o f N VC tr a in in g a n d it s u se in m ed ia tio n b y p eo p le in c o n ic t in I s r a el, th e Pale stin ia n Auth orit y , N ig eria , Rw an da, Sier ra Leo n e, an d els e w here hav e been a so u rc e of partic u la r gra ti catio n fo r m e. M y ass o cia te s a n d I w ere o n ce i n B elg ra d e f o r t h re e hig h ly c h arg ed d ay s t r a in in g cit iz e n s w ork in g fo r p ea ce. W hen w e rst a rriv ed , e x p res sio n s o f d es pair w ere vis ib ly etc h ed on th e tr a in ees ’ fa ces , fo r th ei r co u ntr y w as th en en m esh ed i n a b ru ta l w ar i n B osn ia a n d C ro atia . A s t h e tr a in in g p ro gres se d , we h eard th e r in g o f la u gh te r in th ei r v o ic e s a s th ey s h are d th ei r p ro fo u n d gra tit u de a n d jo y fo r h av in g fo u n d th e em pow er m en t th ey w er e se ek in g. O ver t h e n ex t tw o w eek s, d u rin g t r a in in gs in C ro atia , I s r a el, a n d P ales tin e, w e a g ain s a w d esp era te c it iz e n s in w ar- to rn c o u ntr ies r eg ain in g t h ei r s p ir it s a n d c o n den ce f r o m t h e N VC t r a in in g t h ey r e ce iv ed . I f e el b le ss e d t o b e a b le t o t r a v el t h ro u gh ou t t h e world t e a ch in g p eo p le a pro ce ss o f c o m mun ic atio n th at g iv es th em p ow er a n d jo y. N ow , w it h th is b o ok, I a m p le a se d a n d e x cit e d t o b e ab le to s h are th e ric h n es s o f N on vio len t Com mun ic atio n w it h y o u . Su m mary N VC h elp s u s c o n nec t w it h e a ch o th er a n d o u rs e lv es in a w ay th at a llo w s ou r n atu ra l co m pass io n to ou ris h . It g u id es u s to ref ra m e th e way w e ex p re ss o u rs e lv es a n d li s te n t o o th er s b y f o cu sin g o u r c o n sc io u sn es s o n f o u r are a s: w hat w e are ob se rv in g, fe eli n g, an d need in g, an d w hat w e are r e q u estin g to en ric h o u r li v es. N VC fo ster s d eep li s ten in g, res pect, an d em path y a n d e n gen ders a m utu al d esir e to g iv e fr o m t h e heart. S o m e peo p le u se N VC to r e sp on d c o m pass io n ate ly to t h em se lv es , s o m e to c re ate gre ater d ep th in th eir p ers o n al re la tio n sh ip s, an d still oth er s to bu ild eff ectiv e re la tio n sh ip s a t w ork o r in th e p oli t ic a l a ren a. W orld w id e, N VC is u se d to m ed ia te d is p u te s a n d c o n ic ts a t a ll l e v els . N VC i n A ctio n In te rsp erse d th ro u gh ou t th e book a re dia lo gu es e n tit le d N VC in A ctio n .  ese dia lo gu es in te n d to im part th e flavo r o f a n a ctu al ex ch an ge in w hic h a s p ea ker i s a pp ly in g t h e prin cip le s o f N on vio le n t C om munic a tio n . H ow ev er, N VC is n ot s im ply a la n gu age or a s e t o f te ch n iq u es fo r u sin g w ord s; th e co n sc io u sn ess a n d in te n t th at it e m bra ce s m ay b e ex p re ss e d th ro u gh sile n ce , a qu ali t y of pre se n ce , as well as th ro u gh fa cia l ex p re ssio n s a n d b od y la n gu age.  e N VC i n A ctio n d ia lo gu es y o u w ill b e re a d in g are nece ss a rily dis tille d an d ab rid ged versio n s of re a l- li f e e x ch an ges, w here mom en ts o f sile n t em path y, sto rie s, h u m or, g estu re s, a n d m ore wou ld a ll co n tr ib u te to a m ore natu ra l fl ow o f co n n ectio n b etw ee n th e tw o p artie s th an m ig h t b e app are n t w hen d ia lo gu es a re c o n den se d i n p rin t. “ M urd ere r, A ss a ssin , C hild -K ille r!” I w as p re se n tin g N on vio le n t C om mun ic atio n t o a b ou t 1 70 P ales tin ia n M usli m m en in a m osq u e a t D hei sh eh R ef ugee C am p in B et hle h em . Att it u des to w ard A m eric a n s a t th at tim e wer e not fa v o ra b le . A s I w as sp ea k in g, I s u dden ly n otic e d a w av e of m uffl ed c o m motio n utt er in g th ro u gh t h e a u die n ce. “  ey ’r e w his p er in g t h at y o u a re A m eric a n !” m y tr a n sla to r a le rte d m e, ju st a s a g en tlem an in th e au dien ce le ap t to h is f e et. Facin g m e sq u are ly , he holler ed at th e to p of his lu n gs, “ M urd ere r!” Im med ia te ly a d ozen o th er v o ic e s jo in ed h im in c h oru s: “A ss a ss in !” “ C hild -k ille r!” “ M urd er er !” F ortu n ate ly , I w as a b le to fo cu s m y a tt en tio n o n w hat th e m an w as fe eli n g a n d n eed in g. I n t h is c a se , I h ad s o m e c u es . O n t h e w ay i n to t h e re fu gee c a m p, I h ad s e en s e v era l em pty t e ar g as c a n is ter s t h at h ad b een sh ot in to th e c a m p th e n ig h t b efo re . C le arly m ark ed o n e a ch c a n is ter w ere t h e w ord s M ad e in U .S .A . I k n ew t h at t h e r e fu gees h arb ore d a lo t of an ger to w ard th e U nit e d S ta tes fo r su pp ly in g te ar g as an d o th er w eap on s t o I s r a el. I a d dre ss e d t h e m an w ho h ad c a lle d m e a m urd er er : M BR : A re y o u a n gry b ecau se y o u w ou ld li k e m y g o ver nm en t t o u se it s r e so u rc e s d iff ere n tly ? (I d id n’t k n ow w heth er m y g u ess w as c o rre ct — what w as crit ic a l w as m y sin ce re eff ort to co n n ect w it h h is fe eli n g a n d n eed .) M an : D am n rig h t I’m a n gry ! Y ou th in k w e need te ar g as? W e need se w ers , n ot y o u r t e ar g as! W e n eed h ou sin g! W e need t o h av e ou r ow n c o u ntr y ! M BR : So yo u ’r e fu rio u s an d w ou ld ap pre cia te so m e su pp ort in i m pro vin g yo u r li v in g co n dit io n s an d gain in g poli t ic a l in dep en den ce ? M an : D o y o u k n ow w hat i t ’s l i k e t o l i v e her e fo r t w en ty -s e v en y ears t h e w ay I h av e w it h m y fa m ily — ch ild ren a n d a ll? H av e yo u g o t th e fa in te st i d ea w hat t h at’s b een l i k e f o r u s? M BR : S o u n ds li k e y o u ’r e fe eli n g v er y d esp er ate a n d y o u ’r e won der in g w heth er I o r a n yb o d y e ls e c a n r e a lly u n dersta n d w hat it ’s li k e t o b e l i v in g u n der t h ese c o n dit io n s. A m I h earin g y o u r ig h t? M an : Y ou w an t t o u n dersta n d? T ell m e, d o y o u h av e ch ild ren ? D o t h ey g o to sc h ool? D o th ey h av e p la y g ro u n ds? M y so n is sic k ! H e pla y s in o p en se w ag e! H is c la ss ro om h as n o b o oks! H av e yo u se en a s c h ool t h at h as n o b o oks? M BR : I h ear h ow p ain fu l it i s f o r y o u t o r a is e yo u r c h ild ren h er e; y o u ’d l i k e m e t o k n ow t h at w hat y o u w an t is w hat a ll p aren ts w an t f o r th eir c h ild re n — a g o od e d u catio n , o p p ortu n it y t o p la y a n d g ro w in a h ea lt h y e n vir o n m en t … M an :  at’s rig h t, th e basic s! H um an rig h ts — is n ’t th at w hat yo u A m eric a n s c a ll it ? W hy d on’t m ore of y o u c o m e her e an d se e w hat k in d o f h u m an r ig h ts y o u ’r e brin gin g h er e! M BR : Y ou ’d li k e m ore A m eric a n s to b e aw are of th e en orm it y o f th e su ff erin g h ere a n d to lo ok m ore deep ly a t th e co n se q u en ce s o f o u r p oli t ic a l a ctio n s? O ur d ia lo gu e co n tin u ed , w it h h im ex p res sin g h is p ain fo r n early t w en ty m ore m in ute s, a n d m e l i s ten in g f o r t h e fe eli n g a n d n eed b eh in d ea ch s ta te m en t. I d id n’t a g re e o r d is a g re e. I r e ce iv ed h is w ord s, n ot a s att a ck s, b u t a s g i s f r o m a fe llo w h u m an w illi n g to s h are his s o u l a n d deep v u ln era b ili t ie s w it h m e. O nce t h e g en tle m an f e lt u n dersto od , h e was a b le to h ear m e e x p la in m y p u rp ose fo r b ein g a t th e c a m p. A n h ou r la te r, th e sa m e m an w ho h ad c a lle d m e a m urd ere r w as in vit in g m e to h is h om e f o r a R am ad an d in ner. I 2 Com munic a tio n  at B lo ck s C om pa ssio n D o n ot j u dge, a n d y o u w ill n ot b e j u dged . F or a s y o u j u dge oth ers, s o y o u w ill y o u rse lv es b e ju dged … — Holy B ib le , M att h ew 7 :1 n s tu dyin g th e q u estio n o f w hat a li en ates u s fr o m o u r n atu ra l I s ta te of co m pass io n , I hav e id en ti ed sp eci c fo rm s of la n gu ag e an d co m mun ic atio n th at I b eli e v e c o n tr ib u te to o u r b eh av in g v io len tly to w ard e a ch o th er a n d o u rs e lv es. I u se th e ter m li f e- ali e n atin g co m munic a tio n to r e fe r t o t h ese f o rm s o f c o m mun ic atio n . C erta in w ay s o f co m mun ic a tin g a li e n ate u s fr o m o u r n atu ra l s ta te o f c o m passio n . Mora li s tic J u dgm en ts O ne k in d o f l i f e -a li e n atin g c o m mun ic atio n i s t h e use of m ora li s tic j u dgm en ts t h at im ply w ro n gn ess o r b ad n ess o n th e part o f p eo p le who d on’t a ct in h arm on y w it h o u r v alu es. S u ch ju dgm en ts a re re ecte d in la n gu ag e: “  e pro ble m w it h y o u i s t h at y o u ’r e t o o s e l sh .” “ S h e’s l a zy.” “  ey ’r e prej udic e d .” “ It’s in ap pro p ria te .” Bla m e, in su lt s , pu t- d ow ns, la b els , crit ic is m , co m paris o n s, a n d d ia g n ose s a re a ll f o rm s o f j u dgm en t.  e S u p oet R um i o n ce w ro te , “ O ut b ey o n d id ea s o f w ro n gd oin g a n d rig h t- d oin g, th ere is a eld . I’l l meet yo u th er e.” Lif e- ali en atin g co m mun ic atio n , h ow ev er, tr a p s u s in a w orld o f id ea s a b ou t r ig h tn es s a n d w ro n gn ess — a w orld o f ju dgm en ts . It is a la n gu ag e ric h w it h w ord s th at cla ss if y an d d ic h oto m iz e p eo p le an d th ei r actio n s. W hen w e sp ea k th is la n gu ag e, w e ju dge o th ers a n d t h ei r b eh av io r w hile p re o cc u pyin g o u rs e lv es w it h w ho’s g o od , b ad , n orm al, a b n orm al, r es pon sib le , ir res pon sib le , s m art, ig n ora n t, e tc . In t h e w orld o f j u dgm en ts , o u r c o n ce rn c e n te rs o n “ w ho is w hat.” L on g befo re I re a ch ed ad u lt h ood , I le arn ed to co m mun ic ate in an im pers o n al w ay t h at d id n ot r e q u ir e m e t o r e v ea l w hat w as g o in g o n in sid e m yse lf . W hen I e n co u nte re d p eo p le or b eh av io rs I ei th er d id n’t l i k e or d id n’t u n dersta n d, I w ou ld re a ct in ter m s of th ei r w ro n gn es s. If m y te a ch er s ass ig n ed a ta sk I d id n’t w an t to d o, th ey w er e “m ean ” o r “ u n re a so n ab le .” If s o m eo n e p u lle d o u t in fr o n t o f m e in tr a ffi c, m y re a ctio n w ou ld b e, “ Y ou id io t!” W hen w e s p ea k t h is l a n gu ag e, w e t h in k a n d c o m mun ic ate in t er m s o f w hat’s w ro n g w it h o th ers fo r b eh av in g in ce rta in w ay s o r, o cc a sio n ally , w hat’s w ro n g w it h o u rs e lv es fo r n ot u n dersta n din g o r res pon din g as w e wou ld li k e. O ur att e n tio n is fo cu se d on cla ss if y in g, an aly zin g, an d dete rm in in g le v els o f w ro n gn ess r a th er th an o n w hat w e a n d o th er s n eed a n d a re n ot g ett in g.  us i f m y p artn er w an ts m ore aff ectio n t h an I ’m g iv in g her, s h e is “ n eed y a n d d ep en den t.” B ut if I w an t m ore aff ectio n th an s h e is g iv in g m e, th en sh e is “a lo of an d in sen sit iv e.” If m y co lle a g u e is m ore co n ce rn ed a b ou t d eta ils th an I a m , h e is “p ic k y a n d c o m pu ls iv e.” O n th e oth er h an d, if I a m m ore c o n ce rn ed a b ou t d et ails th an h e is , h e is “ s lo p py an d d is o rg an iz e d .” A naly se s o f o th ers a re a ctu ally e x p re ssio n s o f o u r o w n need s a n d v a lu es. It is m y b eli e f th at a ll su ch a n aly ses o f o th er h u m an b ei ngs a re tr a g ic e x p re ss io n s o f o u r o w n v alu es a n d n eed s.  ey a re tr a g ic b ecau se when w e ex p re ss o u r v alu es a n d n eed s in th is fo rm , w e in cre a se def en siv en ess a n d re sis ta n ce a m on g t h e v ery p eo p le whose beh av io rs a re of c o n ce rn t o u s. O r, if p eo p le d o a g re e to a ct in h arm on y w it h o u r v alu es , t h ey w ill li k ely d o s o o u t o f fe ar, g u ilt , o r s h am e b ecau se th ey c o n cu r w it h o u r a n aly sis o f th ei r wro n gn ess . W e a ll p ay d early w hen p eo p le r es pon d t o o u r v alu es a n d n eed s n ot o u t of a d esir e t o g iv e f r o m t h e h eart, b u t o u t o f f e ar, g u ilt , o r s h am e. S o on er o r la te r, w e w ill e x p erie n ce th e c o n se q u en ce s o f d im in is h ed g o od w ill o n th e part o f t h ose w ho c o m ply w it h o u r v alu es o u t o f a s en se of e it h er ex ter nal o r in te rn al co erc io n .  ey, to o, p ay em otio n ally , fo r th ey are li k ely to fe el re se n tm en t a n d d ecre a se d s e lf – es te em w hen th ey r es pon d to u s o u t o f fe ar, g u ilt , o r s h am e. F u rth erm ore , e a ch tim e oth er s a ss o cia te u s in th ei r m in ds w it h an y of th ose fe eli n gs, th e li k eli h ood of th ei r res pon din g co m pass io n ate ly t o o u r n eed s a n d v alu es i n t h e fu tu re decre a ses . It is im porta n t h ere n ot to co n fu se v a lu e ju dgm en ts an d m ora li s tic ju dgm en ts . A ll o f u s m ak e v a lu e ju dgm en ts a s t o t h e q u ali t ie s w e v alu e i n l i f e; fo r e x am ple , w e m ig h t v alu e h on es ty , fr e ed om , o r p ea ce. V alu e ju dgm en ts r e ec t ou r beli e fs of h ow li f e ca n bes t be ser ved . W e m ak e m ora li s tic ju dgm en ts o f p eo p le a n d b eh av io rs t h at f a il t o s u pp ort o u r v alu e ju dgm en ts ; fo r e x am ple , “ V io le n ce is b ad . P eo p le who k ill o th er s a re ev il.” H ad w e been ra is e d s p ea k in g a la n gu ag e t h at f a cili t a te d t h e ex pres sio n o f c o m pass io n , w e wou ld h av e l e arn ed t o a rtic u la te o u r n eed s a n d v alu es d ir e ctly , r a th er t h an t o in sin u ate w ro n gn ess w hen t h ey h av e not b een m et. F or ex am ple , in ste a d o f “V io le n ce is b ad ,” w e m ig h t s a y in ste a d , “ I a m fe arfu l o f t h e use of v io len ce to r e so lv e c o n ic ts ; I v alu e t h e r es olu tio n o f h u m an c o n ic ts t h ro u gh o th er m ean s.” e re la tio n sh ip betw een la n gu ag e an d vio len ce is th e su bje ct of p sy ch olo gy p ro fe ss o r O .J . H arv ey ’s res earc h a t th e Univ er sit y o f C olo ra d o. H e t o ok r a n dom s a m ple s o f p ie ce s o f l i t er atu re fr o m m an y c o u ntr ies a ro u n d th e w orld an d ta b u la te d th e fr e q u en cy o f w ord s th at cla ss if y an d ju dge p eo p le . H is stu dy sh ow s a h ig h c o rre la tio n b et ween fr e q u en t u se of su ch w ord s a n d f r e q u en cy o f i n cid en ts . I t d oes n ot s u rp ris e m e t o h ear t h at t h er e is co n sid era b ly le ss v io le n ce in cu lt u res w her e peo p le th in k in ter m s o f h u m an n eed s t h an in c u lt u re s w her e peo p le la b el o n e a n oth er a s “ g o od” o r “b ad ” a n d b eli e v e t h at t h e “ b ad ” o n es d es er ve to b e pu n is h ed . I n 7 5 p er cen t of t h e t e le v is io n p ro gra m s s h ow n d u rin g h ou rs w hen A m eric a n c h ild ren a re m ost li k ely to b e w atc h in g, th e her o eit h er k ills p eo p le o r b eats th em u p.  is v io le n ce t y p ic a lly c o n stit u te s t h e “c li m ax ” o f t h e sh ow . V ie w er s, h av in g been t a u gh t t h at b ad g u ys d ese rv e to b e pu n is h ed , t a k e ple a su re in w atc h in g th is v io le n ce. C la ssif y in g a n d j u dgin g p eo p le p ro m ote s v io le n ce . A t t h e r o ot o f m uch , if n ot a ll, v io len ce — whet her v er bal, p sy ch olo gic a l, o r p hysic a l, w heth er a m on g f a m ily m em ber s, t r ib es , o r n atio n s— is a k in d o f th in kin g th at att r ib u te s th e cau se of co n ic t to w ro n gn es s in on e’s a d vers a rie s, a n d a c o rre sp on din g in ab ili t y to th in k o f o n es elf o r o th er s in t e rm s o f v u ln era b ili t y — th at is , w hat o n e m ig h t b e fe eli n g, f e arin g, y earn in g fo r, m is s in g, e tc . W e s a w th is d an gero u s w ay o f th in kin g d u rin g th e Cold W ar. O ur le a d ers v ie w ed t h e U .S .S .R . a s a n “ e v il em pir e ” b en t o n d es tr o yin g th e A m eric a n w ay o f li f e . S o vie t le a d ers r ef er re d t o t h e peo p le of t h e U nit e d S ta te s as “im peria li s t op pre ss o rs” w ho w er e tr y in g to su bju gate th em . Neit h er s id e a ck n ow le d ged t h e f e ar l u rk in g b eh in d s u ch l a b els . Mak in g C om paris o n s A noth er fo rm o f ju dgm en t is th e use of c o m paris o n s. In h is b o ok H ow to M ake You rse lf M is e ra b le , D an G re en bu rg d em on str a te s th ro u gh h u m or th e in sid io u s p ow er th at c o m para tiv e th in kin g c a n ex ert o ver u s. H e su gges ts t h at if r e a d ers h av e a s in ce re d esir e to m ak e li f e m is er ab le fo r th em se lv es , th ey m ig h t le arn to co m pare th em se lv es to oth er peo p le . For th ose u n fa m ili a r w it h th is p ra ctic e, h e pro vid es a fe w ex ercis es .  e rst o n e dis p la y s fu ll- le n gth p ic tu re s o f a m an an d a w om an w ho em bo d y id ea l p hysic a l b eau ty b y c o n te m pora ry m ed ia s ta n dard s. R ea d ers a re in str u cte d t o t a k e th eir o w n b o d y m ea su re m en ts , c o m pare th em to th ose su p er im pose d o n t h e p ic tu re s o f t h e a tt r a ctiv e s p ecim en s, a n d d w ell o n t h e diff er en ces . Com paris o n s a re a f o rm o f j u dgm en t.  is e x erc is e p ro du ce s w hat it p ro m is es : w e s ta rt t o f e el m is er ab le as w e en gag e in th ese c o m paris o n s. B y th e tim e we’r e as d ep res se d a s w e th in k poss ib le , w e tu rn th e p ag e to d is c o ver th at th e rst e x er cis e was a m ere warm -u p. Sin ce p hysic a l b eau ty is re la tiv ely su p er cia l, G re en bu rg n ex t pro vid es a n o p p ortu n it y to c o m pare ou rs e lv es o n s o m eth in g th at m att er s: a ch ie v em en t. H e tu rn s to th e p h on e b o ok to g iv e re a d ers a fe w ra n dom in div id u als to c o m pare th em se lv es w it h .  e rst n am e he cla im s to h av e p u lle d o u t o f t h e p h on e b o ok i s W olf g an g A m ad eu s M oza rt. G re en bu rg li s ts t h e la n gu ag es M oza rt s p oke a n d th e m ajo r p ie ce s h e had c o m pose d b y th e tim e h e w as a t e en ag er.  e e x erc is e th en i n str u cts r e a d ers t o r e ect o n t h ei r ow n a ch ie v em en ts a t t h eir c u rre n t s ta g e o f li f e , t o c o m pare th em w it h w hat M oza rt h ad a cco m pli s h ed b y a g e t w elv e, a n d t o d w ell o n t h e diff er en ces . Even re a d ers w ho n ev er e m erg e fr o m th e se lf – in du ce d m is er y o f th is e x erc is e m ig h t s e e h ow p ow erfu lly t h is t y p e of t h in kin g b lo ck s c o m pass io n , both f o r o n ese lf a n d f o r o th ers . Den ia l o f R esp on sib ili t y A noth er k in d o f li f e -a li e n atin g c o m mun ic atio n is d en ia l o f res pon sib ili t y . C om mun ic atio n is li f e -a li e n atin g w hen it c lo u ds o u r a w aren ess t h at w e are e a ch r e sp on sib le f o r o u r o w n t h ou gh ts , f e eli n gs, a n d a ctio n s.  e use of t h e co m mon e x p re ss io n have to , a s in “  ere a re s o m e th in gs y o u h av e to d o, w heth er y o u li k e it o r n ot,” illu str a te s h ow p er so n al res pon sib ili t y fo r o u r actio n s c a n b e o b sc u re d in sp eech .  e ph ra se m akes o n e fe el, a s in “ Y ou m ak e m e f e el g u ilt y ,” i s a n oth er ex am ple of h ow l a n gu ag e f a cili t a tes d en ia l o f p ers o n al r e sp on sib ili t y f o r o u r o w n f e eli n gs a n d t h ou gh ts . O ur la n gu ag e ob sc u re s aw are n ess of perso n al re sp on sib ili t y . In h er b o ok E ic h m an n in Je ru sa le m , w hic h d ocu m en ts th e w ar c rim es tr ia l o f N azi o ffi ce r A dolf E ic h m an n, H an nah A ren dt q u otes E ic h m an n sa y in g th at he an d his fe llo w offi cer s had th ei r ow n nam e fo r th e re sp on sib ili t y -d en yin g la n gu ag e th ey use d .  ey ca lle d it A m ts sp ra ch e, lo ose ly tr a n sla te d in to Engli s h as “o ffi ce ta lk ” or “b u re au cra tes e.” For ex am ple , if a sk ed w hy t h ey t o ok a c er ta in a ctio n , t h e res pon se wou ld b e, “ I h ad t o .” I f a sk ed w hy t h ey “ h ad t o ,” t h e an sw er w ou ld b e, “ S u p er io rs’ o rd er s.” “ C om pan y p oli c y.” “ It w as t h e l a w .” W e d en y r e sp on sib ili t y fo r o u r a ctio n s w hen w e a tt r ib u te th ei r c au se to fa cto rs o u ts id e o u rs e lv es: V ag u e, i m pers o n al f o rc e s— “ I c le a n ed m y r o om b eca u se I h ad t o .” O ur co n dit io n , dia g n osis , or pers o n al or psy ch olo gic a l his to ry — “I d rin k b eca u se I a m a n a lc o h oli c .”  