NVC invites us to expand our perception so that we see ways to bring connection amidst conflict. At the core of this expanded perception is the skill to focus our attention on the underlying human needs that are seeking to be nurtured in any moment, both within ourselves and within the people around us.
These underlying human needs are the motivation for our actions and our words … the “why” behind what we do or say. Because human needs are universal — they are common to all human beings — when we bring them into explicit focus, they tend to stimulate understanding and draw us closer together.
The potency of NVC is in its pragmatic simplicity. In any moment, including a moment of conflict, there are two ways to enhance connection & understanding:
authentically express our own feelings & needs, or
empathically listen to the feelings & needs of the other.
These are radically different choices than we are accustomed to experience when we are in conflict: namely, fight, freeze or freeze.
While simple, NVC is often challenging to embody because we are so deeply conditioned to perceive each other through judgments and blame.
With practice, the process of NVC helps us navigate within ourselves to transform unconscious reactions into conscious responses.