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Honesty Challenge

Expressing with Compassion, Recognizing Empathetic Responses


Below is an exercise to check if you understand the NVC model for expressing honesty. Before trying this out I recommend you see Empathy, have attended some NVC training or read Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg. I experienced quite a challenge to give feedback in a way that modeled NVC. While being in the NVC consciousness, I would not say you are wrong if you picked a different response than I did. I have heard Marshall say something similar to, I came to a different conclusion than you did, would you tell me how you came to your conclusion? I believe I could do this in a conversation. Doing it with writing is something else. I also want to keep my answers brief in the exercise and elaborate more in the explanation below the exercise.

giraffeTo give feedback in a way that does not imply judgment, is difficult with the English language. I have done my best below. When the answer you pick agrees with my choice, you will see the giraffe & ♥ symbol to be clear when I am in agreement with your choice. Where I came to a different conclusion than you chose, you will see the jackal lurking around. In NVC the giraffe is used to symbolize speaking with NVC consciousness and the jackal symbolizes jackaljudgment and blaming language. Please enjoy the exercise and I would enjoy hearing feedback of how it was for you. Contact Jeff.

Namaste,
Jeff

1.  I feel betrayed.

I find this a Connecting expression of an emotion.

This sounds Disconnecting to me.

2.  I feel annoyed because I thought you did it on purpose.

This is a Connecting expression of an Emotion.

This sounds Disconnecting to me.

3.  I feel that my brother should do his share of the chores.

This sounds Connecting to me.

This sounds Disconnecting to me.

4.  I feel sad because you have no right to do this.

This leads to Connection.

This sounds Disconnecting to me.

5.  I'm sorry I hurt your feelings.

This statement will create Connection.

This sounds Disconnecting to me.

6.  I feel sad that nothing seems to work out for me.

This statement will create Connection.

This sounds Disconnecting to me.

7.  I feel hurt when you interrupt.

This statement will create Connection.

This sounds Disconnecting to me.

8.  You hurt my feelings when you call me stupid.

This statement will create Connection.

This sounds Disconnecting to me.

9.  I'm sad because what you did is so rude.

This statement will create Connection.

This sounds Disconnecting to me.

10.  When you left, I felt abandoned.

This statement will create Connection.

This sounds Disconnecting to me.

11.  When you said I was lazy, I felt dread.

This statement will lead to Connection.

This sounds Disconnecting to me.

12.  I'm frustrated because this exercise is so difficult for me.

This statement will create Connection.

This sounds Disconnecting to me.

Notes

1. I feel betrayed. Betrayed is on the list of Faux Feelings. It seems like it should be an emotion but is not. It describes the speakers evaluation of someone else's behavior.

2. I feel annoyed because I thought you did it on purpose. This is using an emotion (annoyed) after feel and the speaker taking responsibility for his thoughts. (This may stimulate the other person because there is blame here, but the speaker is owning it as her thoughts. Have someone say it to you as written above and see it feels in your body. try it again with " I feel annoyed because you did it on purpose.") I am guessing the second way you will feel more tension or upset than the first.

3. I feel that my brother should do his share of the chores. "I feel" is followed by an opinion instead of an emotion. ("I feel like..." is frequently used the same way.)

4. I feel sad because you have no right to do this. Sad is an emotion but it is followed by a declaration that some universal it has decided you have no right to do this. The speaker could make it connecting by taking responsibility for the opinion.

5. I'm sorry I hurt your feelings. This is probably one of the most difficult phrases to understand in NVC. Here the speaker seems to be nice. However by claiming responsibility for someone else's emotions, you are actually taking their power away. "I feel sorry I have acted in a way that did not meet your needs" would be taking responsibility without taking power away.

6. I feel sad that nothing seems to work out for me. This is using the NVC model and the speaker is talking about himself.

7. I feel hurt when you interrupt. This is very close to the model for NVC. The observation is after the emotion and the observation is an evaluation and could be more specific. Having the observation come first, seems very picky. In my experience having the observation first lets the other person know what you are talking about. If the emotion comes first they start wondering what is this about. If you are skeptical about this, have someone talk to you, sometimes saying observation first and sometimes feelings first and notice the visceral reaction. When you start talking while I am still talking, I feel hurt, would fit the NVC model.

8. You hurt my feelings when you call me stupid. Here the speaker is blaming the listener for the speaker's emotional response. My emotions come from how I think about something and no one else controls my emotions. I give my power away when I talk this way. When you call me stupid, I feel hurt.

9. I'm sad because what you did is so rude. This is very close to fitting the model. Where it falls apart is the speaker is not attributing responsibility to herself and is implying some universal it has decided "what you did is so rude." I'm sad because I think what you did is so rude, would take responsibility. This still might stimulate the listener because of the judgment involved.

10. When you left, I felt abandoned. Close again except abandoned is considered a "Faux Feeling." Abandoned is a description of what you think of someone else's behavior. Abandoned is on the Faux Feelings list.

11. When you said I was lazy, I felt dread. this fits the model, observation followed by emotion.

12. I'm frustrated because this exercise is so difficult for me. This also fits the model, hopefully it is not true!

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