This assignment consists of a 5-paragraph essay and is worth 30 points. Essay requirements: 5 paragraphs, minimum1,250 words, minimumUsing the following resources:Textbook or assigned readingSupplemen

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This assignment consists of a 5-paragraph essay and is worth 30 points.

Essay requirements:

  • 5 paragraphs, minimum
  • 1,250 words, minimum
  • Using the following resources:

    • Textbook or assigned reading
    • Supplemental resource provided in class
  • In-text citations are required for any concepts, data, facts, terminology, etc. obtained from any of the resources.
  • All resources should be cited in the body of the text whenever information from the resource is utilized.
  • Citations must include page numbers where available.
  • Resource list is required.

Please include data, facts, key terminology, specific examples and direct quotations from the textbook and other resources to support your main points(textbook in file location)

Cite all sources of information, using last name and page numbers in parenthesis in the text; for example: (Author’s last name, year, p. ###). Provide a resource list at the conclusion of the assignment formatted as in this example: Author’s last name, first initial. (year). Title in italics. Location of publisher: Publisher.

Question1  of 1

Right this minute you are managing the most important project of your life—the project that will help you succeed in every other project you ever take on: the project of graduating with your degree in sustainability! For this assignment, you are going to develop a project plan, with graduation as your goal.

  1. Introduction
  2. Initiation phase

    1. Who are the stakeholders? Who will be impacted by your education? (hint: way more people than you usually realize!)
    2. Conduct a risk assessment. What are the threats to your success?
    3. What resources might you draw on to keep working toward the project goal?
    4. How will you practice compassionate self-care throughout?
  3. Planning phase

    1. What is your ultimate goal (i.e. certificate, associates degree, bachelor’s degree, etc.) and what is your timeline? [For example, “I will graduate with my bachelor’s degree in 2025”]
    2. What are the deliverables you plan to achieve? Examples would include a GPA you are aiming for; a certain number of completed courses per semester; a certain number of hours of volunteering with a sustainability-related organization; the production of a portfolio you can use in your job search when you have completed your degree, etc. Identify at least 3.
  4. Anticipating the controlling and monitoring phase

    1. How will you monitor your progress every semester?
    2. Based on your risk assessment, what steps can you take to overcome potential obstacles and stay on track?
  5. Conclusion

