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Trainers are invited to write lessons, tips, and experiences with NVC.

Submitted by LaShelle Lowe-Charde, Feb, 2016

You have just had a close and fun weekend with your girlfriend Alice (substitute your own partner here). You drop her off at her home with plans to see each other again on the weekend. You sit down to have dinner together the following Saturday and she says, "I am not sure if I fit into your life." You sit back in shock. You remember all the things you did together last weekend. Examples of how you showed she's important to you spring to mind. You feel a wave of indignation.

Between the time you dropped her off and saw her a few days later, Alice had fallen down a rabbit hole filled...

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Submitted by LaShelle Lowe-Charde, Dec, 2015

You express a difficult experience and hear your friend respond with everything but empathy. As you become more familiar with self-empathy and empathy, you realize its power and the rewards of just turning towards your experience and staying present. Unfortunately some of your loved ones haven't learned this yet. You know they care about you and mean well. At the same time, it's pretty disconnecting to share in a vulnerable way and hear your friend say something like, "Come on, it's not so bad, look at the bright side, you..." In an attempt to be helpful, your friend directs you away from...

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Submitted by Vika Miller, Nov, 2015

This week I've been getting up close and personal with my humanity. More than usual, I mean.

I knew this Fall would be really challenging; there was going to be a predictable, limited period of very time-demanding work, lasting about 4 weeks. I chose this, I planned for it, I was ready to support my well-being and balance for the duration.

Then a lot of unexpected stuff happened. (I know this never happens to you.) An urgent, seemingly not-too-time-consuming request too alive for me to decline (add 1 week); technical problems outside my control (add 3 weeks); an important...

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Submitted by Sarah Peyton, Oct, 2015

There are two ways that anger can be a problem in relationships: the first is reactive anger - the sudden outbursts of words, temper or action that create a nervous system response in the other; and the second is reaction to anger - in other words, the way that the nervous system that has been startled reacts.

Reactive anger that takes us toward someone in blame is the problem-solving dance of the left hemisphere. It silences and frightens others, and claims power through force.

When my son Nick was 7 years old, I realized that I had an anger problem: I discovered this one...

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Submitted by Vika Miller, Sep, 2015

Ok, I admit it: I'm a word nerd. I love words because they take me deeper into my experience. They provide me with handholds when I'm struggling to explore the landscape inside me. They create bridges between your inner world and mine, carrying the energy of my experience to you so that you can taste it and come into luminous, resonant connection with me ... and vice versa.

Words really matter. The childhood saying, "sticks and stones will break my bones but words can never hurt me" is simply not true: research has now shown that a physical blow and a verbal one alarm our nervous...

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Submitted by LaShelle Lowe-Charde, Aug, 2015

In an attempt to act responsibly when you're upset, you might try to determine if your level of upset about something was reasonable. Even if there were some universal measuring stick for appropriate upset, the answer wouldn't be particularly helpful. You would either claim your right to be upset or feel shame for having the wrong level of upset.

Rather than trying to decide if upset is legitimate, it's more helpful to ask yourself, "How can I be responsible in the midst of this upset?" In Compassionate Communication (NVC) taking responsibility for any emotion means connecting with...

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Submitted by LaShelle Lowe-Charde, Jul, 2015

There are least three essential elements that dissolve shame. Shame begins to dissolve when exposed to the light of your consciousness and the presence of caring others. This means naming it out loud. The more specifically you name it, the more it loses its power. Shame further loses its hold on you when you connect with the need or value you hold regarding the situation in which shame was triggered. Lastly, shame has trouble even coming up when you consistently tend to a connection with your own goodness and grounded sense of who you are and what you contribute to life.

Naming...

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Submitted by Sarah Peyton, Jun, 2015

Marshall Rosenberg, writing about Nonviolent Communication famously said, "Every action is an attempt to meet needs." Now, in the age when neuroscience has become accessible enough to help us decode everyday life, we can add, "And the needs behind every action might be in reaction to unseen nervous systems." In other words the things that people do sometimes have very little to do with us, and much more to do with the other nervous systems that they are carrying within them. This can include externals, like a stressed boss, or internals, like the mother that we have...

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Submitted by LaShelle Lowe-Charde, May, 2015

If you have difficulty setting boundaries, there's a good chance that you grew up in a family where setting a boundary (asking for something outside the family norms, saying no, or attempting to make a decision for yourself) was punished, shamed, or simply ignored. As a kid, your first imperative is to belong to your parents and family. This is a deeply wired in response that is meant to ensure your survival. In order to maintain a sense of safety and belonging, a child will wall off parts of herself. She will put any part of her that threatens safety and belonging on a shelf and engage in...

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