e a ctio n s o f o th ers — “ I h it m y c h ild b eca u se he ra n i n to t h e str e et.”  e d ic ta te s o f a u th orit y — “ I li e d to th e cli e n t b eca u se th e boss to ld m e to .” G ro u p p re ssu re — “ I s ta rte d s m okin g b eca u se all m y f r ie n ds d id .” I n stit u tio n al p oli c ie s, r u le s, a n d r eg ula tio n s— “ I h ave to s u sp en d y o u fo r th is i n fr a ctio n b eca u se it ’s t h e sc h ool p oli c y.” Gen der r o le s, s o cia l r o le s, o r a g e r o les — ”I h ate go in g t o w ork , b u t I d o i t b eca u se I a m a h u sb an d a n d a f a th er.” U nco n tr o lla b le im pu ls e s— “ I w as o verc o m e by m y u rg e to e a t t h e ca n dy bar.” O nce, d u rin g a d is c u ss io n a m on g p aren ts a n d t e a ch er s o n t h e dan ger s o f a la n gu ag e th at im pli e s a b se n ce of c h oic e, a w om an o bje cte d a n grily , “ B ut th ere a re s o m e t h in gs y o u h av e to d o w het her y o u li k e it o r n ot! A nd I s e e n oth in g w ro n g w it h t e lli n g m y c h ild ren t h at t h er e are th in gs t h ey h av e to d o, to o.” A sk ed fo r an ex am ple o f so m eth in g sh e “h ad to d o,” sh e ret orte d , “ at’s e a sy ! W hen I le av e h ere t o n ig h t, I h av e to g o h om e a n d c o ok. I h ate c o okin g! I h ate it w it h a p ass io n , b u t I h av e been d oin g it e v er y d ay fo r tw en ty y ears , e v en w hen I ’v e b een a s s ic k a s a d og, b ecau se it ’s o n e of t h ose th in gs y o u ju st h av e to d o.” I to ld h er I w as sa d to h ear h er sp en din g so m uch o f h er li f e d oin g s o m eth in g s h e hate d , b ecau se sh e fe lt c o m pelle d to , an d I ju st h op ed th at sh e m ig h t n d h ap pier p oss ib ili t ies b y le arn in g th e la n gu ag e o f N VC. I a m p le a se d to re p ort th at sh e was a fa st le arn er . A t th e en d o f th e w ork sh op, s h e a ctu ally w en t h om e an d a n nou n ce d t o h er f a m ily t h at s h e no lo n ger w an te d t o c o ok.  e o p p ortu n it y f o r s o m e f e ed back f r o m h er f a m ily c a m e th re e w eek s la te r w hen h er tw o so n s a rriv ed a t a w ork sh op. I w as cu rio u s t o k n ow h ow th ey h ad r e a cte d t o t h eir m oth er’s a n nou n ce m en t.  e eld er s o n s ig h ed , “ M arsh all, I ju st s a id to m yse lf , ‘ an k G od !’” S eei ng m y pu zzle d lo ok, h e e x p la in ed , “ I t h ou gh t t o m yse lf , m ay b e n ally s h e won’t b e co m pla in in g a t e v ery m ea l! ” W e c a n r e p la ce l a n gu ag e t h at i m pli e s l a ck o f c h oic e w it h la n gu ag e t h at a ck n ow le d ges c h oic e . A noth er tim e, w hen I w as co n su lt in g fo r a sc h ool d is tr ic t, a te a ch er re m ark ed , “I h ate g iv in g g ra d es. I d on’t th in k th ey are help fu l an d th ey cre ate a lo t o f a n xie ty o n t h e p art o f s tu den ts . B ut I h av e to g iv e gra d es : it ’s t h e d is tr ic t p oli c y.” W e h ad ju st b een p ra ctic in g h ow to in tr o du ce la n gu ag e in th e cla ss ro om th at h eig h te n s co n sc io u sn ess o f res pon sib ili t y fo r o n e’s a ctio n s. I s u ggeste d th at th e te a ch er tr a n sla te th e sta te m en t “ I h av e to g iv e I gra d es b ecau se i t ’s d is tr ic t p oli c y ” t o “ I c h oose to g iv e gra d es b ecau se I w an t … ” S h e a n sw ere d w it h ou t h esit a tio n , “I c h oose to g iv e gra d es b ecau se I wan t t o k eep m y jo b,” w hile h aste n in g t o a d d, “ B ut I d on’t li k e s a y in g it t h at w ay. I t m ak es m e f e el s o r e sp on sib le fo r w hat I ’m d oin g.” W e a re d an gero u s w hen w e a re n ot co n sc io u s o f o u r re sp on sib ili t y f o r h ow w e b eh av e, t h in k, a n d f e el. “  at’s w hy I w an t y o u t o d o i t t h at w ay,” I r ep li e d . I sh are th e se n tim en ts of Fre n ch noveli s t an d jo u rn ali s t G eo rg e B ern an os w hen h e s a y s, h av e th ou gh t fo r a lo n g tim e n ow th at if , s o m e d ay, th e in cre a sin g effi cie n cy fo r t h e t e ch n iq u e o f d es tr u ctio n n ally c au ses o u r s p ecies t o dis a p p ear fr o m th e earth , it w ill not be cru elt y th at w ill be re sp on sib le fo r o u r e x tin ctio n a n d s till les s, o f c o u rs e , th e in dig n atio n th at cru elt y aw ak en s an d th e re p ris a ls an d v en gean ce th at it b rin gs u p on it s e lf … b u t t h e d ocili t y , t h e la ck o f r es pon sib ili t y o f t h e m od er n m an , h is b ase su bse rv ie n t a cce p ta n ce o f e v er y c o m mon d ecre e.  e horro rs th at w e h av e s e en , th e s till g re ate r h orro rs w e s h all p res en tly s e e, a re not sig n s th at re b els , in su bord in ate , unta m ab le men are in cre a sin g in n u m ber th ro u gh ou t th e world , b u t r a th er th at th er e is a c o n sta n t i n cre a se i n t h e n u m ber o f o b ed ien t, d ocile m en . —Geo rg e B ern an os Oth er F orm s o f L if e -A li e n atin g C om mun ic a tio n C om mun ic atin g o u r d esir e s a s d em an ds i s y et a n oth er f o rm o f l a n gu ag e th at b lo ck s co m pass io n . A d em an d ex pli c it ly o r im pli c it ly th re ate n s li s ten ers wit h b la m e o r p u n is h m en t if th ey fa il to c o m ply . It is a c o m mon fo rm o f co m mun ic atio n in o u r c u lt u re , es pecia lly a m on g th ose who h old p osit io n s of a u th orit y . M y c h ild re n g av e m e s o m e i n valu ab le le ss o n s a b ou t d em an ds. S o m eh ow I h ad g o tt e n i t i n to m y h ea d t h at, a s a p aren t, m y j o b w as t o m ak e dem an ds. I le arn ed , h ow ev er, t h at I c o u ld m ak e all t h e dem an ds in t h e world b u t s till c o u ld n’t m ak e m y c h ild re n d o a n yth in g.  is is a h u m bli n g les so n in p ow er fo r t h ose o f u s w ho b eli e v e t h at, b ecau se w e’r e a p aren t, t e a ch er , o r m an ag er , ou r jo b is to c h an ge o th er p eo p le an d m ak e th em b eh av e. H er e wer e th es e yo u n gste rs le tt in g m e k n ow th at I c o u ld n’t m ak e th em d o a n yth in g. A ll I c o u ld do w as m ak e th em w is h th ey had — th ro u gh pu n is h m en t.  en ev en tu ally t h ey t a u gh t m e t h at a n y t im e I w as f o oli s h e n ou gh t o m ak e th em w is h th ey h ad c o m pli e d b y p u n is h in g th em , th ey h ad w ay s o f m ak in g m e wis h t h at I h ad n’t ! W e c a n n ev er m ak e p eo p le d o an yth in g. W e w ill ex am in e th is su bje c t ag ain w hen w e le arn to diff er en tia te r e q u ests f r o m d em an ds— an i m porta n t p art o f N VC.  e co n ce p t th at ce rta in actio n s m erit re w ard w hile oth er s m erit p u n is h m en t is als o ass o cia te d w it h li f e- ali en atin g co m mun ic atio n .  is t h in kin g i s e x p re ss e d b y t h e w ord dese rv e a s i n “ H e d ese rv es t o b e p u n is h ed fo r w hat h e d id .” I t a ssu m es “ b ad n es s” o n t h e part o f p eo p le who b eh av e in c e rta in w ay s, a n d it c a lls fo r p u n is h m en t to m ak e th em r ep ent a n d ch an ge th eir b eh av io r. I b eli e v e it i s i n e v er yo n e’s i n ter es t t h at p eo p le ch an ge, n ot i n o rd er to a v o id p u n is h m en t, b u t b ecau se th ey s e e th e ch an ge a s b en etin g th em se lv es.  in kin g base d on “w ho dese r v es what” blo ck s co m passio n ate c o m mun ic a tio n . Most o f u s g re w u p sp ea k in g a la n gu ag e th at en co u ra g es u s to la b el, c o m pare , d em an d, a n d p ro n ou n ce ju dgm en ts ra th er th an to b e aw are of w hat w e a re fe eli n g a n d n eed in g. I b eli e v e li f e- ali en atin g c o m mun ic atio n is r o ote d i n v ie w s o f h u m an n atu re t h at h av e ex er te d t h ei r i n u en ce fo r s e v er al ce n tu rie s.  ese v ie w s s tr e ss h u m an s’ in nate ev il a n d d e cien cy, a n d a n eed fo r e d u catio n to c o n tr o l o u r in her en tly u n des ir a b le natu re . S u ch e d u catio n o  en l e av es u s q u estio n in g w heth er t h er e is s o m eth in g w ro n g w it h w hate v er fe eli n gs a n d n eed s w e m ay b e e x p er ien cin g. W e le arn e arly t o c u t o u rs e lv es o ff f r o m w hat’s g o in g o n w it h in o u rs e lv es . Lif e -a li e n atin g c o m mun ic a tio n h as d eep p h ilos op h ic a l an d p oli t ic a l r o ots . L if e -a li e n atin g co m mun ic atio n both stem s fr o m an d su pp orts h ie ra rc h ic a l o r d om in atio n s o cie ties , w her e la rg e p op u la tio n s a re co n tr o lle d b y a s m all n u m ber o f i n div id u als t o t h ose in div id u als , o w n b en et. I t w ou ld b e in th e in te re st o f k in gs, c za rs , n obles , a n d so fo rth th at th e m ass es b e ed u cate d in a w ay t h at r e n ders t h em s la v eli k e in m en ta li t y .  e la n gu ag e of w ro n gn ess , s h ou ld , a n d have to is p erfe c tly s u it e d f o r t h is p u rp ose: t h e m ore p eo p le are tr a in ed to th in k in te rm s o f m ora li s tic ju dgm en ts th at im ply w ro n gn ess a n d b ad n ess , th e m ore th ey a re bei ng tr a in ed to lo ok o u ts id e th em se lv es— to o u ts id e a u th orit ies — fo r th e de n it io n o f w hat c o n stit u tes r ig h t, w ro n g, g o od , a n d b ad . W hen w e are in c o n ta ct w it h o u r fe eli n gs a n d need s, w e h u m an s n o l o n ger m ak e go o d s la v es a n d u n der li n gs. Su m mary It is o u r n atu re to e n jo y g iv in g a n d re ce iv in g c o m pass io n ate ly . W e hav e, h ow ev er, le arn ed m an y fo rm s o f li f e- ali en atin g c o m mun ic atio n t h at le a d u s to s p ea k a n d b eh av e in w ay s th at in ju re oth er s a n d o u rs e lv es . O ne fo rm o f li f e -a li e n atin g co m mun ic atio n is t h e u se o f m ora li s tic ju dgm en ts t h at im ply w ro n gn ess o r b ad n ess o n th e p art o f th ose who d on’t a ct in h arm on y w it h o u r v alu es. A noth er is t h e u se o f c o m paris o n s, w hic h c a n b lo ck c o m pass io n b oth fo r oth ers an d fo r ou rs e lv es . Lif e- ali en atin g co m mun ic atio n als o o b sc u re s o u r a w are n ess t h at w e a re ea ch r es pon sib le fo r o u r o w n t h ou gh ts , fe eli n gs, a n d a ctio n s. C om mun ic atin g o u r d esir es i n t h e fo rm o f d em an ds i s y et a n oth er c h ara cte ris tic o f l a n gu ag e t h at b lo ck s c o m pass io n . T 3 Obse rv in g W it h ou t E va lu atin g O BSE RV E!!  ere are fe w t h in gs a s i m porta n t, a s r e li g io u s, a s t h at. — Fre d eric k B uech n er, m in is te r I c a n h an dle yo u r t e lli n g m e what I d id o r d id n’t d o. A nd I c a n h an dle yo u r i n te rp re ta tio n s, b u t p le a se don’t m ix t h e tw o. If y o u w an t t o c o n fu se an y i s su e, I c a n t e ll y o u h ow t o d o i t : M ix t o geth er w hat I d o w it h h ow y o u r e a ct t o i t . T ell m e th at y o u ’r e dis a pp oin te d w it h t h e unfinis h ed c h ore s y o u s e e , B ut c a lli n g m e “ir re sp on sib le ” is n o w ay t o m otiv a te m e. A nd t e ll m e th at y o u ’r e fe eli n g h u rt w hen I s a y “ n o” t o y o u r a d va n ce s, B ut c a lli n g m e a f r ig id m an w on’t i n cre a se yo u r f u tu re ch an ce s. Y es, I c a n h an dle yo u r t e lli n g m e what I d id o r d id n’t d o, A nd I c a n h an dle yo u r i n te rp re ta tio n s, b u t p le a se don’t m ix t h e tw o. — Marsh all B . R ose n berg , P hD h e rst c o m pon en t o f N VC e n ta ils t h e sep ara tio n o f o b ser vatio n fr o m ev alu atio n . W e n eed to c le arly o b ser ve what w e a re se ei ng, h earin g, o r to u ch in g th at is a ff ec tin g o u r se n se of w ell- b ei ng, w it h ou t m ix in g in a n y ev alu atio n . O bse rv atio n s are an im porta n t ele m en t in N VC, w her e we wis h to c le arly an d h on estly ex p re ss h ow w e are to an oth er p er so n . W hen w e co m bin e o b se rv atio n w it h e v alu atio n , w e decre a se th e li k eli h ood t h at o th er s will h ear o u r in te n ded m ess a g e. In ste a d , th ey a re ap t to h ear c rit ic is m a n d th u s r e sis t w hate v er w e a re s a y in g. N VC d oes n ot m an date t h at w e r em ain c o m plet ely o bje ctiv e an d r ef ra in f r o m e v alu atin g. I t o n ly r e q u ir e s t h at w e m ain ta in a s ep ara tio n b et ween o u r ob se rv atio n s an d ou r ev alu atio n s. N VC is a pro ce ss la n gu ag e th at d is c o u ra g es sta tic g en era li z atio n s; in ste a d , e v alu atio n s a re to b e base d o n o b se rv atio n s sp ecifi c to tim e an d co n te x t. Sem an tic is t W en dell Jo h n so n p oin te d o u t th at w e cre ate m an y p ro blem s fo r o u rs e lv es b y u sin g sta tic la n gu ag e t o e x p re ss o r c ap tu re a r e a li t y t h at i s e v er c h an gin g: “ O ur la n gu ag e is a n im perfe c t in str u m en t c re ate d b y a n cien t a n d ig n ora n t m en . It is a n a n im is tic l a n gu ag e t h at i n vit e s u s t o t a lk a b ou t s ta b ili t y a n d c o n sta n ts , a b ou t sim ila rit ie s an d n orm al an d k in ds, ab ou t m ag ic a l tr a n sfo rm atio n s, q u ic k c u re s, sim ple pro ble m s, an d n al so lu tio n s. Yet th e world w e tr y to s y m boli z e w it h th is la n gu ag e is a w orld o f p ro ce ss , ch an ge, d iff er en ces , dim en sio n s, fu n ctio n s, re la tio n sh ip s, gro w th s, in ter actio n s, dev elo p in g, le arn in g, c o p in g, c o m ple x it y . A nd t h e m is m atc h o f o u r e v er -c h an gin g w orld a n d o u r r e la tiv ely s ta tic l a n gu ag e f o rm s i s p art o f o u r p ro blem .” W hen w e c o m bin e o b se r v atio n w it h e v a lu atio n , p eo p le a re a p t t o h ea r c rit ic is m . A co lle a g u e o f m in e, R uth B eb er m ey er, co n tr a sts sta tic an d p ro ces s la n gu ag e in a so n g th at illu str a tes th e diff er en ce b et ween e v alu atio n a n d ob se rv atio n : I ’v e nev er s e e n a l a zy m an ; I’v e se e n a m an w ho n ev er r a n w hile I w atc h ed h im , a n d I ’v e se e n a m an w ho s o m etim es s le p t b etw ee n lu n ch a n d d in n er, a n d w ho’d s ta y at h om e upon a r a in y d ay, bu t h e w as n ot a l a zy m an . B efo re yo u c a ll m e cra zy, th in k, w as h e a l a zy m an o r d id h e ju st d o t h in gs w e la b el “ la zy”? I’v e nev er s e e n a s tu pid k id ; I’v e se e n a k id w ho s o m etim es d id t h in gs I d id n’t u n dersta n d or t h in gs i n w ays I h ad n’t p la n n ed ; I’v e se e n a k id w ho h ad n’t s e e n th e sa m e pla ce s w here I h ad b ee n, b u t h e w as n ot a s tu pid k id . B efo re yo u c a ll h im s tu pid , th in k, w as h e a s tu pid k id o r d id h e ju st k n ow d iff ere n t t h in gs t h an y o u d id ? I’v e lo ok ed a s h ard a s I c a n l o ok b u t n ev er e v er s e e n a c o ok ; I s a w a p erso n w ho c o m bin ed in gre d ie n ts o n w hic h w e din ed , A p erso n w ho t u rn ed o n t h e hea t a n d w atc h ed t h e sto ve th at c o ok ed t h e m ea t— I s a w t h ose th in gs b u t n ot a c o ok . T ell m e, w hen y o u ’r e lo okin g, Is i t a c o ok y o u s e e or i s i t s o m eo n e doin g t h in gs t h at w e ca ll c o okin g? W hat s o m e of u s c a ll l a zy so m e ca ll t ir e d o r e a sy -g o in g, w hat s o m e of u s c a ll s tu pid s o m e ju st c a ll a d iff ere n t k n ow in g, so I ’v e co m e to t h e co n clu sio n , it w ill s a ve us a ll c o n fu sio n if w e don’t m ix u p w hat w e ca n s e e w it h w hat i s o u r o p in io n . B eca u se yo u m ay, I w an t t o s a y a ls o ; I k n ow t h at’s o n ly m y o p in io n . — Ruth B eb erm ey er W hile th e e ff ec ts o f n eg ativ e la b els s u ch a s “ la zy ” a n d “ s tu pid ” m ay b e m ore o bvio u s, e v en a p osit iv e o r a n a p p aren tly n eu tr a l la b el s u ch a s “ c o ok” li m it s o u r p erc e p tio n o f t h e t o ta li t y o f a n oth er p er so n’s b ei ng. e H ig h est F orm o f H um an I n te lli g en ce  e In dia n ph ilo so p h er J. K ris h n am urti on ce rem ark ed th at ob ser vin g w it h ou t e v alu atin g is th e h ig h est fo rm o f h u m an in te lli g en ce. W hen I rst re a d th is s ta te m en t, th e th ou gh t, “ W hat n on sen se! ” s h ot th ro u gh m y m in d befo re I re a li z e d th at I h ad ju st m ad e a n e v alu atio n . F or m ost o f u s, it is d iffi cu lt to m ak e o b se rv atio n s, es pecia lly o f p eo p le an d th ei r b eh av io r, th at a re f r e e o f j u dgm en t, c rit ic is m , o r o th er f o rm s o f a n aly sis . I beca m e acu te ly aw are of th is diffi cu lt y w hile w ork in g w it h an ele m en ta ry sc h ool w here th e sta ff an d prin cip al had o en rep orte d co m mun ic atio n d iffi cu lt ie s.  e d is tr ic t s u p er in ten den t h ad r e q u es te d t h at I h elp t h em r e so lv e t h e c o n ic t. F ir st I w as t o c o n fer w it h t h e sta ff , a n d t h en w it h t h e s ta ff a n d p rin cip al t o geth er . I o p en ed th e m eetin g b y a sk in g th e sta ff , “ W hat is th e prin cip al d oin g th at c o n ic ts w it h y o u r n eed s? ” “H e h as a b ig m ou th !” c a m e th e s w i r es pon se . M y q u es tio n c a lle d fo r an o b se rv atio n , b u t w hile “ b ig m ou th ” g av e me in fo rm atio n o n h ow th is t e a ch er e v alu ate d t h e p rin cip al, it fa ile d to d esc rib e what t h e prin cip al s a id o r d id t h at l e d t o t h e i n te rp re ta tio n t h at h e had a “ b ig m ou th .” W hen I p oin te d th is o u t, a se co n d te a ch er o ff ere d , “I k n ow w hat h e m ean s: th e p rin cip al ta lk s to o m uch !” I n ste a d o f a c le ar o b ser vatio n of th e prin cip al’s b eh av io r, t h is w as a ls o a n e v alu atio n — of h ow m uch t h e prin cip al ta lk ed . A t h ir d t e a ch er t h en d ecla re d , “ H e th in ks o n ly h e has a n yth in g w orth s a y in g.” I e x p la in ed t h at i n fe rrin g w hat a n oth er p er so n i s t h in kin g i s n ot t h e sa m e a s o b se rv in g h is b eh av io r. F in ally a f o u rth t e a ch er v en tu re d , “ H e w an ts to b e t h e c e n te r o f a tt e n tio n a ll t h e tim e.” A er I r em ark ed t h at t h is t o o w as an in fe re n ce — of w hat a n oth er p er so n is w an tin g— tw o te a ch er s b lu rte d in u n is o n , “ W ell, y o u r q u estio n i s v er y h ard t o a n sw er!” W e su bse q u en tly w ork ed to geth er to cre ate a li s t id en tif y in g sp ecifi c beh avio rs, o n th e p art o f th e p rin cip al, th at b oth er ed th em , a n d m ad e s u re th at th e li s t w as fr e e o f e v alu atio n . F or ex am ple , th e prin cip al to ld s to ries a b ou t h is c h ild hood a n d w ar e x p er ien ce s d u rin g fa cu lt y m eet in gs, w it h t h e re su lt t h at m eetin gs s o m etim es r a n t w en ty m in utes o ver tim e. W hen I a sk ed w heth er t h ey h ad e v er c o m mun ic ate d t h ei r a n noyan ce t o t h e prin cip al, t h e sta ff re p li e d th at th ey h ad tr ie d , b u t o n ly th ro u gh ev alu ativ e co m men ts . ey had nev er m ad e re fe re n ce to sp eci c beh av io rs — su ch as his s to ry te lli n g— an d th ey a g re ed to b rin g th es e up w hen w e wer e all to m eet to geth er. A lm ost a s so on a s th e m eetin g b eg an , I sa w w hat th e sta ff h ad b een te lli n g m e. N o m att e r w hat w as bei ng dis c u ss e d , th e prin cip al w ou ld i n te rje c t, “  is r e m in ds m e o f th e tim e … ” a n d th en la u n ch in to a s to ry a b ou t h is c h ild hood o r w ar e x p erien ce. I w ait e d fo r th e sta ff to v o ic e th ei r dis c o m fo rt a ro u n d t h e p rin cip al’s b eh av io r. H ow ev er , in ste a d o f N on vio len t Com mun ic atio n , th ey a p p li e d n on ver bal c o n dem natio n . S o m e r o lle d th ei r ey es; o th ers y aw ned p oin te d ly ; o n e sta re d a t h is w atc h . I e n du re d t h is p ain fu l s c e n ario u ntil n ally I a sk ed , “ Is n ’t a n yo n e go in g to sa y so m eth in g?” A n aw kw ard silen ce en su ed .  e te a ch er w ho h ad sp oken rst a t o u r m eetin g s c re w ed u p h is c o u ra g e, lo oked d ir e ctly a t th e prin cip al, a n d s a id , “ E d, y o u h av e a b ig m ou th .” A s th is s to ry illu str a te s, it ’s n ot a lw ay s e a sy to s h ed o u r o ld h ab it s a n d m aste r th e a b ili t y to s e p ara te o b ser vatio n fr o m e v alu atio n . E ven tu ally , th e te a ch ers s u cce ed ed i n c la rif y in g f o r t h e prin cip al t h e sp eci c a ctio n s t h at l e d to th eir c o n ce rn .  e p rin cip al li s ten ed e arn es tly a n d th en p res se d , “ W hy d id n’t o n e of yo u te ll m e befo re ?” H e ad m it t e d he was aw are of his s to ry te lli n g hab it , an d th en beg an a sto ry per ta in in g to th is hab it ! I in te rr u pte d h im , o b se rv in g ( g o od -n atu re d ly ) t h at h e was d oin g it a g ain . W e en ded o u r m eetin g b y d ev elo p in g w ay s fo r th e sta ff to let th ei r p rin cip al k n ow , i n a g en tle w ay, w hen h is s to ries w er en ’t a p pre cia te d . Dis tin gu is h in g O bse r v atio n s F ro m E va lu atio n s  e fo llo w in g ta b le dis tin gu is h es ob ser vatio n s th at are sep ara te fr o m ev alu atio n f r o m t h ose t h at h av e e v alu atio n m ix ed i n . C om mun ic a tio n E xam ple o f o b se r v atio n w it h e v a lu atio n m ix ed i n E xam ple o f o b se r v atio n s e p ara te f r o m e v a lu atio n 1. U se o f v erb to b e w it h ou t in dic atio n t h at t h e e v alu ato r ta k es r e sp on sib ili t y f o r t h e ev alu atio n Y ou a re t o o gen ero u s. W hen I s e e y o u g iv e a ll y o u r l u n ch m on ey t o o th ers , I t h in k y o u a re b ein g t o o g en ero u s. 2 . U se o f v erb s w it h e v alu ativ e co n nota tio n s D ou g pro cra stin ate s. D ou g o n ly s tu die s f o r ex am s t h e n ig h t b efo re . 3 . I m pli c atio n t h at o n e’s i n fe re n ce s a b ou t a n oth er p ers o n’s t h ou gh ts , f e eli n gs, i n te n tio n s, o r d esir e s a re t h e o n ly o n es p oss ib le S h e w on’t g et h er w ork i n . I d on’t t h in k s h e’l l g et h er w ork i n . o r S h e s a id , “ I w on’t g et m y work i n .” 4 . C on fu sio n o f p re d ic tio n w it h c e rta in ty I f y o u d on’t e at b ala n ce d m ea ls , y o u r h ea lt h w ill b e i m pair e d . If y o u d on’t e at b ala n ce d m ea ls , I f e ar y o u r h ea lt h m ay b e i m pair e d . 5. F ailu re t o b e s p eci c a b ou t re fe re n ts I m mig ra n ts d on’t t a k e c a re o f t h eir p ro p erty . I h av e n ot s e en t h e im mig ra n t f a m ily l i v in g at 1 679 R oss s h ovel t h e sn ow o n t h eir s id ew alk . 6. U se o f w ord s d en otin g a b ili t y w it h ou t i n dic atin g t h at a n e v alu atio n i s b ein g m ad e H an k S m it h i s a p oor s o cce r p la y er. H an k S m it h h as n ot sc o re d a g o al i n t w en ty g am es. 7 . U se o f a d verb s a n d a d je c tiv es in w ay s t h at d o n ot i n dic ate a n e v alu atio n h as b een m ad e Jim i s u gly . Jim ’s l o oks d on’t a p p ea l to m e. Note :  e w ord s a lw ays, n ev er, e v er, w hen ev er, e tc . e x p re ss o b se rv atio n s w hen u se d i n t h e f o llo w in g w ay s: W hen ev er I h av e o b se rv ed J a ck o n t h e ph on e, h e has s p oken f o r a t l e a st th ir ty m in ute s. I c a n not r e ca ll y o u r e v er w rit in g t o m e. S o m etim es su ch w ord s are use d as ex ag gera tio n s, in w hic h ca se o b se rv atio n s a n d e v alu atio n s a re b ei ng m ix ed : You a re a lw ay s b u sy . S h e i s n ev er t h ere w hen s h e’s n eed ed . W hen th ese w ord s are use d as ex ag gera tio n s, th ey o en pro vo ke d efe n siv en ess r a th er t h an c o m pass io n . W ord s li k e fr e q u en tly an d se ld om ca n als o co n tr ib u te to co n fu sin g ob se rv atio n w it h e v alu atio n . E va lu atio n s O bse r v atio n s You s e ld om d o w hat I w an t.  e l a st t h re e t im es I i n it ia te d a n a ctiv it y , y o u s a id y o u d id n’t w an t t o d o i t . H e f r e q u en tly c o m es o ver. H e c o m es o ver a t l e a st t h re e t im es a w eek . Su m mary  e rst co m pon en t o f N VC en ta ils th e sep ara tio n o f o b ser vatio n fr o m ev alu atio n . W hen w e c o m bin e o b ser vatio n w it h e v alu atio n , o th er s a re ap t t o h ear c rit ic is m a n d r e sis t w hat w e a re sa y in g. N VC i s a p ro ce ss la n gu ag e th at d is c o u ra g es sta tic gen era li z atio n s. In ste a d , ob ser vatio n s are to b e mad e sp eci c t o t im e a n d c o n te x t, f o r ex am ple , “ H an k S m it h h as n ot s c o re d a g o al in t w en ty g am es,” r a th er t h an “ H an k S m it h i s a p oor s o ccer p la y er.” N VC i n A ctio n “ e M ost A rro gan t S p ea k er W e’v e E ver H ad !”  is d ia lo gu e o cc u rre d d u rin g a w ork sh op I w as c o n du ctin g. A bou t h alf a n h ou r i n to m y p re se n ta tio n , I p au se d t o i n vit e re a ctio n s f r o m t h e partic ip an ts . O ne o f t h em r a is e d a h an d a n d d ecla re d , “ Y ou ’r e th e m ost a rro gan t s p ea k er w e’v e e v er h ad !” I h av e s e v era l o p tio n s o p en t o m e w hen p eo p le ad dres s m e t h is w ay. O ne o p tio n is to ta k e th e m ess a g e p er so n ally ; I k n ow I’m d oin g th is w hen I h av e a str o n g u rg e to e it h er g ro vel, d efen d m yse lf , o r m ak e ex cu se s. A noth er o p tio n (fo r w hic h I a m w ell- r e h ears e d ) is to a tt a ck th e o th er p ers o n fo r w hat I p erc e iv e as th ei r a tt a ck u p on m e. O n th is o cc a sio n , I c h ose a t h ir d o p tio n b y f o cu sin g o n w hat m ig h t b e go in g o n b eh in d t h e m an ’s s ta te m en t. M BR : ( g u essin g a t t h e ob se rv a tio n s b ein g m ad e) A re y o u r e a ctin g t o m y hav in g t a k en t h ir ty s tr a ig h t m in utes to p res en t m y v ie w s b ef ore g iv in g y o u a c h an ce t o t a lk ? P hil: N o, y o u m ak e i t s o u n d s o s im ple . M BR : ( tr y in g t o o b ta in f u rth er c la rifi ca tio n ) A re y o u r e a ctin g t o m y n ot h av in g s a id a n yth in g a b ou t h ow th e pro ce ss c a n b e diffi cu lt fo r so m e p eo p le t o a p p ly ? P hil: N o, n ot s o m e p eo p le — yo u ! M BR : S o y o u ’r e r e a ctin g t o m y n ot h av in g s a id t h at t h e pro ce ss c a n b e d iffi cu lt f o r m e a t t im es? P hil:  at’s r ig h t. MBR : A re y o u fe eli n g a n noyed b ecau se yo u w ou ld h av e li k ed so m e sig n f r o m m e t h at in dic ate d t h at I h av e so m e p ro blem s w it h t h e pro ce ss m yse lf ? P hil: ( a  er a m om en t’s p au se)  at’s r ig h t. M BR : ( fe eli n g m ore re la xed n ow th at I a m in to u ch w it h th e perso n’s f e eli n g an d need , I dir e ct m y atte n tio n to w hat he mig h t be re q u estin g o f m e) W ou ld y o u l i k e m e t o a d m it r ig h t n ow t h at t h is p ro ce ss c a n b e a s tr u gg le f o r m e t o a p p ly ? P hil: Y es. M BR : ( h avin g g o tte n c le a r o n h is o b se rv a tio n , fe eli n g, n eed , a n d r e q u est, I c h eck i n sid e m yse lf t o s e e if I a m w illi n g t o d o a s h e re q u ests ) Y es, th is p ro ce ss is o  en d iffi cu lt fo r m e. A s w e c o n tin u e wit h th e w ork sh op, yo u ’l l p ro b ab ly h ear m e d esc rib e se v er al in cid en ts w here I’v e str u gg le d … o r c o m plet ely lo st to u ch … w it h th is p ro ce ss , t h is c o n sc io u sn ess , t h at I a m p res en tin g h er e to y o u . B ut w hat k eep s m e i n t h e s tr u gg le a re th e clo se co n nectio n s t o o th er p eo p le t h at h ap p en w hen I d o s ta y w it h t h e pro ce ss . Exerc is e 1 O BSE R VA T IO N O R E V A LU AT IO N? To d ete rm in e yo u r pro cie n cy at d is c e rn in g bet ween ob ser vatio n s an d ev alu atio n s, c o m ple te th e fo llo w in g ex ercis e . C ir c le th e nu m ber in fr o n t o f ea ch s ta te m en t t h at i s a n o b se rv atio n o n ly , w it h n o e v alu atio n m ix ed i n . 