Here’s why you must know your needs, wants and desires. Don’t worry, there are ways to learn how to do this. NVC is one of them. If you do not know your needs, feelings and wants, you are unlikely to talk about them. If you do not talk about them, they have no chance of being met. Then what? In short we don’t feel and act well. Here’s what I’ve seen happen to the person who is not in touch with, or not expressing their inner wants, desires and needs. They become:
- Angry or sad.
- Less vital and feel “cut off” or numb.
None of these are bad, though it can feel uncomfortable to be living like that. When we are not at ease inside, often we begin to act badly. Here are examples of what can happen. We:
- Snap at folks, using sharp words or a judging tone.
- “Leak” our anger, sadness and pain, creating a negative feeling around us.
- Are not present and engaged with our loved ones.
- Isolate ourselves or withdraw.
Guess how attractive, alive and interesting this person is to be around?
NVC Can Help
Non-Violent Communication (NVC) is the best of tools for learning how to turn this around. It begins with offering oneself empathy. We don’t need to make ourselves (or others) feel terrible about any of this. Instead, we could be gentle and present to our suffering self, by using self-empathy.
It can be a process to learn how to be kind enough to yourself, and therapy can certainly help with that. Once we do have some kindness built up, we can see that it is really important to know and ask for what it is that we want and need. Otherwise, take a look at that last bulleted list again. Acting in those ways, isn’t helping and may be causing damage to yourself and others.
It’s natural to have preferences and needs. Getting in touch with those is a valuable exercise. Take a look at the worksheet that is here. What is alive and stirring in you, right now? You can start by simply identifying what’s true for you now. If you want to go further, try using the fill in the blank sentences at the top of the page to help you communicate your situation.
Download this worksheet at the bottom of my Resources page, by clicking here.
Wise Heart of Portland, OR offers an instruction newsletter that I recommend, classes too. If you want support on further developing your awareness of your wishes, wants and needs, and how to communicate that, I can help with that. Be in touch with me today.
Truly, what is good for you, will be good for others, too.