How to Know your Feelings

Some of you might be fans of Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication (NVC), known to some as Compassionate Communication.

As a communication oaf, I’ve made every mistake in the book. However, Compassionate Communication is a great, easy plan for those that want to make good progress, and it usually just means communicating in terms of needs and requests.

Here’s the problem: most people get upset and frustrated around something and experience strong feelings. This can turn into stories that are highly charged–with a mother whose teen is not doing her homework, it might be “my daughter never listens to me, she’s just like her dad” etc. Here’s the solution NVC says: give yourself “self empathy.”

With self empathy, you slow down enough to know what your feelings are, and send yourself empathy for them. If you are a mom with a rebelling teen, you might start telling yourself your own feelings: “I am angry because I feel like I’ve asked my daughter to do her homework. I am afraid to start a discussion because she often doesn’t like it. I want to be heard.” In the NVC system, giving yourself self empathy gets you ready to ask for what you want in a more respectful way. I have a very hard time slowing myself when I have strong feelings, but hey, lots of us turn into “whistle blowers”, “cops” and people that label and whine. Working with NVC is a chance for hope, a simple and easy blueprint for more love and respect.

There’s still one question: how do we know our feelings to give ourselves self empathy? It can be tricky for us to know our own feelings, much less how to express them gently, with the high regard you want to talk to people in your life with.

Try the Total Truth Process.

It goes like this:

I am angry…I am angry when I have to be the “cop” that tells my kid to do her homework.

Then, work with hurt. Hurt is usually hidden under anger.

I am hurt…I am hurt that when you don’t do your homework. I feel like I don’t matter that much to you and I want to be a good influence in your life.

Then work with fear. Fear is usually hidden under hurt. List as many items as come up for you.

I am afraid…I am afraid that we are going to drift apart and our communication will no longer be working.
I am afraid…I am afraid you only have fun with your dad.

Then work with regret, or I am sorry. I am sorry is usually hidden under fear.

I am sorry…I am sorry that I don’t always stay calm.
I am sorry…I am sorry that I don’t always know what to do.
I am sorry…I am sorry that I haven’t created more trust or more joy.

Then work with “what I really want is.” What you really want is often hidden under sorry.

What I really want is…What I really want is for us to be a happy family, and for you to do your homework so you can have power in your life, and discipline.
What I really want is…What I really want is for us to be successful.
What I really want is…What I really want is connection.

Then work with what’s at the bottom of all communication…love!

I really love and appreciate you.”

Funny, but love is at the bottom of every connection. Have fun knowing more about your feelings with the Total Truth Process.

Noelani Rodriguez is a Psychic Reader, and Publisher of the book “How to Give Yourself Psychic Readings in 3 Days.” She does Intuitive and Medical Psychic Readings and has great reviews: http://bit.ly/psychictestimonials. To book readings text/call 503-330-6963.

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