1. “ Jo h n w as a n gry w it h m e y este rd ay f o r n o r e a so n .” 2. “ Y este rd ay e v en in g N an cy b it h er n gern ails w hile w atc h in g t e le v is io n .” 3. “ S am d id n’t a sk f o r m y o p in io n d u rin g t h e m eet in g.” 4. “ M y f a th er i s a g o od m an .” 5. “ Ja n ic e w ork s t o o m uch .” 6. “ H en ry i s a g gre ss iv e.” 7. “ P am w as rst i n l i n e e v ery d ay t h is w eek .” 8. “ M y s o n o  en d oesn ’t b ru sh h is t e et h.” 9. “ L u ke t o ld m e I d id n’t l o ok g o od i n y ello w .” 1 0 . “ M y a u nt c o m pla in s w hen I t a lk w it h h er .” H ere are m y r e sp on se s f o r E xerc is e 1: 1. I f y o u c ir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e not in a g re em ent. I c o n sid er “ fo r n o re a so n” t o b e a n e v alu atio n . F u rth er m ore , I c o n sid er i t a n e v alu atio n t o in fe r t h at J o h n w as a n gry. H e m ig h t h av e been f e eli n g h u rt, s c a re d , s a d , or s o m eth in g e ls e . E xam ple s o f o b ser vatio n s w it h ou t e v alu atio n m ig h t b e: “ Jo h n t o ld m e h e w as a n gry,” o r “ Jo h n p ou n ded h is st o n t h e ta b le .” 2. I f y o u c ir c le d t h is n u m ber, w e’r e in a g re em ent t h at a n o b ser vatio n w as ex p re ss e d w it h ou t b ein g m ix ed t o geth er w it h a n e v alu atio n . 3. I f y o u c ir c le d t h is n u m ber, w e’r e in a g re em ent t h at a n o b ser vatio n w as ex p re ss e d w it h ou t b ein g m ix ed t o geth er w it h a n e v alu atio n . 4. I f y o u c ir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e not in a g re em ent. I c o n sid er “g o od m an ” t o b e a n e v alu atio n . A n o b ser vatio n w it h ou t e v alu atio n m ig h t b e: “F or th e la st tw en ty – ve y ears , m y fa th er h as g iv en o n e- ten th o f h is s a la ry t o c h arit y .” 5. I f y o u cir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e not in ag re em ent. I co n sid er “to o m uch ” to b e a n e v alu atio n . A n o b ser vatio n w it h ou t e v alu atio n m ig h t b e: “ Ja n ic e s p en t m ore t h an s ix ty h ou rs a t t h e offi ce t h is w eek .” 6. I f yo u cir c le d th is nu m ber, w e’r e not in ag re em ent. I co n sid er “a g gre ss iv e” to b e an ev alu atio n . A n o b ser vatio n w it h ou t ev alu atio n m ig h t be: “H en ry hit his sis ter w hen sh e sw it c h ed th e te le v is io n ch an nel.” 7. I f y o u c ir c le d t h is n u m ber, w e’r e in a g re em ent t h at a n o b ser vatio n w as ex p re ss e d w it h ou t b ein g m ix ed t o geth er w it h a n e v alu atio n . 8. I f y o u c ir c le d t h is n u m ber, w e’r e not i n a g re em ent. I c o n sid er “ o  en ” t o b e a n e v alu atio n . A n o b se rv atio n w it h ou t e v alu atio n m ig h t b e: “ T w ic e th is w eek m y s o n d id n’t b ru sh h is t e et h b ef ore go in g t o b ed .” 9. I f y o u c ir c le d t h is n u m ber, w e’r e in a g re em ent t h at a n o b ser vatio n w as ex p re ss e d w it h ou t b ein g m ix ed t o geth er w it h a n e v alu atio n . 10 . I f yo u cir c le d th is nu m ber, w e’r e not in ag re em ent. I co n sid er “c o m pla in s” to b e a n e v alu atio n . A n o b ser vatio n w it h ou t e v alu atio n m ig h t b e: “M y a u nt c a lle d m e th re e tim es th is w eek , a n d e a ch tim e ta lk ed a b ou t p eo p le w ho t r e ate d h er i n w ay s s h e did n’t l i k e.”   e M ask A lw ays a m ask H eld i n t h e sli m h an d w hit e ly A lw ays s h e had a m ask b efo re her fa ce— T ru ly t h e w ris t H old in g i t l i g h tly F it te d t h e ta sk : S om etim es h ow ev er W as t h ere a s h iv er, F in gertip q u iv er, E ver s o s li g h tly — H old in g t h e m ask ? F or y ea rs a n d y ea rs a n d y ea rs I w on dere d B ut d are d n ot a sk A nd t h en — I b lu n dere d , L ook ed b eh in d t h e m ask , T o fi n d N oth in g— S h e had n o f a ce . S h e had b eco m e M ere ly a h an d H old in g a m ask W it h g ra ce . — Auth or u n kn ow n T 4 Id en tif y in g a n d E xp re ssin g F eeli n gs h e rst c o m pon en t o f N VC i s t o o b ser ve w it h ou t e v alu atin g; t h e se co n d co m pon en t is to e x p re ss h ow w e a re fe eli n g. P sy ch oan aly st R ollo M ay su ggests th at “ th e m atu re p ers o n b eco m es a b le to d iff er en tia te fe eli n gs in to a s m an y nu an ce s, str o n g an d pass io n ate ex per ien ce s, or deli c ate an d se n sit iv e o n es a s i n t h e d iff ere n t p ass a g es o f m usic i n a s y m ph on y.” F or m an y of u s, h ow ev er, o u r f e eli n gs a re , a s M ay w ou ld d es crib e it , “ li m it e d l i k e notes in a b u gle c a ll.” e H ea v y C ost o f U nex p re ss e d F eeli n gs O ur re p erto ir e o f w ord s fo r c a lli n g p eo p le nam es is o  en la rg er th an o u r vo ca b u la ry o f w ord s t o c le arly d es crib e ou r e m otio n al s ta te s. I w en t t h ro u gh tw en ty -o n e y ears o f A m eric a n sc h ools a n d c a n ’t re ca ll a n yo n e in a ll th at tim e ev er ask in g m e how I fe lt . Feeli n gs w er e sim ply not co n sid er ed im porta n t. W hat w as v alu ed w as “th e rig h t w ay to th in k”— as d e ned b y th ose w ho h eld p osit io n s o f r a n k a n d a u th orit y . W e a re tr a in ed t o b e “o th er – dir e c te d ” r a th er t h an t o b e in c o n ta ct w it h o u rs e lv es . W e le arn t o b e “u p in o u r h ea d ,” w on derin g, “ W hat i s i t t h at o th er s t h in k i s r ig h t f o r m e to s a y a n d do?” A n in te ra ctio n I h ad w it h a te a ch er w hen I w as a b ou t n in e years o ld d em on str a te s h ow a li e n atio n f r o m o u r f e eli n gs c a n b eg in . I o n ce hid m yse lf i n a c la ss ro om a  er s c h ool b ecau se so m e b oys w er e wait in g o u ts id e to b eat m e u p. A te a ch er sp ott e d m e a n d a sk ed m e to le av e th e sc h ool. W hen I e x p la in ed I w as a fr a id t o g o , s h e d ecla re d , “ B ig b oys d on’t g et f r ig h ten ed .” A f e w y ears la te r I r e ce iv ed f u rth er r ei nfo rc e m en t t h ro u gh m y p artic ip atio n i n a th le tic s. I t w as t y p ic a l f o r c o ach es t o v alu e ath let es w illi n g t o “ g iv e th ei r a ll” a n d c o n tin u e p la y in g n o m att e r h ow m uch p hysic a l p ain th ey w er e in . I le arn ed th e le ss o n so w ell I o n ce co n tin u ed p la y in g b ase b all fo r a m on th w it h a n u ntr e ate d b ro ken w ris t. A t a n N VC w ork sh op, a c o lle g e s tu den t s p oke ab ou t b ei ng k ep t a w ak e by a r o om mate w ho p la y ed t h e s te re o la te at n ig h t a n d lo u d ly . W hen a sk ed to e x p re ss w hat h e fe lt w hen th is h ap p en ed , th e stu den t r ep li e d , “ I fe el th at it i s n ’t rig h t to p la y m usic so lo u d at n ig h t.” I p oin te d o u t th at w hen h e fo llo w ed t h e w ord fe el w it h t h e w ord th at, h e w as e x p re ss in g a n o p in io n b u t n ot re v ea li n g h is fe eli n gs. A sk ed to tr y ag ain to ex pres s h is fe eli n gs, h e re sp on ded , “I fe el, w hen p eo p le do so m eth in g li k e th at, it ’s a p er so n ali t y d is tu rb an ce.” I e x p la in ed t h at t h is w as s till a n o p in io n r a th er t h an a f e eli n g. H e p au se d th ou gh tfu lly , a n d th en a n nou n ce d w it h v eh em ence, “ I h av e no fe eli n gs a b ou t i t w hats o ev er!”  is stu den t obvio u sly h ad str o n g fe eli n gs. U nfo rtu n ate ly , h e did n’t k n ow h ow to b eco m e a w are o f h is fe eli n gs, let a lo n e e x p res s th em .  is d iffi cu lt y in id en tif y in g an d ex p res sin g fe eli n gs is co m mon , an d in m y ex p erie n ce, e sp ecia lly s o a m on g l a w yer s, en gin eer s, p oli c e o ffi ce rs , c o rp ora te man ag ers , a n d c a re er m ili t a ry p er so n nel— peo p le whose pro fe ss io n al c o d es dis c o u ra g e t h em f r o m m an if e stin g em otio n s. F or fa m ili es , t h e to ll is s e v er e when m em bers a re u n ab le t o c o m mun ic ate em otio n s. C ou ntr y s in ger R eb a M cE ntir e w ro te a s o n g a  er h er fa th er ’s d eath , a n d tit le d it “  e Gre ates t M an I N ev er K new .” I n s o d oin g, s h e un dou bte d ly ex pres se d t h e sen tim en ts o f m an y p eo p le w ho w ere n ev er a b le to e sta b li s h t h e em otio n al c o n nectio n th ey w ou ld h av e l i k ed w it h t h eir f a th er s. I r e g u la rly h ear s ta te m en ts li k e, “ I w ou ld n’t w an t y o u to g et th e wro n g id ea — I’m m arr ie d to a w on derfu l m an — bu t I n ev er kn ow w hat h e is f e eli n g.” O ne su ch d is s a tis ed w om an b ro u gh t h er sp ou se to a w ork sh op, d u rin g w hic h s h e to ld h im , “ I fe el li k e I ’m marrie d to a w all.”  e h u sb an d th en did an ex celle n t im it a tio n of a w all: he sa t m ute an d im mobile . E xasp era te d , s h e t u rn ed t o m e a n d e x cla im ed , “ S ee!  is i s w hat h ap p en s a ll t h e t im e. H e s it s a n d s a y s n oth in g. I t’s j u st l i k e l i v in g w it h a w all.” “ It s o u n ds t o m e l i k e y o u a re f e eli n g l o n ely a n d w an tin g m ore em otio n al co n ta ct w it h y o u r h u sb an d,” I r e sp on ded . W hen s h e ag re ed , I t r ie d t o s h ow h ow sta te m en ts su ch a s “ I fe el li k e I’m li v in g w it h a w all” a re un li k ely to b rin g h er fe eli n gs a n d d esir e s to h er h u sb an d’s a tt en tio n . In fa ct, th ey a re m ore li k ely to b e h eard a s c rit ic is m t h an a s in vit a tio n s to c o n nect w it h o u r fe eli n gs. Fu rth erm ore , su ch sta te m en ts o en le a d to se lf – fu l lli n g pro p h ecie s. A h u sb an d, fo r e x am ple , h ears h im se lf c rit ic iz e d fo r b eh av in g li k e a w all; he is hu rt an d dis c o u ra g ed an d does n’t res pon d, th er eb y co n rm in g h is w if e ’s i m ag e o f h im a s a w all.  e b en e ts o f str e n gth en in g o u r fe eli n gs v o ca b u la ry a re ev id en t n ot on ly in in tim ate r e la tio n sh ip s b u t a ls o in t h e pro fe ss io n al w orld . I w as o n ce h ir e d to co n su lt w it h m em bers o f a te ch n olo gic a l d ep artm en t o f a la rg e Sw is s c o rp ora tio n ; t h ey w ere t r o u ble d b y t h e dis c o ver y t h at w ork er s i n o th er dep artm en ts w ere av o id in g th em . W hen ask ed , em plo yees fr o m oth er dep artm en ts r e sp on ded , “ W e h ate go in g t h er e to c o n su lt w it h t h ose peo p le . It’s li k e t a lk in g to a b u n ch o f m ach in es !”  e pro blem a b ate d w hen I s p en t tim e w it h t h e m em bers o f t h e t e ch n olo gic a l d ep artm en t, e n co u ra g in g t h em to ex p re ss m ore o f th eir h u m an nes s in th ei r co m mun ic atio n s w it h co – w ork ers . In a n oth er in sta n ce, I w as w ork in g w it h h osp it a l a d m in is tr a to rs w ho w ere a n xio u s a b ou t a fo rth co m in g m eetin g w it h th e hosp it a l’s p hysic ia n s.  e a d m in is tr a to rs w ere e a g er t o h av e m e dem on str a te h ow t h ey m ig h t u se NVC w hen a p pro ach in g th e p hysic ia n s fo r su pp ort fo r a p ro je ct th at h ad o n ly r e ce n tly b een t u rn ed d ow n b y a v o te of 1 7 t o 1 . A ssu m in g th e vo ic e o f an ad m in is tr a to r in a ro le- pla y in g ses sio n , I o p en ed w it h , “ I’m f e eli n g f r ig h te n ed t o b e brin gin g u p t h is is su e.” I c h ose to s ta rt th is w ay b ecau se I s e n se d h ow fr ig h ten ed th e ad m in is tr a to rs w er e as th ey p re p are d t o c o n fr o n t t h e p hysic ia n s o n th is t o p ic a g ain . B efo re I c o u ld c o n tin u e, o n e o f th e a d m in is tr a to rs sto p p ed m e to p ro tes t, “Y ou ’r e bei ng un re a li s tic ! W e c o u ld n ev er t e ll t h e physic ia n s t h at w e w er e fr ig h ten ed .” W hen I a sk ed w hy a n a d m is s io n o f f e ar s e em ed s o i m poss ib le , h e rep li e d w it h ou t h esit a tio n , “ If w e a d m it t e d w e’r e fr ig h ten ed , th en th ey w ou ld ju st p ic k u s t o p ie ce s!” H is a n sw er d id n’t s u rp ris e m e; I h av e o en h eard p eo p le s a y th ey c a n not im ag in e e v er ex pres sin g fe eli n gs a t th ei r w ork p la ce. I w as p le a se d to le arn , h ow ev er, t h at o n e of t h e ad m in is tr a to rs d id d ecid e to r is k e x p re ss in g h is v u ln era b ili t y at th e dre a d ed m eetin g. D ep artin g fr o m h is c u sto m ary m an ner o f a p p earin g s tr ic tly lo gic a l, r a tio n al, a n d u n em otio n al, h e ch ose to sta te h is fe eli n gs to geth er w it h h is re a so n s fo r w an tin g th e physic ia n s to ch an ge th eir posit io n . H e notic e d how diff er en tly th e physic ia n s r e sp on ded t o h im . I n t h e en d h e was a m aze d a n d r e li e v ed w hen , in ste a d o f “p ic k in g h im to p ie ces ,” th e physic ia n s re v er se d th ei r p re v io u s p osit io n a n d v o te d 1 7 to 1 to su pp ort th e pro je ct in ste a d .  is d ra m atic t u rn -a ro u n d h elp ed th e a d m in is tr a to rs r e a li z e a n d a p pre cia te th e poten tia l im pact o f e x p re ss in g v u ln era b ili t y — ev en i n t h e w ork p la ce. E xp re ssin g o u r v u ln era b ili t y c a n h elp r e so lv e c o n fl ic ts . F in ally , le t m e sh are a p ers o n al in cid en t th at ta u gh t m e th e eff ects o f h id in g o u r f e eli n gs. I w as t e a ch in g a c o u rs e in N VC t o a g ro u p o f in ner c it y s tu den ts . W hen I w alk ed in to t h e ro om t h e rst d ay, t h e stu den ts , w ho h ad b een e n jo yin g a li v ely c o n vers a tio n w it h e a ch o th er , b eca m e qu iet . “G ood m orn in g!” I g re ete d . S ile n ce. I fe lt v er y u n co m fo rta b le , b u t w as a fr a id to e x p re ss it . In ste a d , I p ro ce ed ed in m y m ost p ro fe ss io n al m an ner : “ F or th is c la ss , w e w ill b e s tu dyin g a p ro ce ss o f c o m mun ic atio n th at I h op e yo u w ill n d h elp fu l i n y o u r r e la tio n sh ip s a t h om e a n d w it h y o u r f r ien ds.” I c o n tin u ed t o p re se n t i n fo rm atio n a b ou t N VC, b u t n o o n e s e em ed t o b e li s te n in g. O ne g ir l, r u m mag in g t h ro u gh h er b ag , sh ed o u t a le an d b eg an vig o ro u sly li n g h er n ails . S tu den ts n ear th e win dow s g lu ed th ei r fa ces to t h e p an es a s if fa sc in ate d b y w hat w as g o in g o n in th e str e et b elo w . I fe lt i n cre a sin gly m ore u n co m fo rta b le , y et co n tin u ed to sa y n oth in g ab ou t it . F in ally , a stu den t w ho h ad c e rta in ly m ore c o u ra g e t h an I w as d em on str a tin g, p ip ed u p, “ Y ou ju st h ate b ein g w it h b la ck p eo p le , d on’t y o u ?” I w as s tu n ned , yet im med ia te ly r e a li z e d h ow I h ad c o n tr ib u te d t o t h is s tu den t’s p er cep tio n by t r y in g t o h id e m y d is c o m fo rt. “ I a m fe eli n g n erv o u s,” I a d m it t e d , “ b u t n ot b ecau se yo u a re bla ck . M y fe eli n gs h av e to d o w it h m y n ot k n ow in g a n yo n e her e an d w an tin g to b e acce p te d w hen I c a m e in th e r o om .” M y ex pres sio n o f v u ln er ab ili t y h ad a p ro n ou n ce d e ff ec t o n t h e s tu den ts .  ey s ta rte d to a sk q u es tio n s a b ou t m e, to t e ll m e t h in gs a b ou t t h em se lv es, a n d t o ex pres s c u rio sit y a b ou t N VC. Feeli n gs v ersu s N on -F eeli n gs A c o m mon c o n fu sio n , g en era te d b y t h e Engli s h la n gu ag e, is o u r u se of t h e w ord fe el w it h ou t a ctu ally e x p re ss in g a f e eli n g. F or ex am ple , i n t h e sen ten ce, “I fe el I d id n’t g et a fa ir d ea l,” th e word s I fe el c o u ld b e m ore a cc u ra te ly r e p la ce d w it h I th in k. In g en era l, fe eli n gs a re n ot b ein g c le arly ex pres se d w hen t h e w ord fe el i s f o llo w ed b y: 1. W ord s s u ch a s th at, l i k e, a s i f : “ I f e el t h at y o u s h ou ld k n ow b ett e r.” “ I f e el li k e a f a ilu re .” “ I f e el a s i f I ’m l i v in g w it h a w all.” 2.  e p ro n ou n s I , y o u , h e, s h e, t h ey, i t : “ I f e el I a m c o n sta n tly o n c a ll.” “ I f e el i t i s u se le ss .” 3. N am es o r n ou n s r e fe rrin g t o p eo p le: “ I f e el A m y h as b een p re tt y r e sp on sib le .” “ I f e el m y b oss i s b ein g m an ip u la tiv e.” D is tin gu is h f e eli n gs f r o m t h ou gh ts . C on vers e ly , in t h e E ngli s h la n gu ag e, it is n ot n ece ss a ry to u se th e word fe el a t a ll w hen w e a re a ctu ally e x p res sin g a fe eli n g: w e c a n s a y, “ I’m fe eli n g ir rit a te d ,” o r s im ply , “ I’m i r rit a te d .” D is tin gu is h b etw een w hat w e f e el a n d w hat w e t h in k w e are . In N VC, w e d is tin gu is h b etw een w ord s th at ex pres s a ctu al fe eli n gs a n d th ose t h at d esc rib e w hat w e th in k w e are . 1. D esc rip tio n o f w hat w e th in k w e are : “I fe el i n ad eq u ate as a g u it a r p la y er.” In t h is s ta te m en t, I a m a ss e ss in g m y a b ili t y a s a g u it a r p la y er, r a th er th an c le arly e x p re ss in g m y f e eli n gs. 2. E xp re ss io n s o f a ctu al f e eli n gs: “ I f e el d is a pp oin te d i n m yse lf a s a g u it a r p la y er.” “ I f e el i m patie n t w it h m yse lf a s a g u it a r p la y er.” “ I f e el f r u str a te d w it h m yse lf a s a g u it a r p la y er.”  e actu al fe eli n g b eh in d m y ass es sm en t o f m yse lf as “in ad eq u ate ” c o u ld th ere fo re b e d is a p p oin tm en t, im patien ce, fr u str a tio n , o r so m e oth er e m otio n . Lik ew is e , it is h elp fu l to d iff ere n tia te b et ween w ord s t h at d esc rib e what w e t h in k o th ers a re d oin g a ro u n d u s, a n d w ord s t h at d es crib e actu al f e eli n gs.  e fo llo w in g are ex am ple s of sta te m en ts th at are ea sily m is ta k en as ex p re ss io n s o f fe eli n gs: in fa ct th ey re v ea l m ore h ow w e th in k o th ers a re b eh avin g t h an w hat w e a re a ctu ally f e eli n g o u rs e lv es . D is tin gu is h b etw een w hat w e fe el an d h ow w e th in k oth ers r e a ct o r b eh av e t o w ard u s. 1. “ I f e el u nim porta n t t o t h e p eo p le w it h w hom I w ork .”  e w ord unim porta n t d esc rib es h ow I t h in k o th ers a re ev alu atin g m e, ra th er th an a n a ctu al fe eli n g, w hic h in th is s it u atio n m ig h t b e “I fe el sa d” o r “ I f e el d is c o u ra ged .” 2. “ I f e el m is u n dersto od .” H ere th e w ord m is u n dersto od in dic ate s m y ass e ss m en t o f th e o th er p ers o n’s le v el o f u n dersta n din g ra th er th an a n a ctu al fe eli n g. In th is s it u atio n , I m ay b e f e eli n g a n xio u s o r a n n oyed o r s o m e o th er e m otio n . 3. 3 . “ I f e el i g n ore d .” A gain , t h is is m ore o f a n in te rp ret atio n o f t h e actio n s o f o th er s t h an a c le ar s ta te m en t o f h ow w e a re f e eli n g. N o d ou bt t h er e hav e been t im es we th ou gh t w e w ere b ein g ig n ore d a n d o u r fe eli n g w as re li e f, b ecau se w e w an te d to b e le  to o u rs e lv es. N o d ou bt th er e were oth er tim es, how ev er, w hen w e fe lt h u rt w hen w e th ou gh t w e w ere b ein g ig n ore d , becau se w e h ad w an te d t o b e i n vo lv ed . Word s li k e ig n ore d e x p re ss h ow w e in te rp re t o th ers, r a th er th an h ow w e fe el. H ere i s a s a m pli n g o f s u ch w ord s: a b an don ed a b u se d att a ck ed b etr a y ed b oxed -in b u lli e d ch eate d co erc e d co -o p te d co rn ere d d im in is h ed d is tr u ste d in te rr u pte d in tim id ate d le t d ow n m an ip u la te d m is u n dersto od n eg le c te d o verw ork ed p atr o n iz e d p re ssu re d p ro vo ked p u t d ow n re je c te d ta k en f o r g ra n te d th re ate n ed u n ap pre cia te d u n heard u n se en u n su pp orte d u nw an te d u se d Build in g a V oca b u la ry f o r F eeli n gs In ex p re ss in g ou r fe eli n gs, it help s to use word s th at ref er to sp eci c em otio n s, r a th er th an w ord s th at a re vag u e or g en er al. F or ex am ple , if w e sa y, “I fe el g o od ab ou t th at,” th e word go od co u ld m ean h ap py, ex cit e d , re li e v ed , o r a n u m ber o f o th er em otio n s. W ord s su ch as g o od an d ba d p re v en t t h e li s te n er f r o m c o n nec tin g e a sily w it h w hat w e m ig h t a ctu ally b e fe eli n g.  e f o llo w in g li s ts h av e b een c o m pile d t o h elp y o u in cre a se yo u r p ow er to a rtic u la te f e eli n gs a n d c le arly d es crib e a w hole ra n ge o f em otio n al s ta tes . How w e a re l i k ely t o f e el w hen o u r n eed s a re b ein g m et a b so rb ed a d ven tu ro u s aff ec tio n ate a le rt a li v e am aze d a m use d a n im ate d ap pre cia tiv e ard en t aro u se d a sto n is h ed b li s s fu l bre ath le ss b u oyan t ca lm c a re fr e e ch eerfu l co m fo rta b le c o m pla ce n t co m pose d co n ce rn ed co n den t co n te n te d co ol cu rio u s d azzle d d eli g h te d e a g er eb u lli e n t ecsta tic e ff erv esc e n t ela te d en ch an te d en co u ra g ed en erg etic e n gro ss e d en li v en ed en th u sia stic e x cit e d ex h ila ra te d ex p an siv e ex p ec ta n t ex u lt a n t fa sc in ate d fr e e fr ie n dly f u l lle d g la d g le efu l glo rio u s glo w in g go od -h u m ore d g ra te fu l gra ti ed h ap py h elp fu l hop efu l in qu is it iv e in sp ir e d in te n se in te re ste d in tr ig u ed in vig o ra te d in vo lv ed jo yo u s, j o yfu l ju bila n t key ed -u p lo vin g m ello w m err y m ir th fu l m oved o p tim is tic o verjo yed o verw helm ed p ea ce fu l perk y p le a sa n t ple a se d p ro u d qu ie t ra d ia n t ra p tu ro u s re fr e sh ed re la x ed re li e v ed sa tis ed se c u re s e n sit iv e se re n e sp ellb ou n d sp le n did s tim ula te d su rp ris e d te n der th an kfu l th rille d to u ch ed tr a n qu il t r u stin g upbeat w arm w id e-a w ak e w on derfu l ze stfu l H ow w e a re l i k ely t o f e el w hen o u r n eed s a re n ot b ein g m et a fr a id a g gra v ate d a g it a te d a la rm ed a lo of an gry a n gu is h ed a n noyed a n xio u s ap ath etic a p pre h en siv e aro u se d a sh am ed b eat b ew ild ere d b it t e r b la h b lu e b ore d b ro ken hearte d ch ag rin ed co ld c o n ce rn ed co n fu se d co ol cro ss deje c te d d ep re ss e d d esp air in g desp on den t d eta ch ed d is a ff ec te d d is a p p oin te d d is c o u ra g ed d is e n ch an te d d is g ru ntle d d is g u ste d d is h earte n ed d is m ay ed d is p le a se d d is q u ie te d d is tr e ss e d d is tu rb ed d ow nca st d ow nhearte d d u ll e d gy em barra ss e d em bit t e re d ex asp era te d ex h au ste d fa tig u ed fe arfu l dgety fo rlo rn fr ig h te n ed fr u str a te d fu rio u s glo om y gu ilt y h arrie d h eav y help le ss h esit a n t h orrib le h orri ed h ostile h ot h u m dru m hu rt im patie n t in diff ere n t in te n se ir a te ir k ed ir rit a te d je a lo u s jit t e ry k ey ed -u p la zy le ery le th arg ic li s tle ss lo n ely m ad m ean m is e ra b le m op ey m oro se m ou rn fu l n erv o u s n ett le d n u m b overw helm ed p an ic k y p ass iv e p erp le x ed p ess im is tic pu zzle d ra n co ro u s re lu cta n t re p elle d re se n tfu l re stle ss s a d sc a re d se n sit iv e sh ak y sh ock ed sk ep tic a l sle ep y so rro w fu l so rr y sp ir it le ss sta rtle d su rp ris e d su sp ic io u s te p id t e rri ed tir e d tr o u ble d u n co m fo rta b le u n co n ce rn ed u n ea sy u n glu ed u n hap py u n nerv ed u n ste a d y up se t u ptig h t vex ed w eary w is tfu l w it h dra w n woefu l w orrie d w re tc h ed Su m mary  e se co n d co m pon en t n ece ss a ry fo r ex pres sin g o u rs e lv es is fe eli n gs. B y dev elo p in g a v o ca b u la ry o f fe eli n gs t h at a llo w s u s t o c le arly a n d s p eci ca lly n am e or id en tif y ou r em otio n s, w e ca n co n nect m ore ea sily w it h on e an oth er. A llo w in g o u rs e lv es t o b e vu ln er ab le by ex pres sin g o u r fe eli n gs c a n h elp re so lv e c o n ic ts . N VC d is tin gu is h es th e ex pres sio n o f a ctu al fe eli n gs fr o m w ord s an d sta te m en ts th at des crib e th ou gh ts , ass es sm en ts , an d in te rp re ta tio n s. Exerc is e 2 E X PR ESSIN G F E ELIN GS If yo u w ou ld li k e to se e w heth er w e’r e in ag re em ent ab ou t th e ver bal ex p re ss io n o f fe eli n gs, c ir c le th e n u m ber in fr o n t o f e a ch o f th e fo llo w in g sta te m en ts i n w hic h f e eli n gs a re v er bally ex pres se d . 