This assignment consists of a 5-paragraph essay and is worth 30 points. Essay requirements: 5 paragraphs, minimum1,250 words, minimumUsing the following resources:Textbook or assigned readingSupplemen
Non vio le n t C om mun ic atio n : A L an gu ag e of 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 S U 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 3 rd 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 .      p ag 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 r e 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 t o 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 CK 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 nects 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 h ea 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 t r 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 un 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 so m an y e ss en tia l a n d e le g 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 ber g’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 re n 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 ctiv 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 an 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 a b 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 e s. 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 cte 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 stem . I t i s a b ou t t h e ‘p ro te ctiv 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 e ss l i k ely r e g 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 ple s, 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 a ctu 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 f o 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 re n 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 re n , 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 ett er d is c ip li n e sy stem 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 t o ex pre ss 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 o f 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 c o 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 y et 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 ten 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 ple s, 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 ect 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 re n , 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 nect 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 l e arn ab le b y 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 p ro 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 re sp on 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 uin 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 e t 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 nect 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 ille r!” 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   I d 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 re ss in 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 lle g 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 ectio 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 ctiv e W hen M ak in g R eq u ests 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 nects 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 era b 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 ner gy 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 aten 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 nectio 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 ctiv 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 m in 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 re ss 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 re ss T ra d e B ook le ts F ro m P udd le D an ce r P re ss A bou 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 tes : 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 Y ou 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 of 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 re so lv 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 ect.  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 stem 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 p ro 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 go 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 gre ss io 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 ct 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 e x act r e tr ib 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 ei tz 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 pre ss e d m e ab ou t M arsh all R ose n berg , w ho p ass e d a w ay a t ei gh 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 nectio 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 stem i s c o n ce rn ed , 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 e ts . 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 stem , 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 se rv ic 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 are n es s; 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 ess aw are n es s is th e sta te we’r e in w hen N atu re or art or m usic cre ate s 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 ca 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 a im ed a t t h e en em y a n d ter ro 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 a s 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 i s 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 fes so 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 e se arc h p la y ed a k ey r o le i n 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 fes so 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 ille r’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 er in g o n o u r p la n et re q u ir es m ore e ff ectiv 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 u sc 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 t o m y f r ien d A nnie 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 ces ? 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 vio 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 y o 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 ces ? 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 re m ain ed co m pass io n ate ev en w hile s u bje cte d to t h e g ro te sq u e c o n dit io n s o f a G erm 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 e v 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 o f 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 ter m 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 of 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 we 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 e n 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 pre ss 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 are n es s o f w hat w e are per cei vin 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 re sp ectfu 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 ectin 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 ect, a tt e n tiv en ess , a n d em path y a n d e n 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 e x p re ss io 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 ce s 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 ou 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 to 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— re fer 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 ei th 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 how 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 th re e co m pon en ts is p re sen t w hen w e use N VC t o c le arly a n d h on estly e x p re ss 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 re ss 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 en 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 nect 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 est. 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 o b ser vin g, fe eli n g, a n d n eed in g; w hat y o u a re r e q u estin 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 pre ss in 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 ten fo r an d ver bally ex pre ss 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 re fer 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 h e 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 he 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 ater 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 pre ss ), 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 th 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 t o c re ate hap 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 ccep 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 re n 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 ble m 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 s a 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 n in 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 b ei 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 eet in 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 i s 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 o f N VC help s m e a lo t in th is re sp ect. 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 o f 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 re n 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 se n 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 re s.  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 pre ss th em se lv es re g 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 re g 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 re so u 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 re ss io 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 e g 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 ess 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 nect 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 re fr a 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 re 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 es ir e t o 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 Cam 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 n ot 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 holle re d at th e to p of his lu n gs, “ M urd ere r!” Im med ia te ly a d oze n 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 cu 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 e m 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 ere r: 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 f o 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 fo 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 an 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 to 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 re n ? 