In the last post I talked about how our judgements can be a great warning system to alert us to our own unmet needs.
The practice of searching for our unmet needs in our judgements can really help to change our relationship with ourselves and others. Sometimes once we identify an unmet need, a next step could be to make a request to try to get the need met.
And this is where things can sometimes get tricky.
Imagine this scenario: Person A had a stressful day. They come in the front door and start venting about their frustrations. Person B who also had a stressful day, shuts down the conversation. Person A feels angry at Person B. Some variation of this conversation is likely familiar to many of us. So let’s look at it through the lens of needs for Person A.
With the Needs List, Person A might identify ‘a need to be seen and heard’, ‘a need for understanding’, etc.
The next important part about needs is that no one person can be responsible for meeting our needs. I’ll say that again, no one person can be responsible for meeting our needs.
So what does that mean exactly?
Instead of coming in and just starting to vent, Person A would spend a moment getting clear on what needs they are trying to get met. For example ‘a need for understanding’. Then, before launching in to the vent, Person A would check to make sure Person B has the bandwidth to listen.
If Person B says no (and it is Person B‘s responsibility to be honest about their willingness to listen) Person A may feel understandably disappointed, but instead of just getting angry, Person A could see if there is a better time when Person B could listen, or maybe call a friend, in order to get the ‘need for understanding’ met.
Sometimes a helpful exercise can be to think about all the different ways a need we have identified could get met, at least to some degree. Through this process we can both identify our needs, take responsibility for them, and even feel some freedom that there could be multiple ways to get them met.
If you are interested in this topic, I’ll be sharing these posts and other NVC and communication info in my private FB group ‘Creating Conscious Connection‘ Come on over and join me there! 🙂