1. “ I f e el y o u d on’t l o ve m e.” 2. “ I’m s a d t h at y o u ’r e l e av in g.” 3. “ I f e el s c a re d w hen y o u s a y t h at.” 4. “ W hen y o u d on’t g re et m e, I f e el n eg le cte d .” 5. “ I’m h ap py t h at y o u c a n c o m e.” 6. “ Y ou ’r e d is g u stin g.” 7. “ I f e el l i k e h it t in g y o u .” 8. “ I f e el m is u n dersto od .” 9. “ I f e el g o od a b ou t w hat y o u d id f o r m e.” 1 0 . “ I’m w orth le ss .” H ere are m y r e sp on se s f o r E xerc is e 2: 1. I f y o u c ir c le d t h is n u m ber, w e’r e n ot i n a g re em ent. I d on’t c o n sid er “ y o u d on’t lo ve m e” to b e a fe eli n g. T o m e, it ex pres ses w hat th e sp ea k er th in ks th e o th er p ers o n is fe eli n g, ra th er th an h ow th e sp ea k er is f e eli n g. W hen ev er t h e w ord s I f e el a re f o llo w ed b y t h e w ord s I , y o u , h e, sh e, t h ey, it , th at, li k e, o r a s if, w hat fo llo w s is g en era lly n ot w hat I w ou ld c o n sid er to b e a fe eli n g. A n ex pres sio n o f fe eli n g in th is c a se m ig h t b e: “ I’m s a d ,” o r “ I’m f e eli n g a n gu is h ed .” 2. I f yo u cir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e in ag re em ent th at a fe eli n g w as v erb ally e x p re ss e d . 3. I f yo u cir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e in ag re em ent th at a fe eli n g w as v erb ally e x p re ss e d . 4. I f y o u c ir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e not in a g re em ent. I d on’t c o n sid er “n eg le c te d ” t o b e a f e eli n g. T o m e, it ex pres ses w hat t h e sp ea k er t h in ks th e o th er p ers o n i s d oin g t o h im o r h er . A n e x p res sio n o f f e eli n g m ig h t b e: “ W hen y o u d on’t g re et m e a t t h e door, I f e el l o n ely .” 5. I f yo u cir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e in ag re em ent th at a fe eli n g w as v erb ally e x p re ss e d . 6. I f y o u c ir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e not in a g re em ent. I d on’t c o n sid er “d is g u stin g” t o b e a f e eli n g. T o m e, it ex pres ses h ow t h e sp ea k er t h in ks ab ou t th e o th er p ers o n , ra th er th an h ow th e sp ea k er is fe eli n g. A n ex p re ss io n o f f e eli n g m ig h t b e: “ I f e el d is g u ste d .” 7. I f y o u c ir c le d t h is n u m ber, w e’r e n ot i n a g re em ent. I d on’t c o n sid er “ li k e h it t in g yo u ” to b e a fe eli n g. T o m e, it ex pres ses w hat th e sp ea k er im ag in es d oin g, r a th er th an h ow th e sp ea k er is fe eli n g. A n ex pres sio n o f f e eli n g m ig h t b e: “ I a m f u rio u s a t y o u .” 8. I f y o u c ir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e not in a g re em ent. I d on’t c o n sid er “m is u n dersto od” to b e a fe eli n g. T o m e, it ex pres ses w hat th e sp ea k er th in ks th e o th er p ers o n is d oin g. A n ex pres sio n o f fe eli n g in th is c a se m ig h t b e: “ I f e el f r u str a te d ,” o r “ I f e el d is c o u ra g ed .” 9. I f yo u cir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e in ag re em ent th at a fe eli n g w as v erb ally ex p re ss e d . H ow ev er, th e w ord go od is v ag u e w hen u se d to c o n vey a fe eli n g. W e c a n u su ally e x p res s o u r fe eli n gs m ore cle arly b y u sin g o th er w ord s, f o r e x am ple : r e li e v ed , g ra tifi ed , o r e n co u ra ged . 10 . I f y o u c ir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e not in a g re em ent. I d on’t c o n sid er “w orth le ss” t o b e a fe eli n g. T o m e, it e x p res ses h ow t h e sp ea k er t h in ks ab ou t h im se lf o r h ers e lf , ra th er th an h ow th e sp ea k er is fe eli n g. A n ex p re ss io n o f fe eli n g in th is c a se m ig h t b e: “ I fe el s k ep tic a l a b ou t m y ow n t a le n ts ,” o r “ I f e el w re tc h ed .” 5 Takin g R esp on sib ili t y f o r O ur F eeli n gs P eo p le are dis tu rb ed n ot b y t h in gs, b u t b y t h e vie w t h ey t a ke of t h em . —Epic te tu s T Hea rin g a N eg ativ e M ess a g e: F ou r O ptio n s he t h ir d c o m pon en t o f N VC e n ta ils t h e ack n ow le d gm en t o f t h e ro ot o f o u r f e eli n gs. N VC h eig h te n s o u r a w aren ess t h at w hat o th er s s a y a n d d o m ay b e th e stim ulu s, b u t n ev er th e ca u se , o f o u r fe eli n gs. W e s e e th at o u r fe eli n gs r e su lt f r o m h ow w e ch oose t o r e ce iv e w hat o th ers s a y a n d d o, a s w ell a s fr o m o u r p artic u la r n eed s a n d ex pecta tio n s in th at m om en t. W it h th is t h ir d co m pon en t, w e are le d to acce p t res pon sib ili t y fo r w hat w e do to g en era te o u r o w n f e eli n gs. W hat o th ers d o m ay b e t h e s tim ulu s o f o u r f e eli n gs, b u t n ot t h e c a u se . W hen so m eo n e giv es us a neg ativ e messa g e, w het her ver bally or n on verb ally , w e h av e fo u r o p tio n s a s to h ow to r e ce iv e it . O ne op tio n is to t a k e it p ers o n ally b y h earin g b la m e a n d c rit ic is m . F or ex am ple , s o m eo n e is a n gry an d sa y s, “Y ou ’r e th e m ost se lf – c e n ter ed p er so n I’v e ev er m et!” If c h oosin g to ta k e it p ers o n ally , w e m ig h t r e a ct: “ O h, I s h ou ld ’v e been m ore s e n sit iv e!” W e a cce p t t h e o th er p er so n’s ju dgm en t a n d b la m e ou rs e lv es . W e ch oose t h is o p tio n at g re at c o st to o u r s e lf – e ste em , fo r it in cli n es u s to w ard fe eli n gs o f g u ilt , s h am e, a n d d ep res sio n . F ou r o p tio n s fo r r e ce iv in g n eg ativ e m ess a g es: 1. b la m e ou rse lv es. A se co n d o p tio n is to fa u lt th e sp ea k er . F or ex am ple , in res pon se to “ Y ou ’r e t h e m ost s e lf – c e n te re d p er so n I ’v e ev er m et,” w e m ig h t p ro tes t: “ Y ou h av e n o r ig h t t o s a y t h at! I a m a lw ay s c o n sid er in g y o u r n eed s. Y ou ’r e th e on e w ho is r e a lly s e lf – c e n te re d .” W hen w e re ce iv e m essa g es t h is w ay, a n d b la m e th e s p ea k er, w e a re l i k ely t o f e el a n ger. 2 . b la m e o th ers. When r e ce iv in g n eg ativ e m ess a g es, o u r th ir d o p tio n w ou ld b e to s h in e th e li g h t o f c o n sc io u sn ess o n o u r o w n fe eli n gs a n d n eed s.  us, w e m ig h t re p ly , “ W hen I h ear y o u s a y t h at I a m t h e m ost s e lf – c e n ter ed p er so n y o u ’v e ev er m et, I fe el h u rt, b ecau se I n eed s o m e r e co gn it io n o f m y eff orts to b e co n sid era te o f y o u r p re fe re n ce s.” B y fo cu sin g a tt en tio n o n o u r o w n fe eli n gs an d n eed s, w e b eco m e c o n sc io u s th at o u r c u rren t fe eli n g o f h u rt d er iv es fr o m a n eed f o r o u r e ff orts t o b e r e co gn iz e d . 3 . s e n se o u r o w n f e eli n gs a n d n eed s. F in ally , a fo u rth o p tio n o n r e ce iv in g a n eg ativ e m essa g e is to s h in e th e li g h t o f c o n sc io u sn ess o n th e o th er p ers o n’s fe eli n gs a n d n eed s a s th ey a re c u rre n tly ex p re ss e d . W e m ig h t fo r ex am ple ask , “A re yo u fe eli n g hu rt b ecau se y o u n eed m ore c o n sid era tio n f o r y o u r p ref er en ce s? ” 4 . s e n se o th ers’ f e eli n gs a n d n eed s. W e a cce p t r e sp on sib ili t y f o r o u r f e eli n gs, r a th er t h an b la m e oth er p eo p le , b y a ck n ow le d gin g o u r o w n n eed s, d esir es , e x p ecta tio n s, v alu es , o r t h ou gh ts . N ote t h e d iff ere n ce b etw een t h e f o llo w in g ex pres sio n s o f d is a p p oin tm en t: E xam ple 1 A : “ Y ou d is a p p oin te d m e b y n ot c o m in g o ver l a st e v en in g.” B : “ I w as d is a p p oin te d w hen y o u d id n’t c o m e o ver , b ecau se I w an te d to t a lk o ver s o m e t h in gs t h at w ere b oth er in g m e.” S p ea k er A att r ib u te s re sp on sib ili t y fo r his dis a p p oin tm en t so le ly to a n oth er p ers o n’s a ctio n . S p ea k er B t r a ces h is f e eli n g o f d is a p p oin tm en t t o h is o w n u n fu l lle d d esir e . E xam ple 2 A : “  eir c a n celli n g t h e c o n tr a ct r e a lly i r rit a te d m e!” B: “ W hen t h ey c a n celle d t h e c o n tr a ct, I fe lt r e a lly ir rit a te d b ecau se I w as th in kin g t o m yse lf t h at i t w as a n a w fu lly i r res pon sib le th in g t o d o.” Sp ea k er A a tt r ib u te s h er ir rit a tio n so le ly to th e beh av io r o f th e oth er party , where a s Sp ea k er B accep ts res pon sib ili t y fo r her fe eli n g by ack n ow le d gin g t h e t h ou gh t b eh in d it . S h e re co gn iz e s t h at h er b la m in g w ay o f th in kin g h as g en era te d h er ir rit a tio n . In N VC, h ow ev er , w e w ou ld u rg e th is s p ea k er to g o a s te p fu rth er b y id en tif y in g w hat s h e is w an tin g: w hat n eed , d esir e , e x p ec ta tio n , h op e, o r v alu e of h er s h as n ot b een f u l lle d ? A s w e sh all s e e, t h e m ore w e a re a b le t o c o n nect o u r f e eli n gs t o o u r o w n n eed s, t h e ea sie r it is fo r o th ers to r e sp on d c o m pass io n ate ly . T o r e la te h er fe eli n gs to w hat s h e is w an tin g, S p ea k er B m ig h t h av e sa id : “ W hen th ey c a n celle d th e co n tr a ct, I fe lt re a lly ir rit a te d b ecau se I w as h op in g fo r a n o p p ortu n it y to r e h ir e t h e w ork ers w e l a id o ff l a st y ear.” I t i s h elp fu l t o r e co gn iz e a n u m ber o f c o m mon s p eech p att er ns t h at t en d to m ask a cco u nta b ili t y f o r o u r o w n f e eli n gs: 1. U se o f i m pers o n al p ro n ou n s s u ch a s it a n d th at: “ It re a lly in fu ria te s m e w hen sp elli n g m is ta k es a p p ear in o u r p u bli c b ro ch u re s.” “  at b u gs m e a l o t.” 2.  e u se o f t h e e x p re ss io n “ I f e el ( a n em otio n ) b ecau se … ” f o llo w ed b y a p ers o n o r p ers o n al p ro n ou n o th er t h an I: “I fe el h u rt b ecau se y o u s a id y o u d on’t lo ve m e.” “ I fe el a n gry b ecau se th e s u p erv is o r b ro ke h er p ro m is e .” 3. S ta te m en ts t h at m en tio n o n ly t h e a ctio n s o f o th er s: “ W hen y o u d on’t ca ll m e o n m y b ir th d ay, I fe el h u rt.” “M om my is d is a p p oin te d w hen y o u d on’t n is h y o u r f o od .” I n e a ch o f th ese in sta n ce s, w e c a n d eep en o u r a w aren ess o f o u r o w n re sp on sib ili t y by su bstit u tin g th e ph ra se , “I fe el … b ecau se I … ” F or ex am ple : C on nect y o u r f e eli n g w it h y o u r n eed : “ I f e el … b eca u se I n eed … ” 1. “ I fe el r e a lly in fu ria te d w hen s p elli n g m is ta k es li k e th at a p p ear in o u r pu bli c b ro ch u re s, b eca u se I w an t o u r c o m pan y t o p ro je c t a p ro fe ss io n al im ag e.” 2. “ I fe el an gry th at th e su p erv is o r b ro ke h er p ro m is e , b eca u se I w as co u ntin g o n g ett in g t h at l o n g w eek en d t o v is it m y b ro th er .” 3. “ M om my fe els d is a p p oin te d w hen y o u d on’t n is h y o u r fo od , b eca u se I w an t y o u t o g ro w u p s tr o n g a n d h ea lt h y.”  e basic m ech an is m of m otiv atin g by gu ilt is to att r ib u te th e re sp on sib ili t y fo r o n e’s o w n fe eli n gs to o th er s. W hen p aren ts s a y, “ It h u rts M om my a n d D ad dy w hen y o u g et p oor g ra d es a t s c h ool,” t h ey a re im ply in g th at th e ch ild ’s actio n s are th e cau se of th e paren ts ’ hap pin es s or u n hap pin ess . O n t h e s u rfa ce, t a k in g r es pon sib ili t y fo r t h e fe eli n gs o f o th er s ca n e a sily b e m is ta k en f o r p osit iv e ca rin g. I t m ay a p p ear t h at t h e ch ild c a res fo r th e p are n t a n d fe els b ad b ecau se th e paren t is su ff er in g. H ow ev er , if c h ild re n w ho a ssu m e th is k in d o f res pon sib ili t y c h an ge th ei r b eh av io r in a cco rd an ce w it h p are n ta l w is h es, th ey a re not a ctin g fr o m th e heart, b u t actin g t o a v o id g u ilt . D is tin gu is h b etw een g iv in g fr o m th e h ea rt a n d b ein g m otiv ate d b y g u ilt . e N eed s a t t h e R oots o f F eeli n gs Ju dgm en ts , crit ic is m s, dia g n oses , an d in ter pret atio n s of oth er s are all a li e n ate d e x p re ss io n s o f o u r n eed s. I f s o m eo n e sa y s, “ Y ou n ev er u n der sta n d m e,” t h ey a re r e a lly te lli n g u s t h at t h ei r n eed to b e un dersto od is n ot b ei ng fu l lle d . I f a w if e s a y s, “ Y ou ’v e b een w ork in g la te ev er y n ig h t t h is w eek ; y o u lo ve y o u r w ork m ore th an y o u lo ve m e,” sh e is sa y in g th at h er n ee d fo r in tim acy i s n ot b ein g m et. J u dgm en ts o f o th ers are a li e n ate d ex p re ssio n s o f o u r ow n u n m et n eed s. W hen w e e x p re ss o u r n eed s in dir e ctly th ro u gh th e use of e v alu atio n s, in te rp re ta tio n s, a n d im ag es, o th er s a re li k ely to h ear c rit ic is m . A nd w hen p eo p le h ear a n yth in g th at so u n ds li k e c rit ic is m , th ey te n d to in ves t th ei r en erg y in se lf – d efe n se o r co u nter att a ck . If w e wis h fo r a co m pass io n ate r e sp on se f r o m o th ers , i t i s s e lf – d efe atin g t o e x p res s o u r n eed s b y i n ter pret in g or d ia g n osin g t h eir b eh av io r. I n ste a d , t h e m ore dir e ctly w e ca n c o n nect o u r fe eli n gs to o u r o w n n eed s, th e ea sier it is fo r o th er s to res pon d to u s co m pass io n ate ly . I f w e ex p re ss o u r n eed s, w e h av e a b ett e r ch an ce o f gett in g t h em m et. U nfo rtu n ate ly , m ost o f u s h av e n ev er b een ta u gh t to th in k in ter m s o f n eed s. W e a re a cc u sto m ed t o t h in kin g a b ou t w hat’s w ro n g w it h o th er p eo p le w hen o u r n eed s a re n ’t b ein g f u l lle d .  us, i f w e w an t c o ats t o b e hu n g u p i n t h e c lo se t, w e m ay c h ara cte riz e o u r c h ild ren a s la zy f o r le av in g t h em o n t h e co u ch . O r w e m ay i n te rp re t o u r c o -w ork er s a s i r res pon sib le w hen t h ey d on’t g o a b ou t t h eir t a sk s t h e w ay w e w ou ld p ref er t h em t o . I w as o n ce in vit e d to S o u th ern C ali f o rn ia to m ed ia te b et ween so m e la n dow ners an d m ig ra n t fa rm work er s whose co n ic ts had gro w n in cre a sin gly h ostile a n d v io le n t. I b eg an th e m eet in g b y a sk in g th es e tw o qu estio n s: “ W hat is it t h at y o u a re ea ch n eed in g? A nd w hat w ou ld y o u li k e to r e q u est o f t h e o th er i n r e la tio n t o t h es e need s? ” “  e p ro ble m is th at th ese p eo p le are ra cis t!” sh ou te d a fa rm w ork er . “ e p ro ble m is th at th ese p eo p le don’t r es pect la w a n d o rd er !” s h ou te d a la n dow ner e v en m ore lo u d ly . A s is o  en th e ca se , th es e gro u p s w er e m ore s k ille d in an aly zin g th e perc e iv ed w ro n gn es s of oth er s th an in cle arly e x p re ss in g t h eir o w n n eed s. In a co m para b le sit u atio n , I o n ce m et w it h a gro u p o f Is r a eli s an d Pale stin ia n s w ho w an te d to e sta b li s h th e mutu al tr u st n eces sa ry to b rin g pea ce to th eir h om ela n ds. I o p en ed th e ses sio n w it h th e sa m e qu es tio n s, “ W hat is it y o u a re n eed in g a n d w hat w ou ld y o u li k e to r e q u es t fr o m o n e an oth er in r e la tio n to th ose n eed s? ” In ste a d o f d ir e ctly s ta tin g h is n eed s, a P ale stin ia n m ukh ta r ( w ho i s l i k e a v illa g e m ay o r) a n sw ere d , “ Y ou p eo p le are a ctin g li k e a b u n ch o f N azis .” A s ta te m en t li k e th at is n ot li k ely to g et th e co op era tio n o f a g ro u p o f Is r a eli s ! A lm ost im med ia te ly , a n Is r a eli w om an ju m ped u p a n d c o u nte re d , “ M ukh ta r, t h at w as a t o ta lly in sen sit iv e th in g f o r yo u t o s a y !” H ere w ere p eo p le w ho h ad c o m e to geth er to b u ild tr u st a n d h arm on y, b u t a  er o n ly o n e in te rc h an ge, m att er s w er e wors e th an b ef ore th ey b eg an .  is h ap p en s o  en w hen p eo p le are use d to a n aly zin g a n d b la m in g o n e an oth er ra th er th an cle arly ex p res sin g w hat th ey n eed . In th is ca se , th e w om an c o u ld h av e r e sp on ded t o t h e m ukh ta r i n t e rm s o f h er o w n n eed s a n d re q u ests b y s a y in g, f o r e x am ple , “ I a m n eed in g m ore res pect i n o u r d ia lo gu e. In ste a d o f t e lli n g u s h ow y o u t h in k w e are actin g, w ou ld y o u t e ll u s w hat i t i s w e a re d oin g t h at y o u n d d is tu rb in g?” It h as b een m y e x p erie n ce o ver a n d o ver a g ain th at fr o m th e m om en t peo p le b eg in ta lk in g a b ou t w hat th ey n eed r a th er th an w hat’s w ro n g w it h o n e a n oth er, th e p oss ib ili t y o f n din g w ay s to m eet e v er yb o d y’s n eed s is g re atly in cre a se d .  e fo llo w in g a re so m e o f th e basic h u m an n eed s w e all s h are : A uto n om y to c h oose o n e’s d re am s, g o als , v alu es to c h oose o n e’s p la n f o r f u l lli n g o n e’s d re am s, g o als , v alu es C ele b ra tio n to c ele b ra te t h e c re atio n o f l i f e a n d d re am s f u l lle d to c ele b ra te l o ss e s: l o ved o n es, d re am s, et c. ( m ou rn in g) In te g rit y a u th en tic it y c re ativ it y m ean in g se lf – w orth I n te rd ep en den ce a cce p ta n ce ap pre cia tio n clo se n ess c o m mun it y c o n sid era tio n co n tr ib u tio n t o t h e e n ric h m en t o f l i f e (to ex ercis e on e’s p ow er b y g iv in g th at w hic h c o n tr ib u te s t o l i f e ) em otio n al s a fe ty e m path y h on esty (th e e m pow erin g h on esty th at en ab les u s to le arn fr o m o u r li m it a tio n s) lo ve re a ssu ra n ce re sp ec t su pp ort tr u st u n dersta n din g w arm th P la y fu n la u gh te r S p ir it u al C om mun io n b eau ty h arm on y in sp ir a tio n ord er p ea ce P hysic a l N urtu ra n ce a ir f o od m ovem en t, e x erc is e p ro te c tio n f r o m li f e -th re ate n in g f o rm s o f li f e: v ir u ses , b acter ia , in se cts , p re d ato ry a n im als r e st s e x u al e x p re ss io n sh elt e r to u ch w ate r e P ain o f E xp re ssin g O ur N eed s v ersu s t h e P ain o f N ot E xp re ssin g O ur N eed s In a w orld w here w e’r e o  en ju dged h arsh ly fo r id en tif y in g a n d re v ea li n g ou r n eed s, d oin g so ca n b e very fr ig h ten in g. W om en , in p artic u la r, are s u sc e p tib le to c rit ic is m . F or c e n tu ries , th e im ag e of th e lo vin g w om an h as b een a ss o cia te d w it h s a cri ce a n d t h e den ia l o f o n e’s o w n n eed s t o t a k e ca re o f o th ers . B ecau se w om en a re s o cia li z e d t o v ie w t h e ca ret ak in g o f o th er s a s th eir h ig h est d u ty , t h ey o  en l e arn t o i g n ore th ei r o w n n eed s. A t o n e w ork sh op, w e d is c u ss e d w hat h ap p en s t o w om en w ho i n ter nali z e su ch b eli e fs .  ese w om en , i f t h ey a sk f o r w hat t h ey w an t, w ill o  en d o s o i n a w ay t h at b oth r e ec ts a n d r e in fo rc e s t h e beli ef s t h at t h ey h av e no g en uin e rig h t to th eir n eed s an d th at t h eir n ee d s are u n im porta n t. F or ex am ple , b ecau se sh e is fe arfu l o f a sk in g fo r w hat sh e need s, a w om an m ay fa il to s im ply s a y t h at s h e’s h ad a b u sy d ay, i s f e eli n g t ir e d , a n d w an ts s o m e tim e in t h e e v en in g to h ers e lf ; in ste a d , h er w ord s c o m e o u t so u n din g li k e a leg al ca se : “ Y ou k n ow I h av en ’t h ad a m om en t to m yse lf a ll d ay. I ir o n ed a ll th e sh ir ts , d id th e w hole w eek ’s la u n dry, to ok th e dog to th e vet , m ad e din ner , pack ed t h e lu n ch es, a n d c a lle d a ll t h e nei gh bors a b ou t t h e blo ck m eet in g, s o [im plo rin gly ] … s o h ow a b ou t i f y o u … ? ” “N o!” c o m es th e s w i r e sp on se . H er p la in tiv e re q u es t e li c it s r es is ta n ce ra th er t h an c o m pass io n f r o m h er li s ten ers.  ey h av e diffi cu lt y h earin g a n d valu in g t h e n eed s b eh in d h er p le a s, a n d f u rth er m ore re a ct n eg ativ ely t o h er w ea k a tt e m pt t o a rg u e f r o m a p osit io n o f w hat s h e “s h ou ld ” g et o r “ d es er ves ” to g et f r o m t h em . I n t h e e n d t h e sp ea k er is a g ain p er su ad ed t h at h er n eed s d on’t m att e r, n ot r e a li z in g t h at t h ey w ere ex p res se d i n a w ay u n li k ely t o d ra w a p osit iv e r e sp on se . M y m oth er w as o n ce a t a w ork sh op w her e oth er w om en w er e dis c u ss in g how f r ig h te n in g i t w as t o b e e x p res sin g t h ei r n eed s. S u dden ly s h e go t u p a n d le  th e ro om , an d d id n’t re tu rn fo r a lo n g tim e. S h e n ally re ap p eare d , lo okin g v ery p ale . I n t h e p re se n ce o f t h e gro u p, I a sk ed , “ M oth er , a re yo u a ll r ig h t? ” I f w e d on’t v a lu e o u r n eed s, o th ers m ay n ot e it h er. “Y es,” s h e a n sw ere d , “ b u t I ju st h ad a s u dden r e a li z atio n t h at’s v er y h ard fo r m e t o t a k e i n .” “ W hat’s t h at? ” “I’v e ju st b eco m e a w are th at fo r th ir ty -s ix y ears , I w as a n gry w it h y o u r fa th er f o r n ot m eetin g m y n eed s, a n d n ow I r e a li z e t h at I n ev er o n ce cle arly t o ld h im w hat I n eed ed .” M y m oth er’s r e v ela tio n w as a cc u ra te . N ot o n e t im e, t h at I c a n r em ember , did sh e c le arly e x p re ss h er n eed s to m y fa th er . S h e’d h in t a ro u n d a n d g o th ro u gh a ll k in ds o f c o n vo lu tio n s, b u t n ev er w ou ld s h e ask d ir e ctly f o r w hat sh e n eed ed . W e t r ie d t o u n dersta n d w hy it w as s o h ard fo r h er t o h av e don e s o . M y moth er gre w up in an eco n om ic a lly im pover is h ed fa m ily . Sh e re ca lle d a sk in g fo r th in gs as a ch ild an d b ei ng ad m on is h ed b y h er b ro th er s an d sis te rs , “ Y ou s h ou ld n’t a sk f o r t h at! Y ou k n ow we’r e p oor. D o y o u t h in k y o u are th e o n ly p ers o n in th e fa m ily ?” E ven tu ally s h e gre w to fe ar th at a sk in g fo r w hat s h e n eed ed w ou ld o n ly l e a d t o d is a p pro val a n d j u dgm en t. S h e r e la te d a c h ild hood a n ecd ote ab ou t o n e o f h er s is te rs w ho h ad h ad an a p p en dix o p era tio n a n d a  erw ard s h ad b een g iv en a b eau tif u l l i t t le pu rs e b y a n oth er s is te r. M y m oth er w as f o u rte en a t t h e tim e. O h, h ow s h e yearn ed to h av e a n e x q u is it e ly b ea d ed p u rs e li k e h er s is te r’s , b u t s h e dare d n ot o p en her m ou th . S o g u ess w hat? S h e fei gn ed a p ain in h er sid e an d w en t th e w hole w ay w it h h er s to ry. H er f a m ily t o ok h er t o s e v er al d octo rs .  