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Important assumptions of Nonviolent Communication are that all human beings:
- share the same universal human needs (like feeling loved, feeling needed, feeling respected, being challenged, clothing, food, health, independence, freedom to choose, sense of control etc.) and act in order to meet their needs;
- need their needs met;
- can feel compassion and enjoy giving to others;
- meet needs through relationships;
- can change;
- experience peace when connecting with oneself and others.
According to these assumptions, human beings are only trying to honor universal values and needs, every minute of every day. They (we...) learn through culture and their environment how to express their needs.
And, above all, human beings resort to violent and harmful behaviors, both verbally and physically, only when they don’t recognize as possible other strategies to get their needs met.
So it is evident that Step #3. is a very important one and that you have to communicate your needs as clear as possible, in order to find a pacific and pleasant way to interact with other people.
While discussing your needs, you should then:
- ask yourself which kind of needs are related to yours feelings and emotions;
- recognize the needs and give them a name;
- ask yourself why this happens. Which needs are not met? How do you feel about the situation?
After that, you should accept your needs, without:
- judging yourself;
- being ashamed of them;
- trying to reject them. They are universal and all human beings share the same needs, so your needs make you human!
In the end you should:
- express your needs clearly, with your own words. If something sounds “odd” to you, maybe you didn't find the right words that work for you so far;
- explain with an example how these needs are related to the present situation without accusing other people. They don't make you miserable, you feel miserable because your needs are not met!