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Friday
May202005

What could I say or do when someone does not talk?

Request:
Hello, I am familiar with NVC having read the main book, and several of the booklets and find the concept very heartening.  I have also been in the Foundation Training.  However, I do have a bit of a challenge that I hope you can help me with.  Can you give me any advice as to what to do when people won't talk to you at all, as I then find it very difficult to find out what their needs are that aren't being met!  Also, how to be effective with people who don't actually want to think about why they're being the way they are and even guessing what they might be feeling seems to be intrusive for them, I think because the thought of knowing what is really going on for them is too scary for them. Any ideas would be welcome please.


Response:

In response to your request for advice, you could try some silent empathy as well as some self-connection.  First self-connection, acknowledging to yourself how you feel when you see the reaction of the people you referenced (perhaps confused, frustrated?) because what needs of yours are not met (mutual understanding and connection?).  By taking responsibility and having compassion for your own experience, you may have the resource then to empathize silently with the other and wonder compassionately about their experience.  (Are they feeling angry? or scared? because they need trust? or protection?)

It also sounds to me as though you would like perhaps to contribute to these people?  Since empathy is a response of caring and is not about the words we use, silent compassion can be a wonderful gift to them as well as yourself.  It gives them space to experience what is going on for themselves. and can give you the clarity that can also support you in connecting their feelings to their needs and not personalizing their reactions.

Also, if there is any emotional charge for you about about what you want, perhaps to contribute or to get cooperation, they could be hearing your attempts at empathy as some form of aggression to force them to do what they do not want to do, or some form of criticism that they need help or are not accepted.

Jori 

 

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