ey w er e un ab le to p ro du ce a d ia g n osis a n d s o o p te d fo r ex plo ra to ry s u rg er y. It h ad b een a b old g am ble o n m y m oth er ’s p art, b u t it w ork ed — sh e was g iv en a n id en tic a l li t t le p u rs e ! W hen s h e r e ce iv ed t h e co vet ed p u rs e , m y m oth er w as ela te d d esp it e b ein g i n p hysic a l a g o n y f r o m t h e su rg ery. T w o n u rs es c a m e in a n d o n e stu ck a th erm om ete r in h er m ou th . M y m oth er sa id , “U m mm, um mm,” t o s h ow t h e p u rs e t o t h e s e co n d n u rs e , w ho a n sw ere d , “ O h, f o r m e? W hy, th an k y o u !” a n d to ok th e p u rs e! M y m oth er w as a t a lo ss , a n d n ev er gu re d o u t h ow to s a y, “ I d id n’t m ean to g iv e it to y o u . P le a se ret urn it to m e.” H er s to ry p oig n an tly r e v ea ls h ow p ain fu l it c a n b e when p eo p le don’t o p en ly a ck n ow le d ge t h eir n eed s. Fro m E m otio n al S la v er y t o E m otio n al L ib era tio n In o u r d ev elo p m en t to w ard a sta te o f em otio n al li b er atio n , m ost o f u s ex p erie n ce t h re e s ta g es i n t h e w ay w e re la te t o o th er s. S ta g e 1 : In th is sta g e, w hic h I ref er to a s e m otio n al sla very, w e b eli e v e o u rs e lv es r e sp on sib le f o r t h e f e eli n gs o f o th er s. W e th in k w e m ust c o n sta n tly s tr iv e t o k eep e v ery o n e h ap py. I f t h ey d on’t a p p ear h ap py, w e f e el r es pon sib le a n d c o m pelle d to d o s o m eth in g a b ou t it .  is c a n e a sily le a d u s to s e e th e very p eo p le w ho a re c lo se st t o u s a s b u rd en s. T ak in g r e sp on sib ili t y f o r t h e f e eli n gs o f o th er s c a n b e ver y d etr im en ta l t o in tim ate re la tio n sh ip s. I ro u tin ely h ear v aria tio n s o n th e fo llo w in g th em e: “I’m r e a lly s c a re d t o b e i n a r e la tio n sh i p. E very t im e I s e e m y p artn er i n p ain o r n eed in g s o m eth in g, I f e el o ver whelm ed . I f e el li k e I ’m in p ris o n , t h at I ’m b ein g sm oth ere d — an d I ju st h av e to g et o u t o f th e re la tio n sh ip a s fa st a s p oss ib le .”  is re sp on se is c o m mon a m on g th ose who ex per ien ce lo ve as d en ia l o f o n e’s o w n n eed s in o rd er t o a tt en d t o t h e need s o f t h e belo ved . I n th e early day s of a re la tio n sh ip , partn ers ty p ic a lly re la te jo yfu lly an d co m pass io n ate ly t o e a ch o th er o u t o f a s en se of f r e ed om .  e re la tio n sh ip is e x h ila ra tin g, sp on ta n eo u s, won der fu l. Even tu ally , how ev er , as th e re la tio n sh ip b eco m es “ s e rio u s,” p artn ers m ay b eg in t o a ssu m e res pon sib ili t y fo r e a ch o th er’s f e eli n gs. F ir st sta g e: Em otio n al sla v er y. W e se e ou rse lv es re sp on sib le f o r o th ers’ f e eli n gs. If I w ere a p artn er w ho is c o n sc io u s o f d oin g t h is , I m ig h t a ck n ow le d ge th e sit u atio n by ex p la in in g, “I ca n ’t bear it w hen I lo se myse lf in r e la tio n sh ip s. W hen I s e e m y p artn er’s p ain , I lo se m e, a n d t h en I ju st h av e to b re a k fr e e.” H ow ev er, if I h av e not r e a ch ed th is le v el o f a w aren ess, I a m li k ely to b la m e m y p artn er fo r th e det er io ra tio n o f th e re la tio n sh ip .  us I m ig h t s a y, “ M y p artn er i s s o n eed y a n d d ep en den t i t ’s r e a lly s tr es sin g o u t o u r re la tio n sh ip .” I n s u ch a c a se , m y p artn er w ou ld d o w ell t o r ej ect t h e notio n t h at t h er e is a n yth in g w ro n g w it h h er n eed s. I t w ou ld o n ly m ak e a b ad s it u atio n w ors e to acce p t t h at b la m e. I n ste a d , s h e c o u ld o ff er a n em path ic r es pon se to t h e pain o f m y e m otio n al s la v ery : “ S o y o u n d y o u rs e lf i n p an ic . I t’s v er y h ard f o r y o u to h old o n to th e d eep c a rin g a n d lo ve we’v e had w it h ou t tu rn in g it in to a r e sp on sib ili t y , d u ty , o bli g atio n … . Y ou sen se yo u r fr e ed om clo sin g d ow n becau se y o u th in k y o u co n sta n tly h av e to ta k e ca re of m e.” If, h ow ev er , in ste a d o f a n e m path ic r e sp on se , s h e sa y s, “A re yo u fe eli n g ten se becau se I hav e b een m ak in g t o o m an y d em an ds o n y o u ?” t h en b oth o f u s a re li k ely t o s ta y e n m esh ed in e m otio n al s la v ery, m ak in g it t h at m uch m ore diffi cu lt fo r th e r e la tio n sh ip t o s u rv iv e. S ta g e 2 : In th is s ta g e, w e b eco m e aw are of th e hig h c o sts o f a ssu m in g re sp on sib ili t y fo r o th ers’ fe eli n gs a n d tr y in g to a cco m mod ate th em a t o u r ow n e x p en se . W hen w e n otic e h ow m uch o f o u r li v es w e’v e m is s e d a n d h ow li t t le w e h av e r e sp on ded to t h e c a ll o f o u r o w n s o u l, w e m ay g et a n gry. I r ef er jo kin gly to th is sta g e as th e o b n ox io u s sta ge becau se w e te n d to w ard o bn oxio u s co m men ts li k e, “ at’s y o u r p ro ble m ! I ’m n ot re sp on sib le fo r yo u r fe eli n gs!” w hen p re se n te d w it h an oth er p er so n’s p ain . W e are cle ar w hat w e a re n ot r e sp on sib le fo r, b u t h av e y et t o le arn h ow t o b e res pon sib le t o o th ers i n a w ay t h at i s n ot e m otio n ally en sla v in g. S eco n d s ta g e:  e o b n oxio u s s ta g e. W e f e el a n gry ; w e n o lo n ger w an t t o b e r e sp on sib le f o r o th ers’ f e eli n gs. A s w e e m erg e fr o m th e s ta g e o f e m otio n al s la v er y, w e m ay c o n tin u e to c a rr y r e m nan ts o f f e ar a n d g u ilt a ro u n d h av in g o u r o w n n eed s.  us i t i s n ot su rp ris in g t h at w e e n d u p e x p re ss in g o u r n eed s i n w ay s t h at s o u n d r ig id a n d unyie ld in g to th e e ars o f o th ers . F or e x am ple , d u rin g a b re a k in o n e of m y work sh op s, a y o u n g w om an e x p res se d ap pre cia tio n fo r th e in sig h ts sh e’d g ain ed in to h er o w n sta te o f e m otio n al e n sla v em ent. W hen th e work sh op re su m ed , I s u ggeste d a n a ctiv it y t o t h e gro u p.  e sa m e yo u n g w om an t h en decla re d ass e rtiv ely , “I’d ra th er do so m eth in g els e .” I sen se d sh e was ex erc is in g her n ew fo u n d rig h t to ex p res s her n eed s— ev en if th ey ra n co u nte r t o t h ose o f o th ers . T o e n co u ra g e h er t o s o rt o u t w hat s h e wan te d , I a sk ed , “ D o y o u w an t t o d o so m eth in g e ls e e v en if it c o n ic ts w it h m y n eed s? ” S h e th ou gh t fo r a m om en t, a n d th en sta m mere d , “Y es … . e r … I m ean , n o.” H er c o n fu sio n re ec ts h ow , in th e o bn oxio u s sta g e, w e hav e yet to g ra sp th at em otio n al li b era tio n e n ta ils m ore t h an s im ply a ss er tin g o u r o w n n eed s. I re ca ll an in cid en t du rin g m y dau gh ter M arla ’s pass a g e to w ard e m otio n al l i b era tio n . S h e h ad a lw ay s b een t h e “p er fe ct l i t t le gir l” w ho d en ie d h er o w n n eed s t o c o m ply w it h t h e w is h es o f o th er s. W hen I b eca m e aw are of h ow fr e q u en tly s h e s u ppre ss e d h er o w n d es ir es in o rd er to p le a se oth er s, I ta lk ed t o h er a b ou t h ow I ’d e n jo y h earin g h er ex pres s h er n eed s m ore o en . When w e rst b ro ach ed t h e s u bje ct, M arla c rie d . “ B ut, D ad dy, I d on’t w an t to d is a p p oin t a n yb o d y!” s h e p ro tes te d h elp les sly . I t r ie d t o s h ow M arla h ow h er h on esty w ou ld b e a g i m ore pre cio u s to o th er s th an a cco m mod atin g th em to p re v en t t h eir u p se t. I a ls o c la ri ed w ay s s h e co u ld em path iz e wit h p eo p le w hen t h ey w ere u p se t w it h ou t t a k in g r es pon sib ili t y f o r t h ei r f e eli n gs. A sh ort tim e la te r, I s a w e v id en ce th at m y d au gh ter w as b eg in nin g to e x p re ss h er n eed s m ore o p en ly . A ca ll ca m e fr o m h er sc h ool p rin cip al, a p p are n tly d is tu rb ed b y a c o m mun ic atio n h e’d h ad w it h M arla , w ho h ad arriv ed a t s c h ool w earin g o vera lls . “ M arla ,” h e’d s a id , “ y o u n g w om en d o n ot d re ss t h is w ay.” T o w hic h M arla h ad r es pon ded , “ B ug o ff !” H earin g th is w as cau se fo r cele b ra tio n : M arla had gra d u ate d fr o m em otio n al s la v ery to o bn oxio u sn es s! S h e was le arn in g to e x p res s h er n eed s an d r is k d ea li n g w it h t h e d is p le a su re of o th er s. S u re ly s h e had y et to a ss er t her n eed s c o m fo rta b ly a n d i n a w ay t h at r es pecte d t h e need s o f o th er s, b u t I t r u ste d t h is w ou ld o cc u r i n t im e. S ta g e 3 : A t t h e t h ir d s ta g e, e m otio n al l i b era tio n , w e r e sp on d t o t h e n eed s of o th ers o u t o f c o m pass io n , n ev er o u t o f fe ar, g u ilt , o r s h am e. O ur a ctio n s are t h ere fo re f u l lli n g t o u s, a s w ell a s t o t h ose who r e ce iv e ou r eff orts . W e acce p t f u ll r e sp on sib ili t y f o r o u r o w n in ten tio n s a n d a ctio n s, b u t n ot f o r t h e fe eli n gs o f o th ers . A t th is s ta g e, w e are aw are th at w e ca n n ev er m eet o u r ow n n eed s a t th e e x p en se o f o th er s. E m otio n al li b er atio n in vo lv es sta tin g cle arly w hat w e n eed in a w ay t h at c o m mun ic ates w e are eq u ally c o n cer ned th at th e n eed s o f o th ers b e fu l lle d . N VC is d esig n ed to su pp ort u s in r e la tin g a t t h is l e v el.  ir d sta g e: Em otio n al li b era tio n . We ta k e re sp on sib ili t y f o r o u r i n te n tio n s a n d a ctio n s. Su m mary  e th ir d c o m pon en t o f N VC is th e ack n ow le d gm en t o f th e need s b eh in d ou r f e eli n gs. W hat o th ers s a y a n d d o m ay b e th e stim ulu s f o r, b u t n ev er t h e cau se o f, o u r fe eli n gs. W hen so m eo n e co m mun ic ates n eg ativ ely , w e hav e fo u r o p tio n s a s t o h ow t o r e ce iv e t h e m ess a g e: ( 1 ) b la m e ou rs e lv es , ( 2 ) b la m e oth ers , (3 ) se n se o u r o w n fe eli n gs an d n eed s, (4 ) sen se th e fe eli n gs an d need s h id den i n t h e o th er p ers o n’s n eg ativ e m essa g e. Ju dgm en ts , crit ic is m s, d ia g n ose s, a n d in ter pret atio n s o f o th er s a re all a li e n ate d ex p re ss io n s of ou r ow n n eed s an d valu es . W hen oth er s h ear crit ic is m , th ey te n d to in vest th ei r e n er gy in s e lf – d ef en se or c o u nter att a ck .  e m ore d ir e c tly w e c a n c o n nect o u r fe eli n gs to o u r n eed s, t h e ea sier it is f o r o th ers t o r e sp on d c o m pass io n ate ly . In a w orld w here w e are o en harsh ly ju dged fo r id en tif y in g an d re v ea li n g o u r n eed s, d oin g s o c a n b e ver y f r ig h ten in g, es pecia lly f o r w om en who a re s o cia li z e d t o i g n ore t h eir o w n n eed s w hile c a rin g f o r o th er s. In th e co u rs e of dev elo p in g em otio n al res pon sib ili t y , m ost of us ex p erie n ce th re e sta g es: (1 ) “em otio n al sla v er y”— beli e v in g ou rs e lv es re sp on sib le fo r th e fe eli n gs o f o th er s, (2 ) “ th e obn oxio u s s ta g e” — in w hic h w e re fu se to ad m it to ca rin g w hat an yo n e els e fe els o r n ee d s, an d (3 ) “e m otio n al li b era tio n”— in w hic h w e a ccep t fu ll r es pon sib ili t y fo r o u r o w n fe eli n gs b u t n ot t h e fe eli n gs o f o th er s, w hile b ei ng a w are th at w e ca n n ev er m eet o u r o w n n eed s a t t h e e x p en se of o th er s. N VC i n A ctio n “B rin g B ack t h e S tig m a o f I lle g it im acy !” A s tu den t o f N on vio le n t C om mun ic atio n v o lu nte er in g a t a fo o d b an k w as sh ock ed w hen an eld erly co -w ork er bu rst ou t fr o m b eh in d a n ew sp ap er, “W hat w e n eed to d o in th is co u ntr y is b rin g b ack th e stig m a o f i lle g it im acy !”  e s tu den t’s h ab it u al r e a ctio n t o t h is k in d o f s ta te m en t w ou ld h av e b een to sa y n oth in g, to ju dge th e oth er se v er ely bu t silen tly , an d ev en tu ally t o p ro ce ss h er o w n f e eli n gs s a fe ly a w ay f r o m t h e sc e n e.  is t im e, s h e r e m em bere d s h e h ad th e op tio n o f li s ten in g fo r th e fe eli n gs an d n eed s b eh in d t h e w ord s t h at h ad s h ock ed h er . Stu den t: ( fi rst ch eck in g ou t her gu ess as to w hat th e co w ork er w as ob se rv in g) Are yo u re a d in g so m eth in g ab ou t te en ag e p re g n an cie s i n t h e p ap er? C o- w ork er: Y es, i t ’s u n beli e v ab le h ow m an y o f t h em a re doin g i t ! S tu den t: ( n ow li s te n in g f o r t h e co -w ork er’s f e eli n g, a n d w hat u nm et n eed m ig h t b e giv in g ris e to th is fe eli n g) A re y o u fe eli n g a la rm ed b ecau se y o u ’d l i k e k id s t o h av e s ta b le fa m ili es ? Co- w ork er: O f c o u rs e ! D o y o u k n ow , m y f a th er w ou ld h av e kille d m e if I h ad d on e a n yth in g l i k e t h at! S tu den t: S o yo u ’r e re m em berin g h ow it w as fo r th e gir ls in yo u r gen era tio n w ho g o t p re g n an t? C o- w ork er: S u re th in g! W e k n ew w hat w ou ld h ap p en to u s if w e go t p re g n an t. W e w ere s c a re d a b ou t it a ll t h e tim e, n ot li k e th es e gir ls n ow ad ay s. S tu den t: A re y o u a n noyed t h at t h ere is n o fe ar o f p u n is h m en t fo r t h e gir ls w ho g et p re g n an t t h ese d ay s? C o- w ork er: W ell, a t le a st fe ar a n d p u n is h m en t w ork ed ! It s a y s h er e th at th ere a re g ir ls s le ep in g a ro u n d w it h d iff er en t m en j u st s o t h ey ca n g et p re g n an t!  at’s r ig h t!  ey h av e bab ies a n d th e res t of u s i n s o cie ty p ay f o r i t !  e stu den t o f N VC h eard tw o d iff er en t fe eli n gs in th is sta tem ent: a sto n is h m en t t h at g ir ls w ou ld d eli b er ate ly g et p reg nan t, a n d a n noyan ce th at t a x p ay ers e n d u p p ay in g fo r c h ild ren b orn in t h is w ay. S h e ch ose w hic h f e eli n g t o e m path iz e w it h . Stu den t: A re y o u a sto n is h ed t o r e a li z e t h at p eo p le are get tin g p reg nan t th ese day s wit h ou t an y co n sid er atio n fo r rep uta tio n , co n se q u en ce s, n an cia l s ta b ili t y … a ll t h e th in gs y o u u se d t o c o n sid er? C o- w ork er: Y ea h , a n d g u ess w ho e n ds u p p ay in g f o r i t ?  e co -w ork er, pro b ab ly fe eli n g heard aro u n d her asto n is h m en t, m oved o n to h er o th er fe eli n g: th at o f a n noyan ce. A s o  en h ap p en s when th ere is a m ix tu re o f fe eli n gs p res en t, th e sp ea k er w ill r et urn to t h ose t h at h av e n ot r e ce iv ed e m path ic a tt en tio n . I t is n ot n eces sa ry f o r th e l i s te n er t o r e ec t b ack a c o m plex m ix tu re of f e eli n gs a ll a t o n ce; t h e ow o f c o m pass io n w ill c o n tin u e as e a ch f e eli n g c o m es u p a g ain in it s tu rn . Stu den t: S o u n ds li k e y o u ’r e e x asp era te d b ecau se yo u ’d li k e y o u r ta x m on ey t o b e u se d f o r o th er p u rp oses . I s t h at s o ? C o- w ork er: C erta in ly is ! D o y o u k n ow th at m y s o n a n d h is w if e wan t a s e co n d c h ild a n d t h ey c a n ’t h av e o n e— ev en t h ou gh t h ey h av e tw o j o b s— becau se i t c o sts s o m uch ? Stu den t: I g u ess y o u ’r e s a d a b ou t th at? Y ou ’d p ro b ab ly lo ve to h av e a se co n d g ra n dch ild … C o- w ork er: Y es, a n d i t ’s n ot j u st f o r m e t h at i t w ou ld m ak e a d iff er en ce. S tu den t: … a n d fo r y o u r so n to h av e th e fa m ily h e wan ts … (E ven th ou gh t h e stu den t g u ess e d o n ly p artia lly c o rre ctly , s h e did n ot in te rru pt th e flow o f e m path y, in ste a d a llo w in g th e co -w ork er to c o n tin u e an d r e a li z e an oth er c o n ce rn .) C o- w ork er: Y es, I t h in k i t ’s s a d t o b e a s in gle c h ild t o o. Stu den t: O h, I s e e; y o u ’d l i k e f o r K atie t o h av e a l i t t le bro th er ? Co- w ork er:  at w ou ld b e n ic e. A t t h is p oin t, t h e s tu den t s e n se d a r e le a se in h er c o -w ork er . A m om en t of sile n ce e la p se d . S h e fe lt su rp ris e d to d is c o ver th at, w hile sh e still wan te d to ex p re ss her ow n vie w s, her urg en cy an d ten sio n had d is s ip ate d b ecau se s h e n o lo n ger fe lt “ a d ver sa ria l.” S h e un dersto od t h e fe eli n gs a n d n eed s b eh in d h er c o -w ork er’s sta te m en ts a n d n o lo n ger fe lt t h at t h e t w o o f t h em w ere “ w orld s a p art.” S tu den t: ( e x p re ssin g h erse lf in N VC, a n d u sin g a ll fo u r p arts of th e pro ce ss : o b se rv a tio n [ O ], f e eli n g [ F ], n eed [ N ], r e q u est [ R ]) Y ou k n ow , w hen yo u rst sa id th at w e sh ou ld b rin g b ack th e stig m a o f ille g it im acy ( O ), I g o t r e a lly s c a re d ( F ), b ecau se it r e a lly m att e rs t o m e t h at a ll o f u s h er e sh are a d eep c a rin g f o r p eo p le n eed in g h elp ( N ). S o m e o f t h e peo p le co m in g h er e fo r fo od a re te en ag e p are n ts ( O ), a n d I w an t to m ak e su re th ey fe el w elc o m e ( N ). W ou ld y o u m in d te lli n g m e how y o u fe el w hen y o u s e e D ash al, o r A m y a n d h er b oyfr ien d, w alk in g i n ? (R )  e d ia lo gu e c o n tin u ed w it h s e v er al m ore ex ch an ges u ntil t h e wom an g o t th e re a ssu ra n ce sh e n eed ed th at h er c o -w ork er d id in deed o ff er ca rin g an d re sp ec tfu l help to un m arrie d te en cli en ts . Even m ore im porta n tly , w hat th e w om an gain ed w as a new ex p er ien ce in e x p re ss in g d is a g re em en t in a w ay th at m et h er n eed s fo r h on esty a n d m utu al r e sp ec t. I n th e m ean tim e, th e co -w ork er le sa tis ed th at h er co n cer ns aro u n d te en pre g n an cy had been fu lly heard . Both parties fe lt u n dersto od , a n d th eir r e la tio n sh ip b en ete d fr o m th ei r h av in g s h are d th eir u n dersta n din g a n d d iff ere n ce s w it h ou t h ostili t y . I n t h e ab sen ce of N VC, th eir re la tio n sh ip m ig h t h av e beg un to d et er io ra te fr o m th is m om en t, a n d th e w ork th ey b oth w an te d to d o in c o m mon — help in g peo p le — mig h t h av e s u ff ere d . Exerc is e 3 A C K N O W LE D GIN G N EED S To p ra ctic e id en tif y in g n eed s, p le a se cir c le th e nu m ber in fr o n t o f ea ch sta te m en t w here th e s p ea k er is a ck n ow le d gin g r es pon sib ili t y fo r h is o r h er fe eli n gs. 1. “ Y ou ir rit a te m e when yo u le av e co m pan y docu m en ts on th e co n fe re n ce r o om oor.” 2. “ I fe el a n gry w hen y o u s a y th at, b ecau se I a m w an tin g res pect a n d I h ear y o u r w ord s a s a n i n su lt .” 3. “ I f e el f r u str a te d w hen y o u c o m e la te .” 4. “ I’m s a d t h at y o u w on’t b e c o m in g f o r d in ner b ecau se I w as h op in g w e co u ld s p en d t h e e v en in g t o geth er .” 5. “ I f e el d is a p p oin te d b ecau se y o u s a id y o u w ou ld d o i t a n d y o u d id n’t .” 6. “ I’m d is c o u ra g ed b ecau se I w ou ld h av e li k ed t o h av e pro gres se d f u rth er in m y w ork b y n ow .” 7. “ L it t le t h in gs p eo p le s a y s o m etim es h u rt m e.” 8. “ I f e el h ap py t h at y o u r e ce iv ed t h at a w ard .” 9. “ I f e el s c a re d w hen y o u r a is e y o u r v o ic e.” 1 0 . “ I a m g ra te fu l t h at y o u o ff ere d m e a r id e becau se I w as n eed in g t o g et h om e b efo re m y c h ild re n a rriv e.” H ere are m y r e sp on se s f o r E xerc is e 3: 1. I f yo u cir c le d th is nu m ber, w e’r e not in ag re em ent. To m e, th e sta te m en t im pli e s t h at t h e o th er p er so n’s b eh av io r is s o le ly r es pon sib le f o r t h e s p ea k er’s f e eli n gs. I t d oesn ’t r e v ea l t h e need s o r t h ou gh ts t h at a re c o n tr ib u tin g t o t h e s p ea k er’s f e eli n gs. T o d o s o , t h e sp ea k er m ig h t h av e sa id , “I’m ir rit a te d w hen yo u le av e co m pan y docu m en ts on th e co n fe re n ce ro om oor, b ecau se I w an t o u r d ocu m en ts to b e sa fe ly s to re d a n d a cce ss ib le .” 2. I f yo u cir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e in ag re em ent th at th e sp ea k er is a ck n ow le d gin g r e sp on sib ili t y f o r h is o r h er f e eli n gs. 3. I f y o u c ir c le d t h is n u m ber, w e’r e n ot i n a g re em ent. T o ex pres s t h e need s or t h ou gh ts u n derly in g h is o r h er f e eli n gs, t h e sp ea k er m ig h t h av e sa id , “I f e el f r u str a te d w hen y o u c o m e la te b ecau se I w as h op in g w e’d b e ab le t o g et s o m e f r o n t- r o w s e ats .” 4. I f yo u cir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e in ag re em ent th at th e sp ea k er is a ck n ow le d gin g r e sp on sib ili t y f o r h is o r h er f e eli n gs. 5. I f y o u c ir c le d t h is n u m ber, w e’r e n ot i n a g re em ent. T o ex pres s t h e need s an d th ou gh ts u n derly in g h is o r h er fe eli n gs, th e sp ea k er m ig h t h av e sa id , “ W hen y o u s a id y o u ’d d o it a n d th en d id n’t , I fe lt d is a p p oin te d b ecau se I w an t t o b e a b le t o r e ly u p on y o u r w ord s.” 6. I f yo u cir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e in ag re em ent th at th e sp ea k er is a ck n ow le d gin g r e sp on sib ili t y f o r h is o r h er f e eli n gs. 7. I f y o u c ir c le d t h is n u m ber, w e’r e n ot i n a g re em ent. T o ex pres s t h e need s an d th ou gh ts u n derly in g h is o r h er fe eli n gs, th e sp ea k er m ig h t h av e sa id , “S o m etim es w hen p eo p le sa y li t t le th in gs, I fe el h u rt b ecau se I wan t t o b e a p pre cia te d , n ot c rit ic iz e d .” 8. I f y o u c ir c le d t h is n u m ber, w e’r e n ot i n a g re em ent. T o ex pres s t h e need s an d th ou gh ts u n derly in g h is o r h er fe eli n gs, th e sp ea k er m ig h t h av e sa id , “ W hen y o u r e ce iv ed t h at a w ard , I f e lt h ap py b ecau se I w as h op in g yo u ’d b e r e co gn iz e d f o r a ll t h e w ork y o u ’d p u t i n to t h e pro je ct.” 9. I f y o u c ir c le d t h is n u m ber, w e’r e n ot i n a g re em ent. T o ex pres s t h e need s an d th ou gh ts u n derly in g h is o r h er fe eli n gs, th e sp ea k er m ig h t h av e sa id , “W hen yo u ra is e yo u r vo ic e, I fe el sc a re d b ecau se I’m te lli n g m yse lf s o m eo n e m ig h t g et h u rt h er e, a n d I n eed t o k n ow t h at w e’r e all s a fe .” 1 0 . I f yo u cir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e in ag re em ent th at th e sp ea k er is a ck n ow le d gin g r e sp on sib ili t y f o r h is o r h er f e eli n gs. W 6 Req u estin g  at W hic h W ou ld E nric h L ife e h av e n ow co vere d th e rst th re e co m pon en ts o f N VC, w hic h a d dre ss w hat w e a re o b se rv in g, f e eli n g, a n d need in g. W e h av e le arn ed to d o t h is w it h ou t c rit ic iz in g, a n aly zin g, b la m in g, o r d ia g n osin g o th er s, a n d in a w ay li k ely to in sp ir e c o m pass io n .  e fo u rth a n d n al c o m pon en t o f th is p ro ce ss a d dre ss e s w hat w e wou ld li k e to re q u est o f o th ers in o rd er to e n ric h li f e fo r u s. W hen o u r n eed s a re not b ei ng fu l lle d , w e fo llo w th e ex p re ss io n o f w hat w e a re o b se rv in g, fe eli n g, a n d n eed in g w it h a sp eci c re q u est: w e a sk fo r a ctio n s t h at m ig h t fu l ll o u r n eed s. H ow d o w e ex pres s ou r r e q u ests s o t h at o th ers a re m ore willi n g to r es pon d c o m pass io n ate ly to o u r n eed s? Usin g P osit iv e A ctio n L an gu ag e Fir st o f a ll, w e e x p re ss w hat w e a re r e q u estin g r a th er th an w hat w e are not re q u estin g. “ H ow d o y o u d o a d on’t ? ” g o es a li n e o f a c h ild re n ’s s o n g b y m y co lle a g u e R uth B eb erm ey er: “A ll I k n ow i s I f e el w on’t w hen I ’m t o ld t o d o a d on’t .”  ese ly ric s re v ea l tw o pro blem s co m mon ly en co u nter ed w hen re q u ests a re w ord ed in t h e n eg ativ e. P eo p le are o en c o n fu se d a s t o w hat is a ctu ally b ein g re q u este d , a n d fu rth er m ore , n eg ativ e re q u es ts a re li k ely to p ro vo ke r e sis ta n ce. U se p osit iv e l a n gu ag e w hen m ak in g r e q u ests . A w om an a t a w ork sh op, fr u str a te d th at h er h u sb an d w as s p en din g s o m uch t im e a t w ork , d esc rib ed h ow h er r e q u es t h ad back re d : “ I a sk ed h im n ot to sp en d so m uch tim e a t w ork .  