Self Talk: A NVC Tool for Tough Parenting and Life Moments

 In Nonviolent Communication (NVC), Parent Peacefully

My Cup Is Full.

I had the first of what I hope is a long summer series of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Intro to the Basics workshop. I realized yet again that when people are willing to connect with me I feel full of joy and relief and purpose.

Full of light and lightness.

Though I didn’t know it at the time, NVC transformed my classroom as a teacher. It has transformed my family as a mother and me as a person. This journey will last my lifetime, and I find myself looking into the faces of mothers and feeling deeply committed to doing this work my whole life through.

I feel joyful when I can share this tool for people to use immediately and universally across the moments of their lives.

NVC is most useful in the tough moments to connect with ourselves. That is one constant throughout every moment of our lives. I kept thinking about the Self Empathy video from yesterday.

In my thoughts came this piece about how we talk to ourselves. We may use our language in our minds and out our mouths to blame/label/judge others.

Consider: How do you speak to yourself when you make a mistake?

While we may work extra hard to speak kindly to our children, and find ourselves at a loss as to why we struggle to speak kindly to our partners, we sometimes forget to stop and speak kindly to ourselves.

“I’m so stupid!” (You are stupid. Your ideas are stupid.)

“It’s silly to feel this way.” (You are silly to feel that way, to think that.)

“What’s wrong with me?” (What’s wrong with you?)

…or sometimes…

Nobody cares. (I don’t care.)

These words that come up in our heads are things that we have heard from other people or heard other people say to themselves. They do not paint an accurate or authentic picture of who we truly are and what we bring to the moment.

For instance, “Nobody Cares” is something we might say to ourselves when people do not do as we wish or when we are feeling a deep need for empathy and connection.

At times people are showing us they care in their fallible, flawed human way. As Dr. Marshall Rosenberg says in his book Nonviolent Communication: A Language for Life, their words and actions are a tragic expression of their unmet needs and unheard feelings. Perhaps they are feeling so disconnected from themselves that they are not able to connect empathetically with you in the moment, to show you they care in a way that you are ready to see and hear and witness.

The Real Question Is: Do YOU Care?

Do you care enough about yourself to listen in, acknowledge and honor your own feelings and needs? Are you willing to shift your beliefs of unworthiness and unvalued and “nobody cares and nobody will” to I Care, I Love, I matter.

Take one moment, when you are feeling triggered by your child, your partner, your family member, friend, boss, stranger or your own humanity….

Check In: How are you talking to yourself in this moment?

Wherever hard place you find yourself in, shift to curiosity. What are you feeling? What are you needing?

Transform your Self Talk into nourishment and nurturance that encourages you and gives you the empathy and acknowledgement you need.

Fill your own cup.

And when and if you are willing, turn to that other person and connect with what is alive in them or share what is alive within your heart.

Have the courage to live life fully, with your whole heart.

And each time that you do that, thank yourself, as I do, for bringing one more moment of peace radiating forth on this planet.

Every seed, every effort counts.

You do, too.

Much love,


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