This is a brand new video series in which I’m sharing spontaneous insights and learnings about NVC with you in a more raw way by using my phone (as opposed to setting up my whole studio). It will be very personal videos 🙂

In this episode I’m sharing a classic mistake my partner and I made in a conflict and how you can prevent making that.

Let me know your questions in the comments!

24 replies
  1. Louis says:

    My mother came to me and shared a trouble she had with my brother. She was describing the situation as an observation in harmony with NVC. She said: “I was with your two brothers and then I shared something I heard recently from a professional sport coach who was saying that scoring goals is not something that can be taught. Brother A said to me:”Oh you are dismissing our professionalism and our ability to coach people”.” My mother then described how she felt hurt.

    And I had some trouble really get I sense that I was helping her feeling received and heard. What was her need? Maybe it was longing for dignity and respect in her relations and she would have liked a different type of appreciation of herself by my brother at this moment.

    Hum, I’not that sure at this moment?..

    • Marianne van Dijk says:

      Maybe she had a need to be understood in how she meant her comment, to be trusted in her respect for your brother?

  2. Suzanne Long says:

    This very concrete example script demonstrating the language of nonviolence is very helpful to me in all your videos. Also I am encouraged by the belonging property to belong to myself. That gives me ease and comfort and meets my need for authenticity and integrity.

  3. coni papin says:

    Once again …I enjoyed this video. I have been practicing NVC for 1and a1/2 years. I want world peace,too. I was reminded of core needs vs strategies. Set me back on track, Thanks. I would like more examples of meeting needs and using strategies.

  4. Melanie says:

    I love the idea of a spectrum between strategies and needs. What are the core needs you refer to. I know one of my teachers refers to 4 basic categories; connection, meaning, sustenance, and autonomy. But I don’t think that is the same as the core needs you are referring to. I think you mea the needs that are usually at the basic level of your being, what motivates you. Do you have a list somewhere of those somewhere. I seem to remember you talking about this before.

    • Marianne van Dijk says:

      Hi Melanie, I dont know where I talked about this before, but Im gonna make a separate video about it!

  5. Anna says:

    Thanks for the new kind of video Marianne, I like the idea of this format. Now when I watched this I realized that I tend to mix strategies with needs. I’ll keep this more in my mind from now on.

  6. Nancy says:

    Hi, Marianne van Dijk!

    I discovered you somehow, maybe it was on YouTube or maybe a Google search for empathy.

    I have a friend near Amsterdam, so I sent her a link to your infomation when I saw where you are, since she is upset at times about conflict with her husband, and I thought NVC might help them, especially since they might be able to see you in person from their location.

    I like this format of being able to click my email and watch a short NVC video. I suppose I am needing efficiency or convenience plus learning or inspiration. I have wached a number of your videos. I am grateful for your willingness to be transparent with what arises in you, since I am needing authenticity. This really will help me with my NVC. This is a much more emotional process than I first realized, and I like that because I am very emotional and want acceptance for my emotions in any process I work with.

    This is a longer post than others here. I am feeling concerned about that, since I am wanting acceptance and belonging and consideration for the space of others. I also feel excited, since I am needing contribution and shared reality, so I will write a little more.

    It is a conflict that brings me here. A very serious one. The other person is extremely upset. It is very hard for me to listen, even by email, since I feel hurt (or crushed) and then defensive/angry due to the jackal language and then overwhelmed and like escaping from it. I am trying to hear this as what I believe it is: desperation, pain, suffering, devastation, the tragic expression of an unmet need.

    Sometimes I can listen without anguish, which is relatively new, and I feel great compassion, but shortly I feel overwhelmed. Too much negativity is coming into me. I suppose I am needing empathy then. I think empathy and self-empathy are very hard to grasp. I have never quite understood. (Maybe you have links–a video series of examples of how to do this?)

    I wondered, as your video was discussing, is the other person confusing a need with a strategy? What my other person wants is money, which is said to be a strategy. The person sees it that what is needed is this particular existing money, which is a lot of money. I believe very few other strategies are going to pay these obligations. Meanwhile, interest accrues. Stress. Worry.

    This is a difficult situation because when a person needs money, this is extremely serious. It is not easy, and it may be impossible, to substitute anything else for a specific existing lot of money to pay obligations, as far as I can see. This can create desperation. Is this a need or not? You bet it must feel like it is a need.

    I am not doing what would result in this person getting this money. I am in anguish about this, since I want to respond and help remove this pain by doing the action needed to get the money. And I don’t do it. Something in me has needs for safety and trust and self-protection that prevents this.

    The other person is in anguish even more because these obligations are continuing to come due and much, much time is passing. There is possibly no money anywhere, except this money in question. I have so much conflict over this. Something in me is terribly afraid that serious damage is being done to this other person.

    You mentioned wanting suggestions for working with yourself. I recommend Inner Relationship Focusing. I am learning it and have no other connection to it. I find it more comfortable and useful than NVC. It is applicable to the relationship with oneself.