re e week s la te r, h e res pon ded b y an nou n cin g t h at h e’d s ig n ed u p f o r a g o lf t o u rn am en t!” S h e had s u cces sfu lly c o m mun ic ate d t o h im w hat s h e d id n ot w an t— his s p en din g s o m uch t im e at w ork — bu t h ad fa ile d to r e q u est w hat s h e did w an t. E nco u ra g ed to r e w ord h er re q u est, s h e th ou gh t a m in ute an d s a id , “ I w is h I h ad to ld h im th at I w ou ld li k e h im to sp en d at le a st o n e ev en in g a w eek at h om e wit h th e ch ild re n a n d m e.” D urin g th e V ie tn am W ar, I w as ask ed to d eb ate th e war is su e on te le v is io n w it h a m an w hose p osit io n d iff er ed fr o m m in e.  e sh ow w as v id eo ta p ed , so I w as a b le to w atc h it a t h om e th at e v en in g. W hen I sa w m yse lf on th e sc re en co m mun ic atin g in way s I did n’t wan t to be co m mun ic atin g, I fe lt v ery u p se t. “ If I ’m e v er in a n oth er d is c u ss io n ,” I to ld m yse lf , “ I a m d ete rm in ed n ot to d o w hat I d id o n th at p ro gra m ! I’m n ot go in g to b e d efe n siv e. I ’m n ot g o in g to let t h em m ak e a fo ol o f m e.” N otic e h ow I s p oke to m yse lf in te rm s o f w hat I d id n’t w an t to d o r a th er th an in t e rm s o f w hat I d id w an t t o d o. A c h an ce t o r e d eem m yse lf c a m e th e ver y n ex t w eek w hen I w as in vit e d to c o n tin u e th e d eb ate o n th e s a m e pro gra m . A ll th e way to th e stu dio , I re p eate d t o m yse lf a ll t h e t h in gs I d id n’t w an t t o d o. A s s o on a s t h e pro gra m sta rte d , t h e m an la u n ch ed o ff i n ex actly t h e sa m e way h e had a w eek e arli er . For ab ou t te n se co n ds a er he’d n is h ed ta lk in g, I m an ag ed not to c o m mun ic ate in th e w ay s I h ad b een rem in din g m yse lf . In fa ct, I sa id n oth in g. I ju st s a t th ere . A s s o on a s I o p en ed m y m ou th , h ow ev er , I fo u n d w ord s t u m bli n g o u t i n a ll t h e w ay s I h ad b een s o d et er m in ed t o a v o id ! I t w as a p ain fu l le ss o n a b ou t w hat c a n h ap p en w hen I o n ly id en tif y w hat I d on’t w an t t o d o, w it h ou t c la rif y in g w hat I d o w an t t o d o. I w as o n ce i n vit e d t o w ork w it h s o m e h ig h s c h ool s tu den ts w ho s u ff er ed a lo n g li t a n y of grie v an ce s ag ain st th ei r prin cip al.  ey reg ard ed th e prin cip al a s r a cis t, a n d s e arc h ed fo r w ay s to g et e v en w it h h im . A m in is ter w ho w ork ed c lo se ly w it h th e y o u n g p eo p le beca m e deep ly c o n cer ned o ver th e p ro sp ec t o f v io le n ce. O ut o f r es pect f o r t h e m in is ter , t h e stu den ts a g re ed to m eet w it h m e.  ey b eg an b y d esc rib in g w hat t h ey s a w a s d is c rim in atio n on t h e p art o f th e p rin cip al. A er l i s te n in g t o s e v er al o f t h ei r c h arg es, I s u gges te d t h at t h ey p ro ce ed b y c la rif y in g w hat t h ey w an te d f r o m t h e prin cip al. “ W hat g o od w ou ld t h at d o?” s c o ff ed o n e s tu den t i n d is g u st. “ W e alr e a d y w en t to h im to te ll h im w hat w e wan te d . H is a n sw er to u s w as, ‘G et o u t o f h ere ! I d on’t n eed y o u p eo p le t e lli n g m e w hat t o d o!’” I ask ed th e stu den ts w hat th ey h ad re q u es te d o f th e prin cip al.  ey re ca lle d s a y in g to h im th at th ey d id n’t w an t h im te lli n g th em h ow to w ear th eir h air . I su ggeste d th at th ey m ig h t h av e re ce iv ed a m ore co op er ativ e re sp on se i f t h ey h ad e x p re ss e d w hat t h ey d id , r a th er t h an w hat t h ey d id n ot, w an t.  ey h ad t h en in fo rm ed t h e prin cip al t h at t h ey w an te d to b e tr e ate d w it h fa ir n ess , a t w hic h h e h ad b eco m e d ef en siv e, v o cif er ou sly d en yin g e v er h av in g been u n fa ir . I ven tu re d to gu ess th at th e prin cip al w ou ld h av e re sp on ded m ore f a v o ra b ly if t h ey h ad a sk ed fo r s p eci c a ctio n s r a th er t h an v ag u e b eh av io r l i k e “ fa ir t r e atm en t.” W ork in g to geth er, w e fo u n d w ay s to ex pres s th ei r re q u es ts in p osit iv e actio n l a n gu ag e. A t t h e e n d o f t h e m eet in g, t h e stu den ts h ad c la ri ed t h ir ty – eig h t a ctio n s t h ey w an te d t h e p rin cip al to t a k e, in clu din g “ W e’d li k e yo u to a g re e to b la ck s tu den t r e p re se n ta tio n o n d ecis io n s m ad e a b ou t d res s c o d e,” a n d “ W e’d l i k e y o u t o r e fe r t o u s a s ‘b la ck s tu den ts ’ a n d n ot ‘y o u p eo p le .’ ”  e fo llo w in g d ay, th e stu den ts p re sen te d th ei r re q u es ts to th e prin cip al u sin g th e p osit iv e a ctio n la n gu ag e w e had p ra ctic e d ; th at e v en in g I re cei ved a n ela te d p h on e c a ll fr o m th em : th ei r p rin cip al h ad a g re ed to a ll th ir ty -ei gh t re q u ests ! In a d dit io n t o u sin g p osit iv e l a n gu ag e, w e als o w an t t o w ord o u r r e q u es ts in th e fo rm o f co n cre te actio n s th at o th er s ca n u n der ta k e an d to av o id v ag u e, a b str a ct, o r a m big u ou s p h ra sin g. A c a rto on d ep ic ts a m an w ho h as fa lle n in to a la k e. A s h e s tr u gg les to s w im , h e sh ou ts to h is d og o n s h ore , “L ass ie , g et h elp !” In th e n ex t fr a m e, th e dog is ly in g o n a p sy ch ia tr is t’s c o u ch . W e a ll k n ow h ow o p in io n s v ary a s to w hat c o n stit u tes “ h elp ”: s o m e mem bers o f m y fa m ily , w hen a sk ed to h elp w it h th e dis h es , th in k “ h elp ” m ean s s u p erv is io n . A co u ple in dis tr e ss att e n din g a w ork sh op pro vid es an ad dit io n al illu str a tio n o f h ow n on sp eci c la n gu ag e ca n h am per u n der sta n din g an d co m mun ic atio n . “ I w an t y o u to let m e be m e,” th e wom an d ecla re d to h er hu sb an d. “ I d o!” h e r e to rte d . “ N o, y o u d on’t !” s h e in sis te d . A sk ed t o ex pres s hers e lf in p osit iv e a ctio n la n gu ag e, th e wom an r ep li e d , “ I w an t y o u to g iv e m e t h e f r e ed om t o g ro w a n d b e m yse lf .” S u ch a s ta te m en t, h ow ev er , i s j u st a s v ag u e a n d l i k ely t o p ro vo ke a d efen siv e res pon se . S h e str u gg le d t o f o rm ula te h er r e q u est c le arly , a n d t h en a d m it t e d , “ It’s k in d o f a w kw ard , b u t i f I w er e to b e p re cis e , I g u ess w hat I w an t i s f o r y o u t o s m ile a n d s a y t h at a n yth in g I d o is o kay.” O en , t h e u se o f v ag u e a n d a b str a ct la n gu ag e c a n m ask o p pres siv e in te rp ers o n al g am es. M ak in g re q u ests in cle a r, pos it iv e, co n cre te actio n la n gu ag e r e v ea ls w hat w e r e a lly w an t. A s im ila r la ck o f c la rit y o cc u rre d b et ween a fa th er a n d h is  een -y ear- o ld so n w hen th ey c a m e in fo r c o u n se li n g. “A ll I w an t is fo r y o u to sta rt sh ow in g a l i t t le r e sp on sib ili t y ,” c la im ed t h e fa th er . “ Is t h at a sk in g t o o m uch ?” I s u ggeste d t h at h e s p ecif y w hat i t w ou ld t a k e fo r h is s o n t o d em on str a te th e re sp on sib ili t y h e w as se ek in g. A er a d is c u ss io n on h ow to cla rif y h is r e q u est, t h e f a th er r e sp on ded s h eep is h ly , “ W ell, i t d oes n’t s o u n d s o g o od , b u t w hen I s a y t h at I w an t r e sp on sib ili t y , w hat I r e a lly m ean i s t h at I w an t h im t o d o w hat I a sk , w it h ou t q u estio n — to ju m p w hen I s a y ju m p, a n d to s m ile w hile d oin g it .” H e th en a g re ed w it h m e th at if h is so n w ere to a ctu ally b eh av e t h is w ay, i t w ou ld d em on str a te o b ed ien ce r a th er t h an r es pon sib ili t y . L ik e th is fa th er, w e o  en u se v ag u e an d a b str a ct la n gu ag e to in dic ate h ow w e w an t o th er p eo p le to fe el o r b e wit h ou t n am in g a c o n cret e actio n th ey co u ld ta k e to re a ch th at sta te . F or ex am ple , an em plo yer m ak es a gen u in e e ff ort to in vit e fe ed back , te lli n g th e em plo yees, “ I w an t y o u to fe el fr e e to ex p re ss yo u rs e lf aro u n d m e.”  e sta te m en t co m mun ic ates th e em plo yer’s d esir e f o r t h e e m plo yees t o “ fe el f r e e,” b u t n ot w hat t h ey c o u ld d o in o rd er to fe el th is w ay. In ste a d , th e em plo yer c o u ld u se p osit iv e a ctio n la n gu ag e t o m ak e a r e q u est: “ I’d li k e yo u t o te ll m e w hat I m ig h t d o t o m ak e it e a sie r f o r y o u t o f e el f r e e t o e x p res s y o u rs e lv es a ro u n d m e.” V ag u e l a n gu ag e c o n tr ib u te s t o i n te rn al c o n fu sio n . D ep re ssio n i s t h e r e w ard w e g et f o r b ein g “ g o od .” A s a n al illu str a tio n o f h ow th e use of v ag u e la n gu ag e c o n tr ib u tes to in te rn al c o n fu sio n , I w ou ld li k e to p res en t th e co n ver sa tio n th at I w ou ld i n varia b ly h av e d u rin g m y p ra ctic e a s a c li n ic a l p sy ch olo gis t w it h t h e m an y cli e n ts w ho c a m e to m e w it h c o m pla in ts o f d ep res sio n . A er I em path iz e d w it h th e d ep th o f fe eli n g th at a c li en t h ad ju st ex pres se d , o u r ex ch an ges w ou ld t y p ic a lly p ro ce ed i n t h e f o llo w in g m an ner : M BR : W hat a re y o u w an tin g t h at y o u a re not r e ce iv in g? C li e n t: I d on’t k n ow w hat I w an t. M BR : I g u ess e d t h at y o u w ou ld s a y t h at. C li e n t: W hy? M BR : M y th eo ry is th at w e g et d ep re ss e d b ecau se we’r e not g ett in g w hat w e w an t, a n d w e’r e n ot g ett in g w hat w e wan t b ecau se we hav e nev er b een ta u gh t to g et w hat w e w an t. In ste a d , w e’v e been ta u gh t to b e go od li t t le b oys a n d g ir ls a n d g o od m oth er s a n d fa th er s. If w e’r e g o in g to b e o n e o f th ose go od th in gs, b et ter get u se d to b ei ng dep re ss e d . D ep re ss io n is t h e r e w ard w e get fo r b ei ng “ g o o d .” B ut, if y o u w an t to fe el b ett e r, I’d li k e y o u to c la rif y w hat y o u w ou ld li k e p eo p le t o d o t o m ak e l i f e m ore w on derfu l f o r y o u . C li e n t: I j u st w an t s o m eo n e t o l o ve m e.  at’s h ard ly u n re a so n ab le , i s i t ? M BR : It’s a g o od sta rt. N ow I’d li k e y o u to c la rif y w hat y o u w ou ld li k e peo p le to d o t h at w ou ld fu l ll y o u r n eed to b e lo ved . F or ex am ple , w hat c o u ld I d o r ig h t n ow ? Cli e n t: O h, y o u k n ow … M BR : I’m n ot s u re I d o. I ’d li k e y o u t o t e ll m e what y o u w ou ld li k e m e, o r o th ers , t o d o t o g iv e y o u t h e l o ve y o u ’r e lo okin g f o r. C li e n t:  at’s h ard . M BR : Yes, it c a n b e d iffi cu lt t o m ak e c le ar r e q u es ts . B ut t h in k h ow h ard it w ill b e fo r o th ers to r e sp on d to o u r r e q u es t if w e’r e not e v en c le ar w hat i t i s ! C li e n t: I ’m s ta rtin g to g et c le ar w hat I w an t fr o m o th er s to fu l ll m y n eed fo r l o ve, b u t i t ’s e m barra ss in g. M BR : Yes, v ery o  en it is e m barra ss in g. S o w hat w ou ld y o u li k e f o r m e or o th ers t o d o? C li e n t: I f I r e a lly r e ec t u p on w hat I ’m r e q u es tin g w hen I a sk t o b e lo ved , I s u pp ose I w an t y o u t o g u ess w hat I w an t b ef ore I’m e v en a w are of i t . A nd t h en I w an t y o u t o a lw ay s d o i t . M BR : I’m g ra te fu l fo r y o u r c la rit y . I h op e yo u c a n se e how y o u a re not li k ely to n d so m eo n e w ho c a n fu l ll y o u r n eed fo r lo ve if th at’s w hat i t t a k es. V ery o  en , m y c li e n ts w ere a b le t o s e e how t h e la ck o f a w aren ess o f w hat th ey w an te d fr o m o th ers h ad c o n tr ib u te d s ig n i ca n tly to th ei r fr u str a tio n s an d d ep re ss io n . Mak in g R eq u ests C on sc io u sly S o m etim es w e m ay b e a b le t o c o m mun ic ate a c le ar r e q u es t w it h ou t p u tt in g it in w ord s. S u pp ose y o u ’r e in th e kit c h en a n d y o u r s is ter , w ho is w atc h in g te le v is io n in th e li v in g r o om , c a lls o u t, “ I’m th ir sty .” I n th is c a se , it m ay b e obvio u s th at sh e is re q u estin g y o u to b rin g h er a g la ss o f w ater fr o m th e kit c h en . H ow ev er, in oth er in sta n ce s, w e m ay ex pres s ou r dis c o m fo rt an d in co rre c tly a ssu m e t h at t h e li s te n er h as u n der sto od t h e un derly in g r e q u es t. F or e x am ple , a w om an m ig h t s a y to h er h u sb an d, “ I’m a n noyed y o u fo rg o t th e b u tt e r a n d o n io n s I a sk ed y o u to p ic k u p fo r d in ner .” W hile it m ay b e obvio u s to h er th at s h e is a sk in g h im to g o b ack to th e sto re , th e hu sb an d m ay t h in k t h at h er w ord s w ere u tt er ed s o le ly t o m ak e him f e el g u ilt y . W hen w e s im ply e x p re ss o u r f e eli n gs, i t m ay n ot b e c le a r to t h e l i s te n er w hat w e w an t t h em t o d o. Even m ore o  en , w e a re s im ply n ot c o n sc io u s o f w hat w e are re q u es tin g w hen w e sp ea k . W e ta lk to o th ers o r a t th em w it h ou t k n ow in g h ow to e n gag e in a d ia lo gu e w it h th em . W e to ss o u t w ord s, u sin g th e pres en ce o f o th ers a s a w aste b ask et. I n s u ch s it u atio n s, th e li s ten er, u n ab le to d is c er n a c le ar re q u est in th e sp ea k er’s w ord s, m ay ex per ien ce th e kin d o f d is tr es s illu str a te d i n t h e f o llo w in g a n ecd ote . W e a re o  en n ot c o n sc io u s o f w hat w e a re r e q u estin g. I w as s e ate d d ir e c tly a cro ss t h e a is le fr o m a c o u ple on a m in i- tr a in t h at c a rrie s p ass e n gers to th eir re sp ec tiv e ter m in als at th e Dalla s/F ort W orth I n te rn atio n al A ir p ort. F or p ass e n gers in a h u rr y t o c atc h a p la n e, t h e sn ail’s p ace o f t h e t r a in m ay w ell b e i r r it a tin g.  e m an t u rn ed t o h is w if e an d s a id w it h in te n sit y , “ I h av e n ev er s e en a t r a in g o s o s lo w in a ll m y li f e .” S h e sa id n oth in g, ap p earin g te n se an d u n ea sy as to w hat res pon se he mig h t b e ex p ec tin g f r o m h er. H e t h en d id w hat m an y o f u s d o w hen w e’r e not g et tin g th e r e sp on se w e w an t: h e r e p eate d h im se lf . I n a m ark ed ly s tr o n ger v o ic e, h e ex cla im ed , “ I h av e n ev er s e en a t r a in g o s o s lo w i n a ll m y l i f e! ”  e w if e , at a lo ss fo r re sp on se , lo oked ev en m ore dis tr es se d . In d esp era tio n , sh e tu rn ed to h im a n d sa id , “  ey ’r e ele ctr o n ic a lly tim ed .” I d id n’t th in k th is p ie ce o f in fo rm atio n w ou ld s a tis fy h im , a n d in deed it d id n ot, fo r h e re p eate d h im se lf a th ir d tim e— ev en m ore lo u d ly , “ I H AV E N EV ER SE EN A T R A IN G O SO SL O W IN A LL M Y L IF E ! ”  e w if e ’s p atie n ce w as c le arly e x h au ste d a s s h e sn ap p ed b ack a n grily , “ W ell, w hat d o yo u w an t m e t o d o a b ou t i t ? G et o u t a n d p u sh ?” N ow t h er e were tw o p eo p le i n p ain ! W hat r e sp on se w as th e m an w an tin g? I b eli e v e he wan te d to h ear th at h is p ain w as u n dersto od . If h is w if e had kn ow n th is , sh e mig h t h av e re sp on ded , “It so u n ds li k e yo u ’r e sc a re d w e mig h t m is s o u r p la n e, an d dis g u ste d b ecau se y o u ’d l i k e a f a ster t r a in r u n nin g b et ween t h es e ter m in als .” R eq u ests may so u n d li k e dem an ds when u n acco m pan ie d b y t h e s p ea k er’s f e eli n gs a n d n eed s. In t h e a b ove e x ch an ge, t h e w if e h eard t h e hu sb an d’s f r u str a tio n b u t w as clu ele ss a s to w hat h e w as a sk in g fo r. E qu ally p ro blem atic is th e re v er se sit u atio n — when p eo p le s ta te t h eir r e q u es ts w it h ou t rst c o m mun ic atin g t h e fe eli n gs a n d n eed s b eh in d th em .  is is es pecia lly tr u e w hen th e re q u es t ta k es th e fo rm o f a q u estio n . “ W hy d on’t y o u g o a n d g et a h air c u t? ” c a n e a sily b e h eard b y yo u n gste rs as a d em an d o r an att a ck u n les s p aren ts r e m em ber to rst r e v ea l th eir o w n fe eli n gs a n d n eed s: “ W e’r e worrie d th at y o u r h air is g ett in g s o lo n g it m ig h t k eep y o u f r o m s e ei ng t h in gs, es pecia lly w hen y o u ’r e o n y o u r b ik e. H ow a b ou t a h air c u t? ” It i s m ore c o m mon , h ow ev er, f o r p eo p le to t a lk w it h ou t b ei ng c o n sc io u s of w hat th ey are ask in g fo r. “I’m n ot re q u es tin g an yth in g,” th ey m ig h t re m ark . “ I j u st f e lt l i k e s a y in g w hat I s a id .” M y b eli ef i s t h at, w hen ev er w e sa y so m eth in g t o a n oth er p ers o n , w e a re re q u es tin g s o m eth in g i n r et urn . I t m ay sim ply b e a n e m path ic c o n nec tio n — a v er bal o r n on ver bal a ck n ow le d gm en t, a s w it h t h e m an o n t h e t r a in , t h at o u r w ord s h av e been u n der sto od . O r w e m ay b e r e q u estin g h on esty : w e w is h t o k n ow t h e li s ten er’s h on est r e a ctio n t o o u r w ord s. O r w e m ay b e r e q u estin g a n a ctio n t h at w e h op e w ou ld f u l ll o u r need s.  e c le are r w e a re o n w hat w e wan t b ack f r o m t h e oth er p er so n , t h e m ore l i k ely i t i s t h at o u r n eed s w ill b e m et.  e c le a re r w e a re a b ou t w hat w e w an t, t h e m ore l i k ely i t i s t h at w e’l l g et i t . Ask in g f o r a R efl ectio n A s w e k n ow , t h e m ess a g e w e s e n d is n ot a lw ay s t h e m essa g e th at’s r e cei ved . W e g en era lly re ly o n v erb al c u es to d eter m in e whet her o u r m essa g e has b een u n dersto od to o u r s a tis fa ctio n . I f, h ow ev er , w e’r e un cer ta in t h at it h as b een r e ce iv ed a s in te n ded , w e n eed to b e ab le to c le arly r e q u es t a r es pon se th at te lls u s h ow th e m ess a g e w as h eard so a s to b e ab le to c o rre ct a n y m is u n dersta n din g. O n so m e occ a sio n s, a sim ple qu es tio n li k e, “Is th at cle ar? ” w ill s u ffi ce. A t o th er tim es, w e need m ore th an “ Y es, I u n der sto od yo u ,” to fe el c o n den t th at w e’v e b een tr u ly u n der sto od . A t s u ch tim es, w e m ig h t a sk o th ers t o r e ec t b ack in t h ei r o w n w ord s w hat t h ey h eard u s s a y. W e t h en h av e t h e o p p ortu n it y t o r es ta te p arts o f o u r m ess a g e to a d dres s a n y d is c re p an cy o r o m is s io n w e m ig h t h av e notic e d i n t h ei r r e ectio n . T o m ak e s u re t h e m ess a g e w e s e n t is t h e m ess a g e t h at’s r e ce iv ed , a sk t h e l i s te n er t o r e fl ect i t b ack . For ex am ple , a te a ch er ap pro ach es a stu den t an d sa y s, “P et er , I go t co n ce rn ed w hen I c h eck ed m y r e co rd b o ok y es ter day. I w an t to m ak e su re y o u ’r e a w are o f t h e h om ew ork I ’m m is s in g fr o m y o u . W ill y o u d ro p b y m y offi ce a  er s c h ool? ” P ete r m um bles , “O kay, I k n ow ,” a n d th en tu rn s a w ay, le av in g th e te a ch er u n ea sy a s to w het her h er m ess a g e had b een a cc u ra te ly r e ce iv ed . S h e a sk s fo r a r e ec tio n — “C ou ld y o u te ll m e what y o u ju st h eard m e s a y ?” — to w hic h P ete r r e p li e s, “ Y ou s a id I g o tt a m is s s o ccer t o s ta y a  er sc h ool b ecau se y o u d id n’t li k e m y h om ew ork .” C on rm ed in h er s u sp ic io n th at P ete r h ad n ot h eard h er i n te n ded m essa g e, t h e te a ch er t r ies t o r es ta te it , b u t rst s h e i s c a re fu l o f h er n ex t r em ark . A n ass e rtio n li k e “Y ou d id n’t h ear m e,” “ at’s n ot w hat I sa id ,” o r “Y ou ’r e m is u n dersta n din g m e,” m ay ea sily le a d P et er to th in k th at h e is b ein g ch astis e d . Sin ce th e te a ch er per ce iv es Pet er as hav in g sin cer ely r e sp on ded t o h er r e q u est f o r a r e ectio n , s h e m ig h t s a y, “ I’m g ra tef ul t o y o u fo r t e lli n g m e w hat y o u h eard . I c a n s e e th at I d id n’t m ak e m yse lf a s c le ar a s I’d h av e l i k ed , s o l e t m e t r y a g ain .” Exp re ss a p pre cia tio n w hen y o u r li s te n er tr ie s to meet y o u r r e q u est f o r a r e fl ectio n . W hen w e rst b eg in a sk in g o th ers t o r e ect b ack w hat t h ey h ear u s s a y, it m ay fe el aw kw ard a n d str a n ge b ecau se su ch re q u es ts a re ra re ly m ad e. W hen I em ph asiz e th e im porta n ce o f o u r ab ili t y to ask fo r re ectio n s, p eo p le o  en ex p re ss re se rv atio n s.  ey are worrie d ab ou t re a ctio n s li k e, “W hat d o yo u th in k I am — deaf? ” o r, “Q uit p la y in g yo u r p sy ch olo gic a l g am es.” T o p re v en t s u ch r e sp on ses , w e ca n ex pla in to p eo p le ah ea d o f t im e why w e m ay s o m etim es a sk t h em t o r e ect b ack o u r w ord s. W e m ak e cle ar th at w e’r e n ot te stin g th eir li s te n in g sk ills , b u t c h eck in g o u t w heth er w e’v e ex p re ss e d o u rs e lv es cle arly . H ow ev er , sh ou ld th e li s te n er ret ort, “I h eard w hat y o u s a id ; I ’m n ot s tu pid !” w e hav e th e op tio n t o f o cu s o n t h e li s ten er’s f e eli n gs a n d n eed s a n d a sk — eit h er a lo u d o r s ilen tly — “A re yo u s a y in g y o u ’r e fe eli n g a n noyed b ecau se y o u w an t res pect fo r y o u r a b ili t y to u n der sta n d th in gs? ” E m path iz e w it h t h e li s te n er w ho doesn ’t w an t t o r e fl ect b ack . Req u estin g H on esty A er w e’v e o p en ly e x p re ss e d o u rs e lv es a n d r e ce iv ed th e un der sta n din g w e w an t, w e’r e o  en e a g er to k n ow th e oth er p er so n’s re a ctio n to w hat w e’v e sa id . U su ally th e h on esty w e w ou ld li k e to re ce iv e ta k es on e of th re e d ir e c tio n s: S o m etim es w e’d li k e to k n ow th e fe eli n gs th at a re stim ula te d b y w hat w e s a id , a n d th e r e a so n s fo r th ose fe eli n gs. W e m ig h t r e q u es t th is b y ask in g, “ I w ou ld li k e y o u t o t e ll m e h ow y o u f e el a b ou t w hat I ju st s a id , an d y o u r r e a so n s f o r f e eli n g a s y o u d o.” A er w e e x p re ss o u rse lv es v u ln era b ly , w e o  en w an t t o k n ow ( 1 ) w hat t h e l i s te n er i s f e eli n g; So m etim es w e’d l i k e t o k n ow s o m ethin g a b ou t o u r l i s ten er’s t h ou gh ts i n r e sp on se t o w hat t h ey j u st h eard u s s a y. A t t h es e tim es, i t ’s i m porta n t t o s p ecif y w hic h t h ou gh ts w e’d li k e th em t o s h are . F or ex am ple , w e m ig h t sa y, “ I’d li k e y o u to te ll m e if y o u p re d ic t th at m y p ro p osa l w ou ld b e su cce ss fu l, an d if n ot, w hat yo u b eli e v e wou ld p re v en t it s su cces s,” r a th er t h an s im ply s a y in g, “ I’d li k e yo u t o t e ll m e w hat y o u t h in k a b ou t w hat I ’v e s a id .” W hen w e d on’t s p ecif y w hic h t h ou gh ts w e w ou ld l i k e to r e ce iv e, th e o th er p ers o n m ay re sp on d a t g re at len gth w it h th ou gh ts t h at a re n ’t t h e o n es w e a re s e ek in g. (2 ) w hat t h e l i s te n er i s t h in kin g; o r So m etim es w e’d li k e to k n ow w het her th e per so n is w illi n g to ta k e ce rta in a ctio n s t h at w e’v e r e co m men ded . S u ch a r e q u es t m ay s o u n d l i k e th is : “ I’d li k e y o u to te ll m e if y o u w ou ld b e willi n g to p ostp on e ou r m eetin g f o r o n e w eek .” ( 3 ) w heth er th e li s te n er w ou ld b e w illi n g to ta k e a p artic u la r a ctio n . e u se o f N VC re q u ir e s th at w e be co n sc io u s o f th e sp eci c fo rm o f h on esty w e w ou ld li k e to r e ce iv e, a n d to m ak e th at r e q