The way we communicate and our capacity to soothe ourselves emotionally (self-compassion) can have a profound impact on the quality of our relationships and enjoyment of our lives. When we judge and blame others for our experience or fail to understand them, fear, isolation and conflict often intensify. When we have greater awareness of our feelings and can take more responsibility for their origin in what we are thinking, or in our human needs and values, we are better able to communicate with kindness and respect. So instead of revolving in energy-depleting conflict we can move towards mutual understanding and happiness.
The way we relate to ourselves, and talk and listen to others, can also lead us to compromise ourselves, to give in, or to give up, both on our smallest hopes and on our wildest dreams. Or it can support us to ask clearly for what we’d like, to fully understand the needs of others, and to keep negotiating till all parties are satisfied.
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) shows us how to increase our enjoyment of life by:
- Helping us to clarify our values and feelings and to express ourselves more directly from them
- Developing our awareness of when we are judging and blaming ourselves or others, which so often leads to disconnection
- Teaching us to listen more empathically so we really understand the deeper needs driving the words and behavior of others.