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Learn to Handle Anger Using NVC - Interactive Story

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Nonviolent Communication and Anger

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a comprehensive and deep teaching that can help you transform how you perceive and communicate with yourself and others.

NVC includes the following tools for handling the emotion of anger:

Self-empathy

Holding your emotion of anger in a heart space of empathy is a great gift you can give yourself. Self-empathy, aka self-compassion, acts as a protective cocoon in which you can work with your feelings before stepping out into the communication arena with another person who is not meeting one or more of your universal human needs.

Self-understanding

"They don't understand!" How many times has this been one reason for anger? Well, they may never understand. But you can always seek to more deeply understand yourself. Seeking and discovering the universal human needs that are not being met underneath your anger can give you one amazing person in the world who totally "gets" you - you!

Identifying unmet needs also shows you the foundation on which the anger was built, the central reason(s) you feel angry. Then when you give yourself empathy you can clearly direct it at all the unmet needs you found, and you can also directly reference these unmet needs when you communicate with the other person.

Self-expression

Sometimes you may speak your truth and hurt another person using insults, threats, judgments, name-calling, dirty looks, or coldness. Other times you may hold back your truth, hurting yourself in the process. NVC teaches skills to speak truth harmlessly, in other words, to speak truth (not hold anything back) but do it harmlessly (don't violate emotional safety). Other people can hear truth spoken harmlessly more easily than truth spoken harmfully.

Observations

Learning how to make neutral observations of reality, and seeing how they are different than your interpretations of reality, can help to reduce the emotional charge.

Structured Method for Working Out What to Say

Figuring out what the Observations, Feelings, Needs and Requests are before communicating is a way to make sure you are clear and effective, yet safe and harmonious.

Connecting with Others More Skillfully

What could be going on with others to cause them to not be able to meet your needs? Just taking a moment to ponder this question can bring more perspective to the situation. Also, after becoming genuinely curious, you may ask them what their feelings and needs are in the situation, and extend empathy to them as well. This helps fill in all the unknowns, and helps bridge the gap between you.

Problem Solving

The emotion of anger can get in the way of finding a solution to what is causing the anger. Anger can be blinding; you may fall prey to "seeing red" or go into a "blinding rage." Anger can be all-consuming, consuming mental clarity, compassion, and communication skills in an inferno of hatred, disbelief, hurt and instinctive, animalistic fight energy.

Practicing NVC can help you to work your way through to a place where you eventually have the clarity of mind and communication skills to actually solve the problem. Some situations cannot be solved in the sense that the situation may not change at all, but NVC also helps you come to a place of knowing when the strategy of letting go will most effectively meet your needs.

Note. I notice that I have "keeping agreements" under needs. "Keeping agreements" is really a strategy for meeting other needs like ease, respect, productivity, efficiency, fun etc. depending on the situation.