u es t fo r h on es ty in c o n cre te l a n gu ag e. Mak in g R eq u ests o f a G ro u p It is e sp ecia lly im porta n t w hen w e a re ad dres sin g a g ro u p t o b e cle ar a b ou t th e k in d o f u n dersta n din g o r h on esty w e w an t b ack a  er w e’v e ex pres se d o u rs e lv es. W hen w e are n ot cle ar ab ou t th e res pon se we’d li k e, w e may in it ia te u npro du ctiv e c o n vers a tio n s t h at en d u p s a tis fy in g n o o n e’s n eed s. I’v e b een in vit e d fr o m tim e to tim e to w ork w it h g ro u p s o f cit iz en s co n ce rn ed a b ou t ra cis m in th ei r co m mun it ies . O ne is su e th at fr e q u en tly a ris e s a m on g th ese g ro u p s is th at th ei r m eetin gs a re te d io u s a n d fr u it les s.  is la ck of p ro du ctiv it y is very co stly fo r gro u p m em ber s, w ho o en ex p en d li m it e d re so u rc e s to a rra n ge fo r tr a n sp orta tio n a n d ch ild c a re in o rd er to att e n d m eetin gs. F ru str a te d b y p ro lo n ged d is c u ss io n s th at y ie ld li t t le d ir e c tio n , m an y m em bers q u it t h e gro u p s, d ecla rin g m eetin gs a w aste o f t im e. F u rth erm ore , t h e i n stit u tio n al c h an ges t h ey a re str iv in g t o m ak e are n ot u su ally o n es th at o cc u r q u ic k ly o r e a sily . F or a ll th es e re a so n s, w hen su ch g ro u p s d o m eet, it ’s im porta n t th at th ey m ak e go o d u se of th ei r tim e to geth er. I k n ew m em bers o f o n e su ch g ro u p th at h ad b een o rg an iz e d to eff ect ch an ge i n t h e l o ca l s c h ool s y ste m . I t w as t h ei r b eli ef t h at v ario u s e lem ents i n t h e sc h ool sy ste m d is c rim in ate d ag ain st stu den ts on th e basis of ra ce. B ecau se th eir m eetin gs w ere unpro du ctiv e an d th e gro u p w as lo sin g m em bers , t h ey i n vit e d m e t o o b ser ve th ei r d is c u ss io n s. I s u gges te d t h at t h ey co n du ct t h eir m eetin g a s u su al, a n d t h at I w ou ld let t h em k n ow i f I s a w a n y w ay s N VC m ig h t h elp . O ne m an b eg an t h e m eetin g b y c a lli n g t h e gro u p’s a tt en tio n to a r e cen t new sp ap er a rtic le in w hic h a m in orit y m oth er h ad ra is e d co m pla in ts a n d co n ce rn s re g ard in g th e p rin cip al’s tr e atm en t o f h er d au gh ter . A w om an re sp on ded b y s h arin g a s it u atio n th at h ad o cc u rre d to h er w hen s h e was a s tu den t a t t h e s a m e s c h ool. O ne b y o n e, e a ch m em ber t h en r e la te d a s im ila r p ers o n al e x p erie n ce. A er tw en ty m in utes I a sk ed th e gro u p if th ei r n eed s w ere b ein g m et b y t h e c u rre n t d is c u ss io n . N ot o n e p er so n s a id y es . “  is is w hat h ap p en s a ll t h e t im e i n t h ese m eet in gs!” h u ff ed o n e m an , “ I h av e bet ter t h in gs t o d o w it h m y t im e t h an s it a ro u n d l i s ten in g t o t h e sa m e old b u lls h it .” I t h en a d dre ss e d t h e m an w ho h ad i n it ia te d t h e dis c u ss io n : “ C an y o u t e ll m e, w hen y o u b ro u gh t u p th e n ew sp ap er a rtic le , w hat res pon se yo u w er e wan tin g f r o m t h e g ro u p ?” “I th ou gh t it w as in te re stin g,” h e r ep li e d . I ex pla in ed th at I w as a sk in g w hat r e sp on se h e w an te d f r o m t h e gro u p, r a th er t h an w hat h e th ou gh t a b ou t th e a rtic le . H e p on dere d a w hile a n d th en c o n ce d ed , “ I’m n ot su re what I w an te d .” A nd th at’s w hy, I b eli e v e, tw en ty m in utes o f th e gro u p’s v alu ab le tim e had b een sq u an dere d o n fr u it le ss d is c o u rs e . W hen w e ad dres s a gro u p w it h ou t b ein g c le ar w hat w e a re w an tin g b ack , u npro du ctiv e dis c u ss io n s w ill o  en fo llo w . H ow ev er, if e v en o n e m em ber o f a g ro u p is c o n sc io u s o f th e im porta n ce o f c le arly r e q u estin g t h e res pon se th at is d esir e d , h e or s h e ca n ex te n d th is c o n sc io u sn ess to th e gro u p. F or ex am ple , w hen th is p artic u la r sp ea k er d id n’t d e n e w hat re sp on se he wan te d , a m em ber o f th e gro u p m ig h t h av e s a id , “ I’m c o n fu se d a b ou t h ow y o u ’d li k e us to r es pon d to y o u r sto ry. W ou ld y o u b e w illi n g t o s a y w hat r es pon se yo u ’d li k e fr o m u s? ” S u ch in te rv en tio n s c a n p re v en t t h e w aste of p re cio u s g ro u p t im e. In a g ro u p, m uch tim e is w aste d w hen s p ea k ers a re n ’t c e rta in w hat r e sp on se t h ey ’r e w an tin g. C on vers a tio n s o  en d ra g o n a n d o n , f u l lli n g n o o n e’s n eed s, b ecau se it i s u n cle ar w heth er t h e i n it ia to r o f t h e co n ver sa tio n h as g o tt en w hat s h e or h e w an te d . In In dia , w hen p eo p le hav e re ce iv ed th e res pon se th ey w an t in c o n vers a tio n s th ey h av e in it ia te d , th ey s a y “ b as” (p ro n ou n ce d “ b u s” ).  is m ean s, “ Y ou n eed n ot s a y m ore . I fe el s a tis ed a n d a m n ow r e a d y to m ove o n t o s o m eth in g e ls e .”  ou gh w e l a ck s u ch a w ord i n o u r o w n l a n gu ag e, w e ca n b en e t fr o m d ev elo p in g a n d p ro m otin g “ b as-c o n sc io u sn ess” in a ll o u r in te ra ctio n s. Req u ests v ersu s D em an ds O ur re q u ests are re ce iv ed as d em an ds w hen o th er s b eli e v e th ey w ill b e bla m ed o r p u n is h ed if th ey d o n ot c o m ply . W hen p eo p le hear a d em an d, th ey s e e o n ly tw o o p tio n s: s u bm is s io n o r r e b elli o n . E it h er w ay, th e per so n re q u estin g is p erc e iv ed a s c o erc iv e, a n d th e li s ten er’s c ap acit y to res pon d co m pass io n ate ly t o t h e r e q u est i s d im in is h ed . W hen th e o th er p erso n h ea rs a d em an d fr o m u s, th ey se e t w o o p tio n s: t o s u bm it o r t o r e b el.  e m ore w e h av e in t h e p ast b la m ed , p u n is h ed , o r “ la id g u ilt t r ip s” o n o th ers w hen th ey hav en ’t re sp on ded to ou r re q u es ts , th e hig h er th e li k eli h ood t h at o u r r e q u ests w ill n ow b e heard a s d em an ds. W e a ls o p ay f o r o th ers’ u se o f s u ch t a ctic s. T o t h e deg re e th at p eo p le in o u r li v es h av e been b la m ed , p u n is h ed , o r u rg ed to fe el g u ilt y fo r n ot d oin g w hat o th er s h av e re q u este d , t h e m ore l i k ely t h ey a re to c a rr y t h is b ag gag e to e v er y s u bse q u en t re la tio n sh ip a n d h ear a d em an d i n a n y r e q u es t. T o te ll if it ’s a d em an d o r a r e q u est, o b se r v e w hat th e sp ea k er d oes i f t h e r e q u est i s n ot c o m pli e d w it h . Let’s lo ok a t tw o v aria tio n s o f a s it u atio n . Ja ck s a y s to h is fr ien d Ja n e, “I’m lo n ely a n d w ou ld li k e y o u to sp en d th e ev en in g w it h m e.” Is th at a re q u est o r a d em an d?  e a n sw er is th at w e d on’t k n ow u ntil w e ob ser ve h ow Ja ck tr e ats Ja n e if sh e d oes n’t c o m ply . S u pp ose sh e rep li es , “ Ja ck , I’m r e a lly t ir e d . I f y o u ’d li k e s o m e c o m pan y, h ow a b ou t n din g s o m eo n e els e to b e w it h y o u t h is e v en in g?” I f J a ck t h en r em ark s, “ H ow t y p ic a l o f y o u t o b e so se l sh !” h is r e q u est w as in fa ct a d em an d. I n ste a d o f em path iz in g w it h h er n eed t o r e st, h e h as b la m ed h er. I t’s a d em an d i f t h e s p ea k er t h en c rit ic iz es o r j u dges. Con sid er a s e co n d s c e n ario : Ja ck : I’m l o n ely a n d w ou ld l i k e y o u t o s p en d t h e ev en in g w it h m e. Ja n e: Ja ck , I ’m r e a lly tir e d . If y o u ’d li k e so m e c o m pan y, h ow a b ou t n din g so m eo n e e ls e t o b e w it h y o u t o n ig h t? Ja ck : (tu rn s a w ay w ord le ssly ) Ja n e: (s e n sin g h e is u pse t) I s s o m eth in g b oth erin g y o u ? Ja ck : N o. Ja n e: C om e o n , J a ck , I c a n s e n se s o m ethin g’s g o in g o n . W hat’s t h e m att er ? Ja ck : Y ou k n ow h ow lo n ely I ’m fe eli n g. I f y o u r e a lly lo ved m e, y o u ’d s p en d th e e v en in g w it h m e. A gain , in ste a d o f e m path iz in g, Ja ck n ow in ter pret s Ja n e’s res pon se to m ean t h at s h e d oesn ’t lo ve h im a n d t h at s h e has r ej ecte d h im .  e m ore we in te rp re t n on co m pli a n ce a s re je ctio n , th e m ore li k ely o u r re q u es ts w ill b e h eard as d em an ds.  is le a d s to a se lf – fu l lli n g p ro p h ec y, fo r th e more p eo p le h ear d em an ds, t h e l e ss t h ey en jo y b ei ng a ro u n d u s. I t’s a d em an d i f t h e s p ea k er t h en l a y s a g u ilt t r ip . O n th e o th er h an d, w e w ou ld k n ow th at Ja ck ’s re q u es t h ad b een a gen u in e re q u est, n ot a d em an d, if h is res pon se to Ja n e had ex pres se d a re sp ec tfu l re co gn it io n o f h er fe eli n gs an d n eed s. F or ex am ple: “S o, Ja n e, y o u ’r e f e eli n g w orn o u t a n d n eed in g s o m e r es t t h is e v en in g?” W e ca n h elp o th ers tr u st th at w e are re q u es tin g, n ot d em an din g, b y in dic atin g th at w e w ou ld o n ly w an t th em to co m ply if th ey ca n d o so w illi n gly .  us w e m ig h t a sk , “ W ou ld y o u b e w illi n g t o s et t h e ta b le? ” r a th er th an “ I w ou ld li k e y o u t o s e t t h e ta b le .” H ow ev er , t h e m ost p ow er fu l w ay t o c o m mun ic ate th at w e a re m ak in g a g en uin e re q u es t is to em path iz e wit h p eo p le w hen t h ey d on’t a g re e t o t h e re q u es t. I t’s a r e q u est i f t h e s p ea k er t h en s h ow s e m path y t o w ard th e o th er p erso n’s n eed s. We de mon str a te t h at w e a re m ak in g a r e q u es t r a th er t h an a d em an d b y h ow w e r e sp on d w hen o th ers d on’t c o m ply . If w e a re prep are d to s h ow a n em path ic u n dersta n din g o f w hat p re v en ts s o m eo n e f r o m d oin g a s w e ask ed , th en b y m y d e n it io n , w e h av e m ad e a r e q u es t, n ot a d em an d. C hoosin g t o r e q u est r a th er t h an d em an d d oes n ot m ean w e g iv e up w hen s o m eo n e sa y s n o t o o u r r e q u est. I t d oes m ean t h at w e don’t en gag e in p er su asio n u ntil w e hav e e m path iz e d w it h w hat’s p re v en tin g t h e oth er p er so n f r o m s a y in g y es . Defi nin g O ur O bje ctiv e W hen M ak in g R eq u ests E xp re ss in g g en u in e r e q u ests a ls o r e q u ir es a n a w aren ess o f o u r o bje ctiv e. If o u r o bje c tiv e is o n ly t o c h an ge p eo p le an d t h ei r b eh av io r o r t o g et o u r w ay, th en N VC i s n ot a n a p pro p ria te t o ol.  e pro ce ss i s d es ig n ed f o r t h ose of u s w ho w ou ld li k e o th ers t o c h an ge a n d r es pon d, b u t o n ly if t h ey c h oose to d o so w illi n gly a n d co m pass io n ate ly .  e obje ctiv e of N VC is to es ta b li s h a re la tio n sh ip b ase d o n h on esty an d em path y. W hen o th er s tr u st th at o u r prim ary c o m mit m en t i s t o t h e q u ali t y o f t h e re la tio n sh ip , a n d t h at w e ex pect th is p ro ce ss t o f u l ll e v ery o n e’s n eed s, t h en t h ey c a n t r u st t h at o u r r e q u es ts a re t r u e r e q u ests a n d n ot c a m ou ag ed d em an ds. O ur o b je ctiv e is a re la tio ns hip b ase d o n h on esty a n d em path y. A c o n sc io u sn ess o f th is o bje c tiv e is d iffi cu lt to m ain ta in , es pecia lly fo r p are n ts , te a ch ers , m an ag ers , an d oth er s w hose work ce n ter s aro u n d in u en cin g p eo p le a n d o bta in in g b eh av io ra l res ult s . A m oth er w ho o n ce re tu rn ed to a w ork sh op a  er a lu n ch b re a k a n nou n ce d , “ M arsh all, I w en t hom e a n d t r ie d i t . I t d id n’t w ork .” I a sk ed h er t o d es crib e w hat s h e’d d on e. “I w en t hom e an d ex p re ss e d m y fe eli n gs an d need s, ju st as w e’d p ra ctic e d . I m ad e n o c rit ic is m , n o j u dgm en ts o f m y s o n . I s im ply s a id , ‘L ook, w hen I s e e t h at y o u h av en ’t d on e th e work y o u s a id y o u w er e go in g t o d o, I f e el v ery d is a p p oin te d . I w an te d t o b e ab le to c o m e h om e a n d n d t h e hou se in o rd er a n d y o u r c h ore s c o m ple te d .’  en I m ad e a re q u es t: I to ld h im I w an te d h im t o c le an i t u p i m med ia te ly .” “ It s o u n ds li k e y o u c le arly e x p re ss e d a ll t h e co m pon en ts ,” I c o m men te d . “W hat h ap p en ed ?” “H e d id n’t d o i t .” “  en w hat h ap p en ed ?” I a sk ed . “I t o ld h im h e c o u ld n’t g o t h ro u gh l i f e bei ng l a zy a n d i r res pon sib le .” I c o u ld se e th at th is w om an w as n ot y et a b le to d is tin gu is h b et ween ex p re ss in g r e q u ests a n d m ak in g d em an ds. S h e was s till d e nin g t h e pro ces s as s u cce ss fu l o n ly i f s h e g o t c o m pli a n ce f o r h er “ re q u es ts .” D urin g t h e in it ia l ph ase s of le arn in g th is pro ce ss , w e may n d ou rs e lv es ap p ly in g th e co m pon en ts o f N VC m ech an ic a lly w it h ou t aw aren ess o f th e un der ly in g pu rp ose . S o m etim es, how ev er, ev en w hen w e’r e co n sc io u s of ou r in ten t an d ex p re ss o u r re q u est w it h ca re , p eo p le may still h ear a d em an d.  is is p artic u la rly tr u e w hen w e o cc u py p osit io n s o f a u th orit y a n d a re sp ea k in g w it h t h ose w ho h av e h ad p ast e x p er ien ce s w it h c o er civ e au th orit y gu res . Once, th e a d m in is tr a to r o f a h ig h s c h ool in vit e d m e to d em on str a te to te a ch ers how N VC m ig h t help th em co m mun ic ate wit h stu den ts w ho w ere n ’t c o op era tin g a s t h e t e a ch er s w ou ld h av e li k ed . I w as a sk ed t o m eet w it h fo rty s tu den ts w ho h ad b een d eem ed “ s o cia lly a n d e m otio n ally m ala d ju ste d .” I w as s tr u ck b y th e way s u ch la b els s er ve as se lf – fu l lli n g p ro p h ecie s. I f y o u w er e a s tu den t w ho h ad b een th u s la b ele d , w ou ld n’t it ju st g iv e y o u p erm is s io n t o h av e so m e f u n a t s c h ool b y r es is tin g w hate v er w as a sk ed o f y o u ? W hen w e g iv e peo p le la b els , w e te n d t o a ct in a w ay th at c o n tr ib u te s to th e v ery b eh av io r th at c o n ce rn s u s, w hic h w e th en vie w a s fu rth er c o n rm atio n o f o u r d ia g n osis . S in ce th es e stu den ts k n ew th ey h ad b een c la ss i ed a s “ s o cia lly a n d em otio n ally m ala d ju ste d ,” I w asn ’t s u rp ris e d t h at w hen I w alk ed i n , m ost o f t h em w er e han gin g o u t t h e w in dow h olle rin g o b sc e n it ie s a t t h eir f r ien ds i n t h e co u rty ard b elo w . I b eg an b y m ak in g a r e q u est: “ I’d li k e y o u a ll t o c o m e over a n d s it d ow n so I c a n t e ll y o u w ho I a m a n d w hat I ’d li k e u s t o d o t o d ay.” A bou t h alf t h e stu den ts c a m e o ver. U nce rta in th at th ey h ad a ll h eard m e, I rep eate d m y re q u est. W it h th at, th e re m ain der of th e stu den ts sa t dow n, w it h th e ex ce p tio n o f tw o y o u n g m en w ho rem ain ed d ra p ed o ver th e win dow sill. U nfo rtu n ate ly f o r m e, t h ese t w o w er e th e big gest s tu den ts i n t h e cla ss . “ E xcu se m e,” I a d dre ss e d t h em , “ w ou ld o n e o f y o u t w o g en tlem en t e ll m e what yo u h eard m e sa y ?” O ne o f th em tu rn ed to w ard m e an d sn orte d , “Y ea h , y o u s a id w e h ad t o g o o ver t h er e an d s it d ow n.” I t h ou gh t t o m yse lf , “ U h, o h , h e’s h eard m y r e q u est a s a d em an d.” O ut lo u d I sa id , “S ir ” — I’v e le arn ed a lw ay s to sa y “s ir ” to p eo p le wit h b ic e p s li k e h is , e sp ecia lly w hen o n e o f t h em s p orts a t a tt o o— “w ou ld y o u b e w illi n g t o t e ll m e h ow I c o u ld h av e let y o u k n ow w hat I w as w an tin g s o t h at it w ou ld n’t s o u n d l i k e I w as b oss in g y o u a ro u n d?” “H uh?” H av in g b een c o n dit io n ed to ex pect d em an ds fr o m a u th orit ies , he w as n ot u se d t o m y d iff ere n t a p pro ach . “ H ow c a n I l e t y o u k n ow w hat I ’m wan tin g f r o m y o u s o i t d oesn ’t s o u n d l i k e I d on’t c a re ab ou t w hat y o u ’d l i k e? ” I r e p eate d . H e h esit a te d f o r a m om en t a n d s h ru gged , “ I d on’t k n ow .” “ W hat’s g o in g o n b etw een y o u a n d m e rig h t n ow is a g o o d ex am ple of w hat I w as w an tin g u s to ta lk a b ou t to d ay. I b eli e v e peo p le ca n en jo y e a ch o th er a l o t b ett e r i f t h ey c a n s a y w hat t h ey w ou ld l i k e w it h ou t b oss in g o th er s aro u n d. W hen I t e ll y o u w hat I ’d l i k e, I ’m n ot s a y in g t h at y o u h av e to d o i t o r I’l l t r y t o m ak e y o u r l i f e m is e ra b le . I d on’t k n ow h ow t o s a y t h at i n a w ay t h at y o u c a n tr u st.” T o m y r e li e f, th is s e em ed to m ak e sen se to th e yo u n g m an w ho, to geth er w it h h is fr ie n d, s a u nter ed o ver to jo in th e gro u p. In c er ta in s it u atio n s, s u ch a s t h is o n e, it m ay t a k e aw hile f o r o u r r e q u es ts t o b e cle arly s e en f o r w hat t h ey a re . W hen m ak in g a r e q u est, it is a ls o h elp fu l t o s c a n o u r m in ds f o r t h e so rt o f t h ou gh ts t h at a u to m atic a lly t r a n sfo rm r e q u es ts i n to d em an ds: H e sh ou ld b e c le an in g u p a  er h im se lf . S h e’s su pp ose d t o d o w hat I a sk . I d ese rv e t o g et a r a is e . I’m ju stifi ed i n h av in g t h em s ta y l a te r. I h av e a rig h t t o m ore t im e o ff . W hen w e fr a m e o u r n eed s w it h th es e th ou gh ts , w e a re bou n d to ju dge o th ers w hen t h ey d on’t d o a s w e r e q u es t. I h ad t h es e se lf – r ig h te o u s t h ou gh ts in m y m in d o n ce w hen m y y o u n ger so n w as n ot ta k in g o u t th e garb ag e. W hen w e w ere d iv id in g t h e h ou se h old c h ores , h e had a g re ed t o t h is t a sk , b u t ev ery d ay w e w ou ld h av e a n oth er str u gg le ab ou t g ett in g th e garb ag e ou t. E very d ay I w ou ld r e m in d h im , “  is is y o u r jo b,” a n d “ W e all h av e jo b s” — w it h t h e s o le o bje c tiv e o f g ett in g h im t o t a k e ou t t h e garb ag e. F in ally , o n e n ig h t I li s te n ed m ore clo se ly t o w hat h e’d b een t e lli n g m e all a lo n g a b ou t w hy th e g arb ag e w asn ’t g o in g o u t. I w ro te th e fo llo w in g s o n g a er th at ev en in g’s dis c u ss io n . A er m y so n fe lt m y em path y fo r his p osit io n , h e b eg an ta k in g o u t th e garb ag e wit h ou t an y fu rth er rem in der fr o m m e. If I c le a rly u n dersta n d yo u i n te n d n o d em an d, I’l l u su ally r e sp on d w hen y o u c a ll . B ut i f y o u c o m e acro ss li k e a h ig h a n d m ig h ty b oss , yo u ’l l f e el l i k e yo u r a n i n to a w all . A nd w hen y o u r e m in d m e so p io u sly a b ou t a ll t h ose th in gs y o u ’v e don e f o r m e, y o u ’d b ette r g et r e a d y: H ere co m es a n oth er b ou t!  en y o u c a n s h ou t, y o u c a n s p it , m oa n , g ro a n , a n d t h ro w a fi t; I s till w on’t t a ke th e ga rb age ou t. N ow e v en i f y o u s h ou ld c h an ge yo u r s ty le , It’s g o in g t o t a ke m e a l i t tle w hile b efo re I c a n f o rg iv e an d f o rg et. B eca u se it s e e m s t o m e th at y o u d id n’t s e e m e as h u m an t o o u ntil a ll y o u r s ta n dard s w ere m et. — “S o n g f r o m B re tt” b y M arsh all B . R ose n berg Su m mary  e f o u rth c o m pon en t o f N VC a d dres ses t h e qu es tio n o f w hat w e w ou ld li k e to re q u est o f e a ch o th er to e n ric h e a ch o f o u r li v es. W e tr y to a v o id v ag u e, a b str a ct, or am big u ou s ph ra sin g, an d rem ember to u se posit iv e actio n la n gu ag e b y s ta tin g w hat w e a re r e q u estin g r a th er t h an w hat w e a re n ot. E ach tim e w e sp ea k , th e c le are r w e a re ab ou t w hat w e w an t b ack , th e m ore li k ely w e a re to g et it . S in ce th e m essa g e we sen d is n ot a lw ay s th e m ess a g e t h at’s r e ce iv ed , w e n eed t o le arn h ow t o n d o u t i f o u r m essa g e has b een acc u ra te ly h eard . E sp ecia lly w hen w e are ex p res sin g o u rs e lv es in a g ro u p, w e n eed t o b e c le ar a b ou t t h e natu re of t h e res pon se we a re wan tin g. O th erw is e w e m ay be in it ia tin g unpro du ctiv e co n ver sa tio n s th at w aste c o n sid era b le g ro u p t im e. R eq u ests a re r e ce iv ed a s d em an ds w hen l i s ten ers b eli e v e th at t h ey w ill b e bla m ed o r p u n is h ed i f t h ey d o n ot c o m ply . W e c a n h elp o th er s t r u st t h at w e are r e q u estin g, n ot d em an din g, b y in dic atin g o u r d es ir e fo r t h em t o c o m ply o n ly if th ey ca n d o so w illi n gly .  e obje ctiv e of N VC is n ot to ch an ge p eo p le an d th eir beh av io r in ord er to get ou r w ay ; it is to es ta b li s h re la tio n sh ip s base d on h on esty an d em path y th at w ill ev en tu ally fu l ll e v ery o n e’s n eed s. N VC i n A ctio n Sh arin g F ea rs A bou t a B est F rie n d’s S m ok in g A l an d Burt hav e been best fr ien ds fo r over th ir ty years . A l, a non sm oker, h as d on e e v ery th in g h e ca n o ver th e years to p er su ad e B urt to g iv e u p h is tw o-p ack -a -d ay h ab it . In th e past, w hen A l h ad tr ie d t o g et h im t o q u it , B urt h ad o  en a cc u se d A l o f j u dgin g h im . Aw are d u rin g th e p ast y ear o f th e in cre a sin g s e v er it y o f h is fr ien d’s h ack in g co u gh , A l n ds h im se lf b u rstin g o u t o n e day w it h all th e en erg y a n d l i f e t h at h ad b een b u rie d i n h is u n ex pres se d a n ger a n d f e ar. A l: B urt, I k n ow w e’v e ta lk ed a b ou t th is a d ozen tim es, b u t li s te n . I’m s c a re d y o u r d am ned c ig are tt es a re go in g to k ill y o u ! Y ou ’r e m y b est f r ie n d, a n d I w an t y o u a ro u n d fo r a s lo n g a s I c a n h av e yo u . P le a se d on’t t h in k I ’m ju dgin g y o u . I ’m n ot— I’m ju st r e a lly w orrie d . B urt: N o, I h ear y o u r c o n ce rn . W e’v e b een f r ien ds f o r a l o n g t im e … A l: ( m akin g a r e q u est) W ou ld y o u b e w illi n g t o q u it ? B urt: I w is h I c o u ld . A l: ( li s te n in g fo r t h e fe eli n gs a n d n ee d s p re v en tin g B urt fr o m a gre e in g to th e re q u est) A re y o u s c a re d to tr y b ecau se y o u d on’t w an t to fa il? B urt: Y ea h … y o u k n ow h ow m an y tim es I ’v e tr ie d b ef ore … I k n ow p eo p le t h in k l e ss o f m e f o r n ot b ei ng a b le to q u it . A l: ( g u essin g a t w hat B urt m ig h t w an t t o r e q u est) I d on’t t h in k le ss o f yo u . A nd i f y o u t r ie d a n d f a ile d a g ain , I s till w ou ld n’t . I ju st w is h y o u ’d t r y. B urt:  an ks. B ut y o u ’r e n ot t h e o n ly o n e… . I t’s e v er yo n e: y o u c a n s e e it i n t h eir e y es— th ey t h in k y o u ’r e a f a ilu re . A l: ( e m path iz in g w it h B urt’s fe eli n g) Is it k in d o f o verw helm in g to w orr y a b ou t w hat o th ers m ig h t t h in k, w hen ju st q u it t in g is h ard e n ou gh ? B urt: I re a lly h ate th e id ea th at I m ig h t b e ad dic te d , th at I h av e so m eth in g t h at I j u st c a n ’t c o n tr o l … A l: ( A l’s e y es c o n n ect w it h B urt’s ; h e nod s h is h ea d . A l’s in te re st a n d atte n tio n t o B urt’s d ee p f e eli n gs a n d n eed s a re re v ea le d t h ro u gh h is e y es a n d t h e sile n ce th at f o llo w s.) B urt: I m ean , I d on’t e v en li k e sm okin g a n y m ore . It’s li k e y o u ’r e a paria h i f y o u d o i t i n p u bli c . I t’s e m barra ss in g. A l: ( c o n tin u in g to e m path iz e) It s o u n ds li k e y o u ’d r e a lly li k e to q u it , b u t a re s c a re d y o u m ig h t fa il— an d h ow th at w ou ld b e fo r y o u r se lf – im ag e a n d c o n den ce. B urt: Y ea h , I g u ess t h at’s it … . Y ou k n ow , I d on’t t h in k I ’v e ev er t a lk ed a b ou t it b efo re . U su ally w hen p eo p le te ll m e to q u it , I ju st te ll th em t o g et lo st. I ’d li k e t o q u it , b u t I d on’t w an t a ll t h at p res su re fr o m p eo p le . A l: I w ou ld n’t w an t t o p re ssu re y o u . I d on’t k n ow if I c o u ld r e a ssu re y o u a b ou t y o u r fe ars a ro u n d n ot su cce ed in g, b u t I su re wou ld li k e to s u pp ort y o u in a n y w ay I c a n .  