Compassion course: week 4

Happy Friday! This is the third installment of a weekly svadjaja (self study) series I’m doing on a year long online Non-Violent Communication (NVC) course that I’m taking. I’m tracking my progress as I go through each week’s lessons. Check out last week’s post on feelings here!

Needs. The root of compassionate thinking. This week was a revisit of needs. Why do they matter? Are there good and bad needs? What about needs vs. strategies (i.e. how we try to meet our needs)?

The idea that the things people do are their attempts to meet their needs is new to me. I think this course will be the beginning of a new way of thinking, and of improving communication and relationships by maintaining connection during times it’s easier to just disengage. How many times have I written someone off based on something they said, their actions, or how they look that day? It’s tempting to disconnect, especially with something I feel strongly about (like during an argument…*cough cough*) because it’s easier for me to think about right vs wrong or fundamental differences than to consider that I might be wrong or that the other person has their story and their needs too.

The biggest takeaway I got from this week was the idea of strategies vs needs. Our needs are universal, but the strategies we use to meet them can differ. So the next time I get into a conflict with someone else, I’ll try to think less of “why the hell would they say that to me??” and ask myself “what universal need are they trying to meet?” I think this is a step in the right direction 🙂

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