Quick Project Update: Nonviolent Communication

I am now more than halfway through my 30-day project to focus on nonviolent communication (NVC) and practice it via social media. Want to give a quick update just to make sure I share something before it ends. This has been enormously helpful to me so far.

Social Media

The commitment I made via this blog was to practice NVC via social media at least once a day for 30 days. The social media aspect is primarily just to keep me focused on the bigger project of focusing on developing my nonviolent communication skills. I’ve actually been getting tired of Twitter as a result of this, but I do have trouble concentrating, so it’s been helpful to the end of NVC. I’m impatient to be done with Twitter for a while, but it’s the easiest way for me to stand by my commitment.

A Month+ of NVC

I made a much bigger commitment to myself: to really spend 30 days focusing on nonviolent communication, in order to build a strong foundation of NVC skills. I plan on continuing to focus on it after 30 days, but haven’t yet laid out (much) how I will ensure that I continue to work on it.

I won’t try to say what the future holds, where this will take me in the long run or even where I’ll be tomorrow. I don’t want to force things with predictions, as I think I did that a bit too much with my last major self-confidence project. But I am sure, after more than two weeks of this, that I cannot live anymore without a continuous effort to improve my nonviolent communication skills.

Since beginning this project, I’ve gone from feeling very uncertain of my life, feeling kind of dead inside, to feeling a peace, a harmony, an inspiration, a sense of being alive, and a confidence that I hadn’t felt in … frankly, ages. I don’t think any of these things are either/or, but that they’re all on a scale. However, there’s a certain point on the scale of fulfilling each of these needs that feels bad, another point that feels okay, and another that feels great. I’ve gone from feeling mostly bad to feeling mostly okay or good in these areas.

At first I focused a lot on expressing feelings, especially via Twitter. But in general, the biggest focus for me so far has been on human needs. That’s ultimately what it’s about. At first I focused a lot on expressing my own needs, and that’s opened the doorway to focus more on being present to others’ needs. I find myself immediately thinking of NVC and needs every time I’m in a conflict or thinking of an ongoing conflict. That’s a major step in itself. It’s stops me from spiraling into all kinds of violent thoughts.

Concentration

I focused on NVC most when I was rereading Rosenberg’s book, practicing it at the same time. Since then, it’s been less and less, but I’m still thinking of it throughout the day. I tried to find the book in French in order to motivate myself to reread it, but I’d have to actually order it from France, which is expensive. I did luckily find 19 podcasts that simply read parts of the book in French, and I’ve been listening to that while biking, running errands, and at work. I’ve already replayed it more than 5 times. I’ve also been reading bits in French online about NVC.

I went to the library recently and looked for books on NVC, as apparently Rosenberg published a number of others. I found one other book, which I’m planning on reading either this month or next month. It’s available electronically to anyone with a D.C. Public Library card, from anywhere.

I’ve been having a lot of interesting conversations about NVC. Whenever I talk to anyone in any depth, the subject of NVC has come up and become a major topic of discussion. This also helps me to focus on it. People like talking about it with me now that I actually have a strong grasp of the basics. One person I started talking to about it suggested that I facilitate a workshop on it for an organization I’m part of, and told me she wants to help me organize it as she’s on the steering committee (and I used to be). Obviously I’m not going to be facilitating as an expert, but I love this idea. That should help me stay focused on NVC after this month-long project ends.

Conclusion

I didn’t go into much detail here as this is just a quick summary. For more details, please follow me on Twitter @purityismyth. And stay tuned for more posts here as I’m planning on sharing more about this project and NVC. This is really changing the way I think about self-confidence.

Quick NVC Practice: Right now I’m feeling optimistic about the impact NVC will have on my life. I’m also feeling peaceful and pleased due to having written this post: it has met my needs for creativity and order. Order because I never post as much as I’d like, and because this is actually organized enough to post (unlike a draft I wrote a week ago). And I’m a little anxious, because I don’t publicize this blog much and don’t expect many people to read it. But the more sure I am of what I’m sharing, and the more sure I am that others will appreciate it without judgment, the more I want to share what I’ve written.

À vous : How about you? How do you feel reading this post? Has it helped you meet any of your needs, or left you feeling like any weren’t being met?

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