at is … if y o u w an t m e to … . Burt: Y es, I d o. I’m re a lly to u ch ed b y y o u r c o n ce rn a n d w illi n gn es s. B ut … s u pp ose I’m n ot r e a d y to tr y y et , is th at o kay w it h y o u to o? A l: O f c o u rs e , B urt, I ’l l s till li k e y o u a s m uch . I t’s ju st t h at I w an t t o li k e y o u f o r l o n ger! B ecau se A l’s re q u est w as a gen u in e re q u es t, not a dem an d, he m ain ta in ed aw are n ess of his co m mit m en t to th e qu ali t y of th e re la tio n sh ip , r e g ard le ss o f B urt’s r es pon se . H e ex pres se d t h is a w aren ess an d h is r e sp ec t fo r B urt’s n eed fo r a u to n om y th ro u gh h is w ord s, “ I’l l s till li k e y o u ,” w hile sim ult a n eo u sly ex pres sin g h is o w n n eed “to li k e yo u f o r l o n ger.” B urt: W ell, th en , m ay b e I w ill tr y a g ain … b u t d on’t te ll a n yo n e els e , o kay ? A l: S u re , y o u d ecid e w hen y o u ’r e r e a d y; I w on’t b e m en tio n in g it t o a n yb o d y. Exerc is e 4 E X PR ESSIN G R EQ UEST S To s e e w heth er w e’r e in a g re em en t a b ou t th e cle ar ex pres sio n o f re q u es ts , c ir c le t h e n u m ber in f r o n t o f e a ch o f t h e fo llo w in g s ta te m en ts in w hic h t h e sp ea k er i s c le arly r e q u estin g t h at a s p eci c a ctio n b e ta k en . 1. “ I w an t y o u t o u n dersta n d m e.” 2. “ I’d l i k e y o u t o t e ll m e o n e t h in g t h at I d id t h at y o u a p pre cia te .” 3. “ I’d l i k e y o u t o f e el m ore c o n den ce i n y o u rs e lf .” 4. “ I w an t y o u t o s to p d rin kin g.” 5. “ I’d l i k e y o u t o l e t m e b e m e.” 6. “ I’d l i k e y o u t o b e h on est w it h m e ab ou t y ester day ’s m eet in g.” 7. “ I w ou ld l i k e y o u t o d riv e a t o r b elo w t h e sp eed l i m it .” 8. “ I’d l i k e t o g et t o k n ow y o u b ett e r.” 9. “ I w ou ld l i k e y o u t o s h ow r e sp ec t f o r m y p riv acy.” 1 0 . “ I’d l i k e y o u t o p re p are s u pp er m ore o en .” H ere are m y r e sp on se s f o r E xerc is e 4: 1. I f y o u c ir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e n ot in a g re em ent. T o m e, th e word u n dersta n d d oes n ot c le arly e x p re ss a re q u es t fo r a sp eci c a ctio n . A re q u est fo r a s p eci c a ctio n m ig h t b e: “ I w an t y o u t o t e ll m e w hat y o u h eard m e s a y.” 2. I f y o u c ir c le d t h is n u m ber, w e’r e i n a g re em ent t h at t h e sp ea k er i s c le arly r e q u estin g a s p eci c a ctio n . 3. I f y o u c ir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e not in a g re em ent. T o m e, th e word s fe el m ore co n fi den ce d o n ot cle arly ex p re ss a re q u es t fo r a sp eci c actio n . A r e q u est fo r a s p eci c a ctio n m ig h t b e: “ I’d li k e yo u to ta k e a co u rs e in a ss e rtiv en ess tr a in in g, w hic h I b eli e v e wou ld in cre a se yo u r se lf – c o n den ce.” 4. 4 . I f y o u c ir c le d t h is n u m ber, w e’r e not i n a g re em ent. T o m e, t h e word s sto p d rin kin g d o n ot e x p re ss w hat t h e s p ea k er w an ts , b u t r a th er w hat h e or s h e d oesn ’t w an t. A r e q u est fo r a s p eci c a ctio n m ig h t b e: “ I w an t yo u t o t e ll m e w hat n eed s o f y o u rs a re m et b y d rin kin g, a n d t o d is c u ss w it h m e o th er w ay s o f m eetin g t h ose need s.” 5. I f y o u c ir c le d t h is n u m ber, w e’r e not i n a g re em ent. T o m e, t h e w ord s le t m e be me d o n ot cle arly ex p re ss a re q u est fo r a sp eci c actio n . A re q u est f o r a s p eci c a ctio n m ig h t b e: “ I w an t y o u t o t e ll m e y o u w on’t l e av e o u r r e la tio n sh ip — ev en i f I d o s o m e t h in gs t h at y o u d on’t l i k e.” 6. I f y o u c ir c le d t h is n u m ber, w e’r e n ot i n a g re em ent. T o m e, t h e w ord s b e h on est w it h m e d o n ot c le arly e x p re ss a r e q u est fo r a s p eci c a ctio n . A r e q u est fo r a s p eci c a ctio n m ig h t b e: “ I w an t y o u to te ll m e how y o u fe el a b ou t w hat I d id a n d w hat y o u ’d l i k e m e to d o d iff er en tly .” 7. I f y o u c ir c le d t h is n u m ber, w e’r e i n a g re em ent t h at t h e sp ea k er i s c le arly r e q u estin g a s p eci c a ctio n . 8. I f y o u c ir c le d t h is n u m ber, w e’r e n ot i n a g re em ent. T o m e, t h e w ord s g et to k n ow y o u b ette r d o n ot c le arly e x p re ss a r e q u est f o r a s p eci c a ctio n . A r e q u est fo r a s p eci c a ctio n m ig h t b e: “ I’d li k e y o u to te ll m e if y o u w ou ld b e w illi n g t o m eet f o r l u n ch o n ce a w eek .” 9. I f y o u c ir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e not in a g re em ent. T o m e, th e word s sh ow re sp ect fo r m y priv a cy d o n ot cle arly ex p re ss a re q u est fo r a sp eci c a ctio n . A r e q u est f o r a s p eci c a ctio n m ig h t b e: “ I’d li k e y o u t o a g re e t o k n ock b efo re y o u e n te r m y o ffi ce.” 1 0 . I f y o u c ir c le d th is n u m ber, w e’r e not in a g re em ent. T o m e, th e word s m ore o en d o n ot cle arly ex p re ss a re q u es t fo r a sp eci c actio n . A re q u est fo r a s p eci c a ctio n m ig h t b e: “ I’d li k e y o u to p rep are su pp er ev ery M on day n ig h t.” T 7 Rece iv in g E m path ic a lly h e la st fo u r c h ap te rs d esc rib ed t h e fo u r c o m pon en ts o f N VC: w hat w e are o b se rv in g, f e eli n g, a n d n eed in g, a n d w hat w e w ou ld li k e to r e q u es t to e n ric h o u r li v es. N ow w e tu rn fr o m s e lf – ex pres sio n to a p p ly th es e sa m e fo u r c o m pon en ts t o h earin g w hat o th er s a re ob ser vin g, f e eli n g, n eed in g, a n d re q u estin g. W e r e fe r to t h is p art o f t h e co m mun ic atio n p ro ce ss a s re ce iv in g em path ic a lly .  e t w o p arts o f N VC : 1. e x p re ssin g h on estly 2 . r e ce iv in g e m path ic a lly Pre se n ce : D on’t J u st D o S om eth in g, S ta n d  ere E m path y is a r e sp ec tfu l u n dersta n din g o f w hat o th er s a re ex per ien cin g.  e Chin ese ph ilo so p h er Chu an g-T zu sta te d th at tr u e em path y re q u ir es li s te n in g w it h th e w hole b ein g: “  e hearin g th at is o n ly in th e ears is o n e th in g.  e h earin g o f th e u n dersta n din g is a n oth er . B ut th e hearin g o f th e sp ir it is n ot li m it e d to a n y o n e fa cu lt y , to th e ear, o r to th e m in d. H en ce it d em an ds th e em ptin ess o f all th e fa cu lt ies . A nd w hen th e fa cu lt ies are e m pty , th en th e w hole b ein g li s ten s.  ere is th en a d ir e ct g ra sp o f w hat is r ig h t th ere b efo re y o u th at c a n n ev er b e heard w it h th e ear o r u n der sto od w it h t h e m in d.” E m path y: em pty in g o u r m in d a n d li s te n in g w it h o u r w hole b ein g Em path y w it h o th ers o cc u rs o n ly w hen w e hav e su cces sfu lly sh ed a ll p re co n ce iv ed id ea s a n d ju dgm en ts a b ou t th em .  e Austr ia n -b orn Is r a eli p h ilo so p h er M artin Buber desc rib es th is qu ali t y of pres en ce th at li f e d em an ds o f u s: “ In s p it e o f a ll s im ila rit ies , e v er y li v in g s it u atio n h as, li k e a n ew born c h ild , a n ew fa ce, t h at h as n ev er b een b ef ore an d w ill n ev er c o m e ag ain . It d em an ds o f y o u a r e a ctio n t h at c a n not b e prep are d b ef ore h an d. It d em an ds n oth in g o f w hat is p ast. It d em an ds p res en ce, res pon sib ili t y ; it d em an ds y o u .”  e pre se n ce th at em path y re q u ir es is not ea sy to m ain ta in . “ e cap acit y t o g iv e o n e’s a tt e n tio n t o a s u ff erer is a v er y r a re an d d iffi cu lt t h in g; it is a lm ost a m ir a cle ; it is a m ir a cle ,” a ss er ts F ren ch p h ilo so p h er S im on e W eil. “ N early a ll t h ose w ho t h in k t h ey h av e th e cap acit y d o n ot p oss es s it .” I n ste a d o f o ff erin g e m path y, w e ten d in ste a d to g iv e ad vic e o r r e a ssu ra n ce a n d to e x p la in o u r o w n p osit io n o r fe eli n g. E m path y, o n th e oth er h an d, re q u ir e s u s t o f o cu s f u ll a tt e n tio n o n t h e oth er p er so n’s m essa g e. W e giv e to o th ers t h e t im e a n d s p ace t h ey n eed to e x p res s t h em se lv es fu lly a n d to fe el u n dersto od .  ere is a B udd h is t sa y in g th at ap tly d es crib es th is ab ili t y : “D on’t j u st d o s o m eth in g, s ta n d t h er e.” Ask b efo re o ff erin g a d vic e o r r e a ssu ra n ce . It is o  en fr u str a tin g fo r s o m eo n e need in g em path y to h av e us a ssu m e th at th ey w an t re a ssu ra n ce o r “ x-it ” a d vic e. I re ce iv ed a les so n fr o m m y dau gh te r th at ta u gh t m e to c h eck w het her a d vic e o r r e a ssu ra n ce is w an te d b efo re o ff erin g a n y. S h e w as lo okin g in t h e m ir ro r o n e d ay a n d s a id , “ I’m a s u gly a s a p ig .” “ Y ou ’r e th e m ost g o rg eo u s cre atu re God ev er p u t o n th e fa ce of th e earth ,” I d ecla re d . Sh e sh ot m e a lo ok o f ex asp er atio n , ex cla im ed , “O h, D ad dy!” a n d s la m med th e d oor a s s h e le th e ro om . I la te r fo u n d o u t th at sh e h ad w an te d s o m e e m path y. I n ste a d o f m y ill- tim ed r e a ssu ra n ce, I c o u ld h av e a sk ed , “ A re y o u f e eli n g d is a p p oin te d w it h y o u r a p p eara n ce t o d ay ?” M y fr ie n d H olle y H um ph re y id en ti ed so m e c o m mon b eh av io rs th at p re v en t u s fr o m b ein g su ffi cie n tly p res en t to co n nect em path ic a lly w it h o th ers .  e f o llo w in g a re e x am ples : Advis in g: “ I t h in k y o u s h ou ld … ” “ H ow c o m e yo u d id n’t … ? ” O ne-u ppin g: “  at’s n oth in g; w ait ’l l y o u h ear w hat h ap p en ed t o m e.” E du catin g: “  is c o u ld tu rn in to a v er y p osit iv e ex per ien ce fo r y o u if y o u j u st … ” C on so li n g: “ It w asn ’t y o u r f a u lt ; y o u d id t h e bes t y o u c o u ld .” S to ry -te lli n g: “  at r e m in ds m e o f t h e tim e … ” S h u tt in g d ow n: “ C heer u p. D on’t f e el s o b ad .” S y m path iz in g: “ O h, y o u p oor t h in g … ” I n te rro gatin g: “ W hen d id t h is b eg in ?” E xp la in in g: “ I w ou ld h av e c a lle d b u t … ” C orre c tin g: “  at’s n ot h ow i t h ap p en ed .” I n h is b o ok W hen B ad  in gs H app en to G oo d P eo p le , R ab bi H aro ld K ush n er d esc rib es h ow p ain fu l it w as fo r h im , w hen h is s o n w as d yin g, to h ear th e w ord s p eo p le o ff ere d th at w ere in ten ded to m ak e him fe el b et ter . Even m ore p ain fu l w as h is re co gn it io n th at fo r tw en ty y ears h e had b een sa y in g t h e s a m e t h in gs t o o th er p eo p le in s im ila r s it u atio n s! B eli e v in g w e h av e t o “ x” s it u atio n s a n d m ak e oth er s f e el b et ter p re v en ts u s fr o m bein g pre se n t.  ose of us in th e ro le of co u n se lo r or p sy ch oth era p is t a re p artic u la rly s u sc e p tib le to t h is b eli ef . O nce, w hen I w as work in g w it h tw en ty -th re e m en ta l h ea lt h p ro fe ss io n als , I ask ed th em to w rit e , w ord fo r w ord , h ow th ey w ou ld res pon d to a c li en t w ho sa y s, “ I’m f e eli n g v ery d ep re ss e d . I ju st d on’t s e e an y r e a so n to g o o n .” I c o lle cte d th e an sw ers t h ey h ad w rit t e n d ow n a n d a n nou n ce d , “ I a m n ow g o in g t o r e a d o u t lo u d w hat e a ch o f y o u w ro te . I m ag in e yo u rs e lf i n t h e ro le of t h e per so n w ho ex p re ss e d t h e f e eli n g o f d ep re ss io n , a n d r a is e yo u r h an d a  er e a ch s ta tem ent yo u h ear th at g iv es y o u a s e n se th at y o u ’v e been u n der sto od .” H an ds w er e ra is e d to on ly th re e of th e tw en ty -th re e res pon ses . Q uestio n s su ch as, “ W hen d id th is b eg in ?” c o n stit u te d th e m ost fr e q u en t res pon se; th ey g iv e th e a p p eara n ce t h at t h e p ro fe ss io n al is o bta in in g t h e in fo rm atio n n eces sa ry to dia g n ose an d th en tr e at th e pro blem . In fa ct, su ch in te lle ctu al u n dersta n din g of a pro ble m blo ck s th e kin d of pres en ce th at em path y re q u ir e s. W hen w e a re th in kin g a b ou t p eo p le ’s w ord s a n d li s ten in g to h ow th ey c o n nec t to o u r th eo rie s, w e are lo okin g a t p eo p le— we are not w it h t h em .  e k ey i n gre d ie n t o f e m path y i s p res en ce : w e a re w holly p res en t w it h t h e o th er p arty a n d w hat th ey a re ex per ien cin g.  is q u ali t y o f p res en ce d is tin gu is h es em path y fr o m eit h er m en ta l un der sta n din g or sy m path y. W hile w e m ay c h oose a t tim es to sy m path iz e w it h o th er s b y fe eli n g th ei r fe eli n gs, it ’s h elp fu l to b e a w are th at d u rin g th e mom en t w e are off er in g sy m path y, w e a re n ot e m path iz in g. In te lle ctu al u n dersta n din g b lo ck s e m path y. Lis te n in g f o r F eeli n gs a n d N eed s In N VC, n o m att e r w hat w ord s p eo p le use to ex pres s t h em se lv es , w e li s ten fo r th eir o b se rv atio n s, fe eli n gs, n eed s, a n d r e q u es ts . I m ag in e yo u ’v e lo an ed y o u r c a r t o a n ew n eig h bor w ho h ad a p er so n al em ergen cy, a n d w hen y o u r fa m ily n ds o u t, t h ey r e a ct w it h i n ten sit y : “ Y ou a re a f o ol f o r h av in g t r u ste d a to ta l str a n ger!” Y ou c a n u se th e co m pon en ts o f N VC to tu n e in to th e fe eli n gs a n d n eed s o f t h ose f a m ily m em ber s i n c o n tr a st t o ei th er ( 1 ) b la m in g yo u rs e lf b y t a k in g t h e m ess a g e p ers o n ally , o r ( 2 ) b la m in g a n d j u dgin g t h em . No m att e r w hat o th ers s a y, w e o n ly h ea r w hat t h ey a re (1 ) ob se r v in g, (2 ) fe eli n g, (3) need in g, an d (4) r e q u estin g. In th is s it u atio n , it ’s o bvio u s w hat th e fa m ily is o b ser vin g a n d r e a ctin g to : t h e l e n din g o f t h e c a r t o a r e la tiv e str a n ger. I n o th er s it u atio n s, i t m ay n ot b e s o c le ar. I f a c o lle a g u e te lls u s, “ Y ou ’r e not a g o od te am p la y er ,” w e m ay n ot k n ow w hat h e o r s h e is o b ser vin g, a lt h ou gh w e ca n u su ally g u es s a t t h e beh av io r t h at m ig h t h av e t r ig gere d s u ch a s ta te m en t.  e f o llo w in g e x ch an ge, f r o m a w ork sh op, d em on str a te s t h e diffi cu lt y o f fo cu sin g o n o th er p eo p le ’s fe eli n gs a n d n eed s w hen w e a re acc u sto m ed to a ssu m in g re sp on sib ili t y fo r th eir fe eli n gs a n d ta k in g m essa g es p er so n ally .  e w om an in t h is d ia lo gu e w an te d to le arn to h ear t h e fe eli n gs a n d n eed s beh in d c e rta in o f h er h u sb an d’s s ta te m en ts . I s u ggeste d t h at s h e gu es s a t h is f e eli n gs a n d n eed s a n d t h en c h eck i t o u t w it h h im . Husb an d’s s ta te m en t: W hat g o od d oes t a lk in g t o y o u d o? Y ou n ev er l i s ten . Wom an : A re y o u f e eli n g u n hap py w it h m e? M BR : W hen y o u sa y “w it h m e,” y o u im ply th at h is fe eli n gs a re th e re su lt o f w hat y o u d id . I w ou ld p ref er fo r y o u to s a y, “A re yo u u n hap py b ecau se yo u w ere n eed in g … ?” an d n ot “A re yo u u n hap py w it h m e?” I t w ou ld p u t y o u r a tt en tio n o n w hat’s g o in g on w it h in h im a n d d ecre a se th e li k eli h ood o f y o u r ta k in g th e m ess a g e p ers o n ally . W om an : B ut w hat w ou ld I sa y ? “A re yo u u n hap py b ecau se yo u … ? B ecau se y o u w hat? ” M BR : G et yo u r clu e fr o m th e co n te n t of yo u r h u sb an d’s m ess a g e, “W hat g o od d oes ta lk in g to y o u d o? Y ou n ev er li s ten .” W hat is h e n eed in g t h at h e’s n ot g ett in g w hen h e sa y s t h at? W om an : (tr y in g to em path iz e wit h th e need s ex p re ss e d th ro u gh her h u sb an d’s m ess a ge) A re y o u f e eli n g u n hap py b ecau se yo u f e el l i k e I d on’t u n dersta n d y o u ? M BR : N otic e th at y o u a re fo cu sin g o n w hat h e’s th in kin g, a n d n ot o n w hat he’s need in g. I th in k yo u ’l l n d peo p le to be le ss th re ate n in g if y o u h ear w hat th ey ’r e need in g ra th er th an w hat th ey ’r e t h in kin g a b ou t y o u . I n ste a d o f h earin g t h at h e’s u n hap py b ecau se h e t h in ks y o u d on’t l i s te n , f o cu s o n w hat h e’s n eed in g b y sa y in g, “ A re y o u u n hap py b ecau se yo u a re need in g … ” W om an : (tr y in g a ga in ) A re y o u f e eli n g u n hap py b ecau se yo u a re need in g to b e h eard ? M BR :  at’s w hat I h ad in m in d. D oes it m ak e a d iff er en ce fo r y o u to h ear h im t h is w ay ? W om an : D e n it e ly — a big diff ere n ce. I se e what’s go in g on fo r him w it h ou t h earin g t h at I h ad d on e a n yth in g w ro n g. L is te n t o w hat p eo p le a re n eed in g r a th er t h an w hat t h ey a re t h in kin g. Para p h ra sin g A er w e f o cu s o u r a tt e n tio n a n d h ear w hat o th er s a re ob ser vin g, f e eli n g, a n d need in g a n d w hat t h ey a re r e q u estin g to e n ric h t h ei r li v es , w e m ay w is h to r e ec t b ack b y p ara p h ra sin g w hat w e hav e un der sto od . In o u r p re v io u s dis c u ss io n o n r e q u ests ( C hap te r 6 ) , w e d is c u ss e d h ow t o a sk f o r a r e ectio n ; now w e w ill l o ok a t h ow t o o ff er i t t o o th er s. If we hav e acc u ra te ly re ce iv ed th e oth er party ’s m ess a g e, ou r para p h ra sin g w ill co n rm th is fo r th em . If, on th e oth er han d, ou r para p h ra se is in co rre c t, w e g iv e th e sp ea k er a n o p p ortu n it y to c o rre ct u s. A noth er a d van ta g e o f c h oosin g t o r e ect a m ess a g e back t o t h e oth er p arty is t h at it o ff ers t h em t im e t o r e ect o n w hat t h ey ’v e sa id a n d a n o p p ortu n it y to d elv e d eep er i n to t h em se lv es. N VC su ggests th at o u r p ara p h ra sin g ta k e th e fo rm o f q u es tio n s th at re v ea l o u r u n dersta n din g w hile e li c it in g a n y n ece ss a ry c o rre ctio n s f r o m t h e sp ea k er. Q uestio n s m ay f o cu s o n t h es e co m pon en ts : 1. w hat o th ers a re o b se rv in g: “A re y o u r e a ctin g to h ow m an y e v en in gs I w as g o n e l a st w eek ?” 2. h ow o th ers a re f e eli n g a n d t h e n eed s g en er atin g t h ei r f e eli n gs: “A re yo u fe eli n g h u rt b ecau se y o u w ou ld h av e li k ed m ore ap pre cia tio n o f y o u r eff orts t h an y o u r e ce iv ed ?” 3. w hat o th ers a re r e q u estin g: “ A re y o u w an tin g m e to t e ll y o u m y r e a so n s fo r s a y in g w hat I d id ?”  ese q u estio n s r e q u ir e u s t o s e n se w hat’s g o in g o n w it h in o th er p eo p le , w hile in vit in g th eir c o rre c tio n s sh ou ld w e hav e sen se d in co rre ctly . N otic e th e d iff ere n ce b etw een t h ese q u estio n s a n d t h e on es b elo w : 1. “ W hat d id I d o t h at y o u a re r e fe rrin g t o ?” 2. “ H ow a re y o u f e eli n g?” “ W hy a re y o u f e eli n g t h at w ay ?” 3. “ W hat a re y o u w an tin g m e t o d o a b ou t i t ? ”  is s e co n d s e t o f q u estio n s a sk s fo r in fo rm atio n w it h ou t rst s en sin g th e s p ea k er’s r e a li t y .  ou gh th ey m ay a p p ear to b e th e m ost d ir e ct w ay to co n nec t w it h w hat’s go in g on w it h in th e oth er p er so n , I’v e fo u n d th at q u estio n s li k e th ese a re n ot th e sa fes t ro u te to o bta in th e in fo rm atio n w e se ek . M an y su ch q u estio n s m ay g iv e sp ea k er s th e im pres sio n th at w e’r e a sc h oolt e a ch er e x am in in g t h em o r a p sy ch oth er ap is t w ork in g o n a c a se . I f w e do d ecid e t o a sk f o r i n fo rm atio n i n t h is w ay, h ow ev er , I ’v e fo u n d t h at p eo p le f e el s a fe r if w e rst r e v ea l th e fe eli n gs a n d n eed s w it h in o u rs e lv es th at a re g en era tin g t h e q u estio n .  us, in ste a d o f a sk in g s o m eo n e, “ W hat d id I d o?” w e m ig h t s a y, “ I’m fr u str a te d b ecau se I’d li k e to b e cle arer a b ou t w hat y o u are r e fe rr in g to . W ou ld y o u b e w illi n g to te ll m e what I’v e don e th at le a d s yo u t o s e e m e in t h is w ay ?” W hile t h is s tep m ay n ot b e neces sa ry — or e v en h elp fu l— in s it u atio n s w here o u r fe eli n gs a n d n eed s a re cle arly c o n vey ed b y th e co n te x t o r to n e o f v o ic e, I w ou ld re co m men d it p artic u la rly d u rin g m om en ts w hen t h e q u estio n s w e ask a re acco m pan ie d b y s tr o n g em otio n s. W hen ask in g fo r in fo rm atio n , fi rst ex p re ss ou r ow n fe eli n gs a n d n eed s. H ow d o w e d ete rm in e if an o cc a sio n ca lls fo r u s to re ect p eo p le ’s m ess a g es b ack to th em ? C erta in ly if w e are un su re th at w e hav e acc u ra te ly u n dersto od t h e m ess a g e, w e m ig h t u se para p h ra sin g t o e li c it a c o rre ctio n t o o u r g u ess . B ut e v en i f w e a re c o n den t t h at w e’v e un der sto od t h em , w e m ay se n se th e o th er p arty w an tin g co n rm atio n th at th ei r m essa g e has b een a cc u ra te ly r e ce iv ed .  ey m ay e v en ex pres s t h is d es ir e over tly b y a sk in g, “ Is th at cle ar? ” or “D o yo u u n dersta n d w hat I m ean ?” A t su ch m om en ts , h earin g a c le ar p ara p h ra se w ill o  en b e m ore re a ssu rin g t o t h e sp ea k er t h an h earin g s im ply , “ Y es, I u n dersta n d.” F or e x am ple , s h ortly a  er p artic ip atin g in a n N VC t r a in in g, a v o lu nte er at a h osp it a l w as re q u este d b y so m e n u rs es to ta lk to a n e ld er ly p atien t: “ W e’v e t o ld t h is w om an s h e i s n ’t t h at s ic k a n d t h at s h e’d g et b et ter i f s h e to ok h er m ed ic in e, b u t a ll s h e d oes is s it in h er r o om a ll d ay lo n g r ep eatin g, ‘I w an t to d ie . I w an t to d ie .’ ”  e v o lu nte er a p pro ach ed th e eld er ly w om an , an d a s th e n u rs e s h ad p re d ic te d , fo u n d h er sit t in g a lo n e, w his p er in g o ver an d o ver, “ I w an t t o d ie .” “ S o y o u w ou ld li k e to d ie ,” th e v o lu nte er em path iz e d . S u rp ris e d , th e w om an b ro ke o ff h er c h an t a n d a p p eare d r e li e v ed . S h e beg an to ta lk a b ou t how no on e un dersto od how te rrib le sh e was fe eli n g.  e vo lu nte er co n tin u ed to re ec t b ack th e w om an ’s fe eli n gs; b ef ore lo n g, su ch w arm th h ad en te re d th eir d ia lo gu e th at th ey w er e sit t in g w it h th ei r a rm s lo ck ed a ro u n d e a ch o th er. L ate r t h at d ay, t h e nu rs es q u es tio n ed t h e vo lu nte er a b ou t h er m ag ic fo rm ula : th e eld erly w om an h ad sta rte d to eat an d ta k e her m ed ic in e, a n d w as a p p are n tly i n b et ter s p ir it s . A lt h ou gh t h e nu rs es h ad t r ie d to h elp h er w it h a d vic e a n d r e a ssu ra n ce, it w asn ’t u ntil h er in ter actio n w it h t h e vo lu nte er th at th is w om an re ce iv ed w hat sh e was tr u ly need in g: co n nec tio n w it h an oth er hu m an bei ng w ho co u ld hear her pro fo u n d desp air .  ere a re n o i n fa lli b le g u id eli n es r eg ard in g w hen t o p ara p h ra se , b u t a s a r u le of th u m b, it is sa fe to assu m e th at sp ea k er s ex pres sin g in ten se ly e m otio n al m ess a g es w ou ld ap pre cia te o u r re ectin g th es e back to th em . When w e o u rs e lv es a re ta lk in g, w e ca n m ak e it e a sier fo r th e li s ten er if w e cle arly s ig n if y w hen w e w an

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