One of the most common critiques I hear of Nonviolent Communication is that it’s simply not practical. “It would be great if this can work,” the line often goes. “Too bad that in my (school, family, organization) we don’t have the luxury of taking all this time to do all this endless dialogue that it takes to get anywhere. No one would have the patience, anyway.”
I have my thoughts about why working things out for everyone’s benefit takes as long as it often does and how to shift out of those challenges. I plan to write about it in a blog post soon. For now, I want to highlight three areas in which I see the use of NVC as directly contributing to movement. So practical, in fact, that I sometimes wonder how anyone can get anything done without this support.
Resolving Inner Conflict
My experience of working with people in diverse situations over the years has shown me that more often than not our inner conflicts are equally if not more distressing to us than our outer conflicts. Inner conflicts take many forms. It can be a decision that we can’t make, a painful inner loop of self-criticism followed by impatience with ourselves for still criticizing ourselves, regret about something we did that we can’t seem to come to peace about, or a host of other equally familiar ones. Even our outer conflicts are often intertwined with our inner life, since our reaction to others is fundamentally more the expression of our own meaning-making than a direct result of anything the other person does.
|Listen to Yourself by Terry White|