A quote I hear fairly often in all types of relationships. From friends, lovers, education, business, and politics. It is the way one person can share how they feel and what needs they have to others.
Currently we speak to each other in thoughts and analyses vs. starting from a place of empathy.
The way we connect (empathetically) is by simply expressing these feelings and needs out loud without introducing any evaluation of those feelings and needs.
Mother to her child.
M: “You don’t listen! You make me upset when you don’t put your toys away.”
This is violence.
Because the child is guilted into thinking what he did is wrong, and submits to authority just because. The guilt is then what translates the message to an action as in: “do what I said because you made me feel this way.” It strips away ones responsibility of creating emotions. The only person that can make you feel anything is you; the way you chose to handle that situation. The stimulus was the child not putting the toys away, however she chose to feel upset and ignored. A better way to handle this is to understand what needs she had that were not met and be very concrete of the actions you would like them to do.
Same example:
M: “I feel upset when the house is not neat and tidy. Would you be willing to put your toys away after you are done playing with them and agree to do it this way from now on?”
This method elucidates the need to have a clean and tidy home and then attributes a feeling to the unfulfilled need. The child isn’t what made her upset, rather the fact that the condition of the home was not meeting her needs (toys on the floor.) The request of “would you be willing” offers a voluntary action (non-violent) as opposed to a guilt tripped response (violent.) The request to agree enforces a bond from the voluntary action of putting the toys away to the fulfillment of her needs to keep the home tidy.
TL;DR: Communication on it’s own isn’t key, non-violent communication is key.

One thought on ““Communication is key.”

  1. I have a rule with my wife and kids. We don’t have any rule we can’t explain the why behind. It helps to get this thought on the right track.

    As an aside, I find the usage of “violent” is a little troubling. I think a better term would be forceful, or coercive. Violence justifies a violent response (this idea) & words can be violent bring the terrible conclusion that words can justify a violent response. I understand that this isn’t the intent of this insightful posting… but it’s an unintended and avoidable consequence.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s