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 re n 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 a n 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 o f th e en orm it y o f th e su ff erin g h ere a n d to lo ok m ore d eep 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 re ss in 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 ter , 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 Do 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 es s o n th e part o f p eo p le w ho 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 pre 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 e sp on sib le , ir re sp on 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 oo d , 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 ess . 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 a ff 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 a ff 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 d ef 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 e n 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 – e ste em w hen th ey r e sp on 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 us 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 se s. 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 ect ou r beli e fs of h ow li f e ca n bes t be se rv ed . 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 w ho k ill o th er s a re e v 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 pre ss io 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 o f 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 re se arc 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 ces o f l i t er atu re f r 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 p eo 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 p eo 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 h er 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 ess 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 e fer re d t o t h e peo p le o f 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 u se o f 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 i n 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 re ss e 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 ethin 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 h e 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 re sp on 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 are n es s 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 tes h ow p er so n al re sp on 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 e x am ple o f 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 re n 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 e rta in a ctio n , t h e re sp on 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 e g u la 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 le s— ” 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 re n t h at t h er e a re t h 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 re sp on 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 tem ent “ 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 asten in g t o a d d, “ B ut I d on’t li k e sa 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 e p li e d . I sh are th e se n tim en ts of Fren 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 day, 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 se s 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 le ss , 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 rep 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 e sp on 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 of 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 ater h orro rs w e sh 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 m en 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 aten 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 , e sp ecia 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 w er 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 a n yth in g. W e w ill ex am in e th is su bje ct 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 ess” o n t h e part o f p eo p le w ho 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 est t h at p eo p le c h 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 th 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 n atu 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 i s 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 oble s, 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 ctly 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 ter m 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 o th 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 e s 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 . 3 Obse rv in g W it h ou t E va lu atin g OBSE 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 T he rst co m pon en t of N VC en ta ils th e se p ara tio n of ob 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 s e ei ng, h earin g, o r to u ch in g th at is a ff ectin g o u r sen se of w ell- b ei ng, w it h ou t m ix in g in a n y e v alu atio n . O bse rv atio n s are an im porta n t elem ent in N VC, w her e w e 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 t h 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 ple te ly 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 e p 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 ble m 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 ct 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 an 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 ble m .” 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, b u 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 , bu 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 ects 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 re m 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 a n 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 work 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 sw i r es pon se . M y q u estio 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 er ed , “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 to 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 a ll 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 ct, “  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 er ien 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 re ss e 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 ctiv 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 ee d 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 e x 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 a d 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 ei ve 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 pro ble m 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 desc 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 ple te ly 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 re sen tin g h er e t o 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 n ot 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 he 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 are 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 exper 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 esc rib 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 n am 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 esc rib e ou r e m otio n al s ta tes . 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 t r a in ed t o b e “o th er – dir e cte 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 s o m e boys w er e w ait 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 le tes 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 er 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 c o 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 pre ss 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 ex p re ss th em .  is d iffi cu lt y in id en tif y in g an d ex p re ss in 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 yers , 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 w hose pro fes sio 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 pre ss e 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 arrie d to a w on der fu 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 li 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 tem ents 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 re sp on 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 fes sio 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 t o 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 ble m 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 eet in 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 how 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 ten 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 f r 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 e x p re ss in 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 eet in 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 ce s,” 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 r o 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 fes sio 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 ces s 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 b la 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 a n 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 e x p re ss io n o f v u ln era b ili t y h ad a p ro n ou n ce d e ff ect 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 pre ss 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 pre ss e 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 re ss in 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 pre ss 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 a re : “I f e el i n ad eq u ate a s 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 bet 