Learning how to use Conscious Communication involves alchemising, deconstructing the way we use words and their energetic or emotional meaning.
A typical session involves bringing some prima materia (examples of conflictual interactions) to work on. This could be a situation of conflict which one often experiences, a past traumatic confrontation or an internal suffering which is experienced in certain situations, in short any situation involving other humans which is a cause of suffering. This innately human process consists of gaining a working knowledge of and ability to communicate:
1. objective consensus reality
2. the emotion we are experiencing
3. the recognition of the need which is connected to the emotion
4. a request.
Once learning this process the magic of human connection dissolves much of the suffering we create in our human inter-dependence, it favours win-win solutions. We can use this method as a therapy or a communication tool. It is extremely useful for hypnotherapists who are supporting clients with the insights they glean and next steps they plan to make; providing a way to communicate to people in delicate or highly charged situation.
Conscious or Non-Violent Communication takes you beneath the surface of emotion to a place of connection and therefore has a powerful calming effect.
The word “emotion” means to stir up or to agitate. Imagine a stormy sea and remind yourself that below the surface, the deep water remains calm. I’m sure you have noticed how emotions feed off one another; anger breeds anger just as violence breeds violence.
A story which is attributed to The Buddha tells an episode where a local Guru approached the Buddha and angrily spoke in raised voice “you are stealing all the devotees!” “We are going out of business!” - The Buddha thanked the Guru for his gift of anger but politely refused it. If he had “accepted the gift” an argument would have ensued and the Buddha too would have experienced the disturbance of anger rather than remaining unaffected in joy and serenity. Non-violent communication takes you deep beneath the surface emotion to a place of connection and it is here that the magic can begin; peaceful outcomes to violent wars, decades-long marital conflicts dissolved in minutes or simply recognising how to meet your own needs.
We always have a choice whether to react to the emotion or respond to the emotion. When we react, situations get psychologically violent very quickly due to the moralistic judgements, evaluations and diagnoses which we often make in haste, we are thinking in terms of right and wrong in the “heat” of the moment. Whereas when we respond we transform situations into comprehension and human connection; becoming able to negotiate to get each others needs met.
Non-violent communication is a method and therapy which can be used in specific conflicts or practised in everyday life. It helps us, as Marshall Rosenberg would say; to make life wonderful and stop playing the game of who is right and who is wrong.