    I suggest starting with “Get Bigger than What’s Bugging You,” which is a mini-course by email (e-course) that teaches Focusing basics. It can be downloaded at http://www.focusingresources.com. This is a wonderful way (I judge) to work with whatever is arising in the moment.

    A special feature of Focusing is that we are learning both to freshly experience whatever arises (such as emotions) without disowning them, and at the same time to dis-identify with these experiences (this is not me), so we can fully accept and accompany them without either being them or being overwhelmed by them.

    Your authentic process is lovely to watch, so I think you have only a shift to make here. I think accepting and accompanying yourself might be the belonging you are needing. And it does not stop there. As I see it, once something is true within the inner landscape, this spontaneously creates a different experience of the world. And vice versa.

    • Marianne van Dijk says:

      Thank you for your sharing and forwarding my details to your friend! I hear that this conflict is causing you a lot of stress..I want to send you lots of compassion. Money is indeed a strategy – and such an important one that it can be challenging to move to the needs behind it. I would recommend not pushing the person to the need. Connect with your own needs around this first and if you have space, stay with the other’s fear. big hug!

  7. Ruby says:

    Thanks so much for this video. It is very timely for me. I also have a need for belonging and I have never considered Self-Belonging. And I adore self-empathy as it gives me a way to meet my own needs and helps me to feel stronger in myself and more empowered. And I am also intrigued with the idea of belonging to Earth, or Universe, or humankind. I feel a big sigh of relief considering this.

    Very grateful,

  8. Julianne says:

    Love new format. Loved use of idea of continuum and considering where along it I am operatating from – especially when I have inner turmoil or am avoiding someone or some action. I also liked the visual of just removing the tangibles from my current suspect strategy/need and accessing more pure form. Note I noticed with me when I use the request of I have need for clarity when I feel uncomfortable it is usually for need that I have greater vulnerability with and is leading with my comfort/strength need rather than one I have lot less confidence and resilience with. In fact it will be a need that I received verbal shaming, guilting or neglect around as a child. Those needs often need a really strong clear connection (need) before I can voice a request and handle a no with kindness for myself and continue to explore other strategies. I have even caught myself using a question along the lines of clarity to try get my need for connection met. Tricky… if it doesn’t have body sence of energy that is expansive with a degree of ease and lightness to it, and instead has contracted, heavy energy to my request then I am mentally using a need (word) as a strategy often masking my fear of acknowledging my vulnerability and longing for peacefulness and togetherness/connection. I find inquiring in the direction of needs Is both surprising and enriching. Thanks for presenting threads of gold that lead to treasure as I expand my awareness of needs.

    • Marianne van Dijk says:

      Hi Julianne, I enjoyed the way you describe this process in you and I’m impressed with the inner clarity. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Neil Glick says:

    Totally love your ‘Marianne in the moment’. The topic was very useful (your explanation of NVC is the clearest I’ve experienced so far). No problem with using your phone. I’m hoping that this way I might get to enjoy even more examples of ‘NVC in action’. And, finally, thank you so much (as others have said) for your vulnerability. I try to be grateful (as well as my other feelings) when I find myself in conflict with others as this gives me the chance and option to reflect on my feelings and needs.

  10. Annie says:

    Dear Marianne,

    I really like the spontaneous format, And if it means you may share your insights more often, all the better…
    As far as the topic, I’m very grateful you’re bringing this up. Both that tendency of confusing strategies and needs, and also for me it’s very helpful in preparation for going to the next step of requests, It seems it points to the abundance of directions we can go with our requests.
    One of my core needs is also belonging. When I pause and request of myself to realize I belong, then I more easily remind myself that I belong to this time and place, yes to the universe, and that my existence matters…
    At times this also leads me to a request of the Universe through prayer and meditative chanting, to help me realize and embody belonging for myself and others. On the other side of these requests granted the conflicts or misunderstandings with others where my strategy-need for belonging wasn’t met seem to resolve much easier and faster.
    Thank you so much Marianne
    I really appreciate your way of sharing, your smarts, creativity and beauty♥️🙏😊

  11. John Brewer says:

    May we all experience Belonging

    I welcome the light day and night of my soul
    I bow to the One moon and sun my heart’s aglow
    I spin in the center of all
    I do not fear I will fall
    I hear the Beloved’s Call
    To be Free
    The past flutters by on wings
    I love what this new moment brings
    The Friend smiles and sings
    Inside me
    Home in this body Home on this Earth
    Home here and now In the universe
    I welcome the light day and night of my soul
    I bow to the One moon and sun my heart’s aglow
    I am home home I am home

  12. Horia says:

    Great point Marianne. Strategies disguised as needs is definitely something subtle that I’m sure I do it myself.
    I like the format: Short and to the point. Definitely should have left the boyfriend out of this, but I guess it’s a result of doing it “spontaneously”. On the other hand, you could do a bit of post-recording editing 😉

  13. Jessica says:

    Thank you…I can relate to confusing conflict/strategies with needs and a well-meaning part which tries to get those needs met but often in an ineffective ways


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