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 tem ents 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 e v 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 oth 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 re ta tio 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 h av 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 w ere o th 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 cte 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 cte 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 w ord 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 nectin 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 y o u r p ow er to a rtic u la te f e eli n gs a n d c le arly d esc rib 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 ectio 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 ecta 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 cu 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 d eje cte d d ep re ss e d d esp air in g desp on den t d eta ch ed d is a ff ecte 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 harrie d h eav y h elp 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 perp le x ed p ess im is tic p u 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 wis 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 pre ss in 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 era b le b y ex pre ss in 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 pre ss io 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 e ss m 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 nu 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 pre ss e 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 pre ss es 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 pre ss io 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 n ot in a g re em ent. I d on’t c o n sid er “n eg le cte d ” t o b e a f e eli n g. T o m e, it ex pre ss es 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 re ss io 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 n ot 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 pre ss es 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 pre ss es 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 n ot 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 pre ss es 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 pre ss io 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 word 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 re ss 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 n ot 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 re ss es 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 Peo 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 are n es s 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 e x p ecta 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 re sp on 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 an 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 o u 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 re sp on se to “ Y ou ’r e t h e m ost s e lf – c e n te re d p ers o 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 rre n 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 re fer 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 es ir e s, 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 pre ss io 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 re sp on sib le t h 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 acc e p ts re sp on 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 wou 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 ecta 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 her 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 actio 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 are n es s 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 ct a p ro fes sio n al im ag e.” 2. “ I fe el an gry th at th e su p erv is o r b ro ke her 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 e sp on 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 re sp on 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 pre ta tio 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 s a 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 eed 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 crit ic is m , th ey ten 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 ef eatin g t o e x p re ss 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 re sp on 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 re n 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 re sp on 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 re fer 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 bet 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 e a 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 a re 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 e sp ect 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 ei ved w ro n gn ess 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 ece ss a ry to b rin g pea ce to th eir h om ela n ds. I o p en ed th e se ss io 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 est 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 a re a ctin g li k e a b u n ch o f N azis .” A s ta tem ent 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 w ors 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 a re 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 re ss in 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 er m 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 re sp ect 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 of 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 le s 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 ect 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 ctio 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 o f 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 re ta k 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 t h 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 ects 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 est e li c it s r e sis 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 e x p re ss e 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 o th er w om en w er e d is 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 re ss in 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 e m em ber , 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 ter s 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 her s is ter ’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 se 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 r et 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 of 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 to 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 verw helm 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 er s 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 e n 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 derfu 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 er s m ay b eg in t o a ssu m e r e sp on 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 e ss in 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 e je ct 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 e sp on 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 y o 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 o f 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 re sp on 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 re ss e 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 ethin g els e .” I se n se d sh e was ex erc is in g her n ew fo u n d rig h t to ex p re ss 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 ects 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 e rtin 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 e s 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 pre ss 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 le ss ly . 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 p re 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 e m 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 e sp on 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 e sp on 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 ess ! S h e was le arn in g to e x p re ss 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 e sp ecte 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 es ig 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 c o 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 o u 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 ) se n 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 pre ta tio 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 ctly w e c a n c o n nec t 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 ca 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 ) “e m 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 eed 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 bei ng a w are t h 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 od 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 tem ent 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 c h eck in g o u t h er g u ess a s t o w hat t h e co w ork er w as ob se rv in g) A re y o u r e a d in g s o m eth in g a b ou t t e 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 l i 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 r is e to t h is f e eli n g) A re y o u f e 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 y o u ’r e r e m em berin g h ow i t w as f o r t h e gir ls i n y o 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 t h in g! W e k n ew w hat w ou ld h ap p en t o u s i f w e go t p re g n an t. W e w ere s c a re d a b ou t i t a ll t h e tim e, n ot l i 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 i s n o f e ar o f p u n is h m en t f o 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 l e a st f e ar a n d p u n is h m en t w ork ed ! I t s a y s h er e t h 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 t h e re st o f 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 re g n an 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 re n 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 a re gett in g p re g n an t th ese d ay s w it h ou