Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Compassionate Communication

There’s a very true adage that says, we teach what we most need to learn.

Recently I had a really painful experience related to ego, surrender and the need to be right.

Somebody at a seminar treated me badly and I backed down, thinking I was being mature letting the issue slide. Then, on my way home, I felt a numbness that I hadn’t felt for a long time. This is an empty feeling that you probably won’t recognise, or fully own up to if you’ve been surrendering your will to someone else’s for a while.

Because I hadn’t been in this sort of situation recently I could recognise the numbness immediately. It was as if the fire had suddenly gone out of me. I felt boneless, almost without a will of my own.

As soon as I recognised where this feeling was coming from, I did completely the wrong thing. I over-reacted and fought back hard. This re-ignited the fire in my belly but I smashed a delicate, important relationship in the process.

However, I’ve learnt something essential as a result:
Surrendering doesn’t mean giving up your will or betraying yourself. It means stepping beyond your own ego in an attempt to really understand what the other person is feeling. This includes letting go of the need to always be right. Letting go of the argument.

Genuine surrender means staying true to your own truth but being willing to stand in the other person’s shoes long enough to make contact with the feelings behind what is actually being said. By addressing the feelings rather than simply reacting an entirely different world open ups.

Funny while I was writing this a mentor sent me an email about noviolent communication. I went on a web search and discovered an excellent article titled: Nonviolent Communication Beyond Judgment and Niceness by Lucy Leu

She says, “The symbol for NVC Is the giraffe. Not only do giraffes have the largest heart of any land animal, their height gives them a long view. Giraffe speakers give from the heart, and are able to see far enough to know the consequences of gifts that do not come from the heart.”

"No matter how big the issue, there will be peace if each party trusts that their needs matter to the other. On the other hand, no matter how small the issue, there will be war if one or both parties believe that the other party does not care about their needs." Dr. Rosenberg

If you’d like to know more about Giraffe language, and the four pieces of information needed to honestly express ourselves to others you can find the whole article here.

To find out how your style of emotional communication may be harming your relationships and how to use your resources to move your life forward, go here or visit my website www.handanalysisonline.com

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