Homeschooling: It's not what we do, it's how we live.

Requesting that Which Enriches Life – NVC Week 6

Six chapters in – hooray!

If you’re following along or just joining us, we’re working through Marshall Rosenberg’s book, Nonviolent Communication, and  Lucy Leu’s companion Workbook . We’re doing this as part of our homeschool curriculum and we welcome your thoughts and companionship on our journey.

We’ve been taking it slow; well technically, I’ve just been lax about posting out updates. We’re doing week 7 and have been for a couple of weeks – I’m just now getting around to posting about week 6. In any case, I haven’t forgotten about this project and am quite pleased with myself for following through with it (even if it is taking longer than originally planned).

In any case, week 6 is all about asking for what you need. In NVC, that means identifying what it is that you feel first and then being able to ask for it. As we’re going along, I am noticing a tendency among certain members fo our family to sound rather condescending when making requests. It’s very hard to have a sarcastic personality *and* sound sincere a lot of the time. This has always been a problem between Loverly Husband and myself; compliments that are utterly sincere sometimes have to have a ‘note of sincerity’ attached to them in order to be taken seriously. Adding NVC to this mix has been… interesting.

I’m also a pretty demanding person in general – as a friend, as a wife, as a mother – I expect certain things from my friends and family and I expect that those expectations will be met. I’m working on it and again, trying to work on not being a demanding shrew AND factoring in NVC without feeling like I am lowering my standards is difficult.

I will say that being in the same place with my kids as far as being new to and learning this method of communication; being able to say to them, “I am trying to use NVC and am having a hard time with expressing myself’ is a tremendous help. It’s almost like being able to call a time-out in the middle of a conversation. It helps them realize that I’m not perfect, that I am struggling just as much as they sometimes are. Saying something like that automatically puts us on the same, inexperienced  team and reminds us all, in that moment, that we’re working towards the same goal. If we take nothing else away from this experiment, that one thing is worth its weight in gold.

That said, this week’s lesson and focus on asking for what you need has been interesting and somewhat easier than the previous couple of weeks. Asking for something first requires that you know what it is that you need to begin with. These concepts are building on one another and being more familiar with one concept makes the next one easier. Being able to identify what you’re feeling (week 4) and then taking responsibility for them (week 5) and now asking for something to meet the need all works hand-in-hand.

If you’re following along, some of the discussion questions from Chapter 6 are:

What constitutes ‘request’ in NVC? How can we test whether it is a request or a demand?

How do expressing requests via vague/abstract language vs. expressing feelings gain different results?

Why do we sometimes hear a demand when someone makes a request?

What is reflecting? How does reflecting help?

Practice:
How can we strengthen our consciousness of what we want back when we talk to others?

If you’re reading along with us, I’d love to hear from you!

Have a great weekend!

Warmly,

~h

(Disclaimer: This is not a certified or ‘official’ NVC anything. This is my personal journey through Marshall Rosenberg’s book, Nonviolent Communication, and Lucy Leu’s NVC Companion Workbook. I am NOT an expert, nor am I particularly skilled in this process. Please use/follow/apply with those things in mind. When in doubt, please disregard my commentary and refer to the book or workbook. I make no money off of this exercise, nor is any copyright infringement meant by posting a sampling of the questions from the workbook. For best results, I  strongly recommend that you purchase the book and workbook for yourself and go through them in their entirety at your leisure.)

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