t a n y c o n sid era tio n f o r r e p u ta 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 re sen t, th e sp ea k er w ill r e tu rn 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 ece ss a ry f o r th e l i s te n er t o r e ect b ack a c o m ple x 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 l i k e y o u ’r e e x asp era te d b ecau se yo u ’d l i k e yo u r t a 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 i s ! D o y o u k n ow t h at m y s o n a n d h is w if e w an 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 t h at? Y ou ’d p ro b ab ly l o 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 f o r y o u r s o n t o h av e t h e f a m ily h e w an 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 t h e flow o f e m path y, i n ste a d a llo w in g t h 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 i n 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 i n N VC, a n d u sin g a ll f o u r p arts o f t h 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 y o u rst s a id t h at w e sh ou ld b rin g b ack t h e stig m a o f i lle 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 s h 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 c o m in g h er e f o r fo od a re t e en ag e p are n ts ( O ), a n d I w an t t o m ak e su re t h ey fe el w elc o m e ( N ). W ou ld y o u m in d t e lli n g m e how y o u f e 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 era l 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 ectfu 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 ect. 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 e sp on 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 l a 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 e sp on 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 pre ss 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 l a te becau 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 pre ss 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 pre ss 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 pre ss 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 pre ss 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 if e 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 n ot 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 a re 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 a re 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 ests 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 est 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 ter , 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 p ro 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 re m 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 b eca m e deep ly c o n cer ned o ver th e p ro sp ect o f v io le n ce. O ut o f r e sp ect 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 a lr 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 este 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 c o 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 def 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 pre ss th ei r re q u ests 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 ests 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 le t 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 tem ent, 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 an 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 an 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 ob ed ien ce r a th er t h an r e sp on 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 tem ent 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 in 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 o f 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 re ss io 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 pre ss e 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 n ot 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 t h eo ry i s t h at w e g et d ep re ss e d b ecau se w e’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 w an t b ecau se w e hav e nev er b een t a u gh t t o g et w hat w e w an t. I n ste a d , w e’v e been t a u gh t t o b e go od l i t t le b oys a n d g ir ls a n d g o od m oth er s a n d f a th er s. I f w e’r e g o in g t o b e o n e o f t h ose g o od t h in gs, b et ter g et u se d t o b ei ng dep re ss e d . D ep re ss io n i s t h e r e w ard w e get f o r b ei ng “ g o o d .” B ut, i f y o u w an t t o f e el b ett e r, I ’d l i k e y o u t o c la rif y w hat y o u w ou ld l i 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 s ta rt. N ow I ’d l i k e y o u t o c la rif y w hat y o u w ou ld l i k e peo p le t o d o t h at w ou ld f u l ll y o u r n eed t o 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 l i k e y o u t o t e ll m e w hat y o u w ou ld l i 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, i t c a n b e d iffi cu lt t o m ak e c le ar r e q u ests . B ut t h in k h ow h ard i t w ill b e f o r o th ers t o r e sp on d t o o u r r e q u est i f 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 t o g et c le ar w hat I w an t f r o m o th er s t o f u 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 i t i s e m barra ss in g. S o w hat w ou ld y o u l i k e fo 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 ect u p on w hat I ’m r e q u estin 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 o f 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 f o r y o u r c la rit y . I h op e y o u c a n s e e how y o u a re not li k ely t o n d s o m eo n e w ho c a n f u l ll y o u r n eed f o r l o ve if t h 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 are n es s 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 est 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 may ex pre ss ou r dis c o m fo rt an d in co rre ctly a ssu m e t h at t h e li s ten 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 pre sen 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 ctly a cro ss t h e a is le fr o m a c o u ple o n a m in i- tr a in t h at c a rrie s p ass e n gers to th eir re sp ectiv 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 rit 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 re sp on se he mig h t b e ex p ectin 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 e ss e 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 w ere t w 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 ble m 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 ests 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 e sp ecia lly tr u e when 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 t o 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 estin 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 estin g s o m ethin g i n r et urn . I t m ay sim ply b e a n e m path ic c o n nectio 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 est 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 been 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 ect 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 parts 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 ble s, “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 ectio 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 ten 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 e m 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 eter 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 cei ves Peter 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 ests a re ra re ly m ad e. W hen I em ph asiz e th e im porta n ce of 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 w orrie 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 a h 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 ten 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 y o 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 ctio 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 est 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 t h 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 est 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 est 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 re sp on 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 eir 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 eet in 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 ctio n , m an y m em bers q u it t h e gro u p s, d ecla rin g m eet in 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 se rv e 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 le t 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 re p 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 les s d is c o u rs e . W hen w e ad dre ss 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 es ir 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 e sp on 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 e sp on 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 h av e re ce iv ed th e re sp on 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 h ear 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 ests , 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 als 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 t o c a rr y t h is b ag gag e t o 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 est. 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 oesn ’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 t ir e d . I f y o u ’d l i k e s o 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 eth in 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 l o n ely I ’m f e eli n g. I f y o u r e a lly l o 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 pre ts 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 e je cte 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 est h ad b een a gen u in e re q u est, n ot a d em an d, if h is re sp on se to Ja n e h ad ex pres se d a re sp ectfu 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 e st 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 estin 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 e t 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 t a 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 est 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 est. 