The 4 Step NVC Process: Cultivating Connection, Compassion, and Passion in Your Life and Relationships
[This post is the second in a 5-part series about Connected Communication, as taught in 4 Steps to Connection, the upcoming 6 Week Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Series for Relationships and Parenting. See last week’s post on What is Connected Communication, what life feels like when you have it and what life looks like when you don’t.]
When couples are talking about baby, parenting and family life in preconception or pregnancy, they focus on the physical things.
Leading into motherhood, we prepare our bodies with nourishing foods, preparing our minds with helpful information, prepare our hearts with mindfulness and support, prepare our home, prepare our finances. In pregnancy, we spend time and energy on clothes and diapers and baby things.
Then the baby comes and the constant emotional and mental needs start up….
There is less space and time and brain power to communicate clearly and figure it out, yet the needs are intensified. Couples can begin to feel isolated and disconnected from each other through the natural internal and external struggles. The thought that the other person doesn’t understand slips easily into a story about how the other person doesn’t care.
When rigidity of roles increases in search for reliability and couples feel the overwhelm there can be a competitive feeling of “I do more” and “I need a break.” Mothers in particular can have a hard time when it comes to connecting to their own needs and getting even their most basic needs met. Even in the most loving relationship, the sheer intensity of the responsibility of caring for and raising compassionate, competent children adds stress.
NVC helps people connect to their own feelings and needs and express a request while empathizing with the feelings and needs of others.
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a tool directed specifically at connected communication. It’s very origins lie in the question: What kind of communication encourages people to contribute compassionately to the lives of others?
The NVC is a language, a set of principles and a communication process focusing on 4 Steps:
- observing without evaluation or judgment
- identifying feelings
- focusing on needs
- making a clear request
Click here to get your free Communication Quick Guide for an in depth overview of the 4 Step NVC Process.
You can use the 4 Step NVC Process internally for yourself or to give empathy to your child or partner. By focusing on the feelings and needs in the situations, yours and others’, compassion is cultivated and solutions become clear. Rather than fearing conflict, we can use the 4 Step NVC Process to feel confident that we can connect, peacefully.
Using the 4 Step NVC Process does not mean that people won’t get upset or that everyone else will start using NVC with you.
NVC means that you can sit in the midst of conflict and conscious communicate. Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of the Center for Nonviolent Communication and creator of the language of NVC, says people are only ever expressing two things: Please and Thank you. When we are triggered ourselves, we can get caught up in what he calls “enemy images.” We get stuck in the either/or, right/wrong, me or you mentality. Sometimes we find ourselves in the heat of the moment make choices out of our conditioning and habits and not making the fully conscious, intentional choices we would wish, especially as we set the example and leave the legacy our children will carry.
The principles and 4 Step Process of NVC helps us come from a place of our choosing rather than a place of our programming.
[Up Next: Part 3 of 5: “The #1 Thing Keeping You from Connected Communication: Applying NVC in Your Relationship and Parenting”] ********
- About Nonviolent Communication (NVC), a 4 step process for connected communication
- 4 Steps to Connection: NVC Workshop Series for Relationships and Parenting
- Download printable resources in my Communication Quick Guide
- NVC articles and posts on the blog