Section 9, Topic 6

Four options for dealing with a negative message

Ravi Resck 29 de July de 2021
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Finally we come to the third member of the CNV. Here we connect with the root of our feelings: the needs.

One of the most important messages here is to realize that other people's actions can work with a stimulus for what we feel, but can never be seen as the cause.

In fact, our feelings expressed are a result of how we choose receiving what people say and do as well as the expectations we project on others. So let's look at four possible answers for when someone tells us something we don't like.

1. Blame ourselves

The example that Rosenberg gives here is that of a hypothetical situation where a person is angry and says something like "You are the most arrogant person I have ever met!"

If we chose to take it personally, we could react with "Oh, I should have been more sensitive!"

We accept the person's judgment and place the blame on ourselves. This option comes at a high cost to our self-esteem because it comes loaded with ideas of shame and maybe even depression.

It does not mean that we should not accept our responsibility, but we do not need to surrender to the judgments of others in the same way that we must seek not to spread them.

2. Blame others

Another reaction to the same situation where someone says to you "You are the most arrogant person I have ever met!" it would be to go into combat mode and say “You have no right to say that! I am always taking your ideas into consideration. You who are arrogant! ”

When we enter this mode, it is normal to feel anger, resentment, hatred and bad mood.

3. Listen to our own feelings and needs

Another option would be to connect with our own essence and say something like "When I hear you say I'm arrogant, I get hurt because I need some recognition for my effort to take your ideas into account".

When we connect with our feelings and needs, we become aware that our hurt stems from the need for our efforts to be recognized.

4. Listen to the feelings and needs of others

Here we could ask "Are you hurt because you need more consideration for your ideas and preferences?"

We accept our responsibility within the communication process and try to understand the person's needs rather than simply focusing on our own needs.

Becoming responsible for your feelings

Here are three examples that show some language patterns that cover up responsibility for what we feel:

  • The use of impersonal expressions and pronouns as something and this: “Something that really infuriates me is when spelling errors appear in our brochures to the public. It bothers me a lot. “
  • Statements that only mention the actions of others: "When you don't call me on my birthday, I get hurt." or "Mom is disappointed when you don't finish your food."
  • The use of the expression “I feel - an emotion - because…” followed by a person or personal pronoun other than “me”: “I feel hurt because you said you didn't love me” or “I feel angry because supervisor did not keep her promise ”.

In each of these examples, we can connect a feeling to our need and deepen awareness of our responsibility for our emotions. Just replace the original sentence with “I feel this way because I…”. Examples:

  • I feel really enraged when spelling mistakes like that appear in our brochures for the public perthat I want our company to project a professional image ”.
  • "Mom is disappointed when you don't finish eating, because I want you to grow up strong and healthy."
  • "I feel angry because the supervisor did not keep her promise because I had that long weekend to visit my brother".
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