All right, so yesterday I mentioned my intention to respond to some questions that GoneSavage (GS) raised about compassionate (a/k/a non-violent) communication (CC or NVC for short). For those who are not familiar, NVC is a form of communication developed by Marshall Rosenberg to enhance connection among people and help them navigate and resolve intense conflicts. NVC is sometimes affectionately referred to as "giraffe language" for reasons that I'm not going to get into here. In some schools in the Middle East, they teach four-year old children to mediate disputes among their classmates using NVC.
If we teach NVC to everyone, the entire world will be transformed.
But I digress ... right now we're talking about the application of compassionate communication to seduction, and in particular, GS was focused on this quotation:
"In NVC, we consider praise and compliments a violent form of communication. Because they are part of the language of domination, it is one passing judgment on another. What makes it more complex is that people are trained to use praise as reward, as a manipulation to get people to do what they want."
-- Marshall Rosenberg (http://www.cnvc.org/)
GS had a few concerns, as he mulled over this quotation and ran internet searches on NVC. Here are some of the questions he raised:
1. GS was worried that NVC is anti-sex.
This one's easy to answer -- quite the opposite. As I mentioned in the previous post, intensive NVC often leads to sex. Why? Because it creates and enhances intimacy. The reason we were "warned" about it at the 10-day training is that the instructor wanted to make sure that those people who were already in committed relationships did not end up doing anything they regretted while at the conference. In other words, the instructor was meeting his own need for integrity and for contributing to other people's well-being.
2. GS also was concerned that NVC means the end of compliments:
"I have always thought that giving genuine praise was a kind and soul-enriching act, but now I see that it is really a violent one. After reading more on NVC, it now seems to me that any concious use of any technique is manipulation and therefore a violent form of communication."
GS, NVC does not mean the end of compliments. It means the beginning of sincere, detached-from-the-outcome appreciation.
I like Marshall's quote because it is provocative and gets people thinking, thus raising awareness. That said, it is a bit of an oversimplification. At its core, NVC is a tool for transforming consciousness. Thus, for example, when we say "that waterfall is really beautiful" or "that girl is really beautiful," NVC encourages us to translate that into our own observations, feelings, needs, and requests (OFNR). NVC translation: "When I see that waterfall, I feel blissful because my needs for beauty, connection to the natural world, awe, and relaxation are met. Would you be willing to stop the hike for a few minutes so I can continue to enjoy it?"
However, this raises an important issue when it comes to NVC. The language is so different from everyday street language that sometimes if you actually use the NVC terminology, other people (who haven't yet learned it) will look at you like you just landed here from Mars. In addition, sometimes it's just too many words. So sometimes the NVC language can hinder rather than enhance communication.
This is where the concept of "street giraffe" comes in (which actually also answers a question that a blog reader posed to me a couple of months ago when he was struggling to incorporate NVC into his everyday life without being perceived as a "weirdo"). Street giraffe is an art form, and it is a real joy once a person starts becoming proficient. As we study NVC, our consciousness begins to change. Instead of thinking that other people are responsible for meeting our needs, we begin to see that we are always responsible for our own needs, and for lack of a better concept, our "energy" changes. Now something miraculous happens. We can still be using non-NVC words, such as compliments, but because the intention with which we are using those words has changed, the impact the words have on other people also changes.
For example, two different guys can say the same thing to a girl (such as "Wow, you are so beautiful, I just had to come over to say hello). One guy will be perceived by the girl as creepy (which, translated into NVC, merely means that she senses that the guy wants something from her). The other guy will be perceived by the girl as charming (which means simply that her needs for appreciation, connection, etc. are being met at the same time as the guy is meeting his own needs). The difference between the two guys is something I refer to as "vibe" but really has to do with the guy's belief system. This is too complex to cover fully here but is something that I'm delving into in my upcoming e-book.
GS had a few more questions but for now I'm out of time. So I'll write part two of this article later.
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