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 est 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 p rep 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 est, 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 e s a n a w are n es s 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 a n 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 esig 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 n sh ip 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 ctiv 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 re su lt 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 t h e work y o u s a id y o u w er e g o 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 plet ed .’  en I m ad e a re q u est: 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 re sp on 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 n in 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 fo r h er “ re q u ests .” 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 are n es s 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 m ay 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 t e 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 ers 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 ten 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 e m 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 h an 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 yo 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 us 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 re m 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 t h 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 a n 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 of 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 a b 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 c a 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 se n 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 fo r o u r r e q u ests 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 ests 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 re q u est. 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 a ll h av e jo b s” — w it h t h e s o le o bje ctiv 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 w it 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 fo 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 re m em ber 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 are a b 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 re ss in 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 o f 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 f o 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 pre ss e d a n ger a n d f e ar. A l: B urt, I k n ow w e’v e t a lk ed a b ou t t h is a d oze n t im es, b u t l i s ten . I’m s c a re d y o u r d am ned c ig are tt es a re go in g t o 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 f o r a s l o 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 j u dgin g y o u . I ’m n ot— I’m j u 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 f o r t h e fe eli n gs a n d n eed s p re v en tin g B urt f r o m a gre e in g to t h e re q u est) A re y o u s c a re d t o t r y b ecau se y o u d on’t w an t t o fa il? B urt: Y ea h … y o u k n ow h ow m an y t im 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 t o 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 l e 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 j u 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 f e eli n g) I s i t k in d o f o verw helm in g t o w orr y a b ou t w hat o th ers m ig h t t h in k, w hen j u st q u it t in g i s h ard e n ou gh ? B urt: I r e a lly h ate t h e i d ea t h at I m ig h t b e ad dic te d , t h 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 i n 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 l i k e s m okin g a n y m ore . I t’s l i k e yo u ’r e a paria h i f y o u d o i t i n p u bli c . I t’s em barra ss in g. A l: ( c o n tin u in g t o e m path iz e) I t s o u n ds l i k e y o u ’d r e a lly l i k e t o q u it , b u t a re s c a re d y o u m ig h t f a il— an d h ow t h 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 i t … . 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 i t b efo re . U su ally w hen p eo p le t e ll m e to q u it , I j u st t e ll th em t o g et l o st. I ’d l i k e t o q u it , b u t I d on’t w an t a ll t h at p re ssu 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 i f I c o u ld r e a ssu re y o u a b ou t y o u r f e ars a ro u n d n ot s u cce ed in g, b u t I s u re w ou ld li k e t o s u pp ort y o u i n a n y w ay I c a n .  at i s … i f y o u w an t m e to … . Burt: Y es, I d o. I ’m r e a lly t o u ch ed b y y o u r c o n ce rn a n d w illi n gn ess . B ut … s u pp ose I ’m n ot r e a d y t o t r y y et, i s t h 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 l i k e y o u a s m uch . I t’s j u 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 est, 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 e sp on se . H e ex pre ss e d t h is a w aren ess an d h is r e sp ect 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 pre ss in 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, t h en , m ay b e I w ill t r y a g ain … b u t d on’t t e ll a n yo n e e ls 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 i t 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 pre ss io 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 tem ents 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 ect 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 what 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 es t 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 yo 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 h ow 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 yo 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 es t 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 yo 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 yo u to p re p 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 pre ss io 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 o b 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 ectfu 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 pre p 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 e s 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 er er 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 e rts 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 ess a 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 re ss 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 ter 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 to 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 re sen 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 ctin 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 ood 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 i n 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 fes sio 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 o f 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 re sp on ses . Q ues tio 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 re sp on 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 ble m . 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 pre sen 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 nect 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 u se to ex pre ss 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 ests . 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 tem ent.  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 tes 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 a cc 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 tem ents . 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 s a y “ w it h m e,” y o u i m ply t h at h is f e eli n gs a re th e re su lt o f w hat y o u d id . I w ou ld p re fer f o r y o u t o s a y, “ A re y o u u n hap py b ecau se y o u w ere n eed in g … ? ” a n d n ot “ A re y o 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 t h e l i k eli h ood o f y o u r t a k in g t h e m ess a g e p ers o n ally . W om an : B ut w hat w ou ld I s a y ? “ A re y o u u n hap py b ecau se yo u … ? B ecau se y o u w hat? ” M BR : G et y o u r c lu e f r o m t h e c o n te n t o f y o u r h u sb an d’s m essa g e, “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 .” W hat i s 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 t o e m path iz e w it h t h e need s e x p re ss e d t h ro u gh h er 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 t h at y o u a re f o cu sin g o n w hat h e’s t h in kin g, a n d n ot o n w hat h e’s n eed in g. I t h in k y o u ’l l n d p eo p le t o b e les s th re ate n in g i f y o u h ear w hat t h ey ’r e need in g r a th er t h 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 i n m in d. D oes i t m ak e a d iff er en ce f o r y o u t o h ear h im t h is w ay ? W om an : D e n it e ly — a b ig d iff ere n ce. I s e e w hat’s g o in g o n f o r h im 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 es tin g to e n ric h t h ei r li v es , w e m ay w is h to r e ect 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 ct, 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 estio 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 ctio 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 rr in 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 nect 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 pre ss io 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 w hat 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 th is s tep m ay n ot b e nece ss a 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 c le 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 a sk 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 p ara 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 pre ss t h is d es ir e o ver 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 r e 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 ter rib le sh e was fe eli n g.  e vo lu nte er co n tin u ed to re ect 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 estio 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 nectio n w it h an oth er hu m an bei ng w ho co u ld hear her pro

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