Acting without knowing what you want or why it’s important to you is a bit like playing Russian roulette. This is true for much of life and definitely true in communication. All too often conflict and confusion result because one or both people speaking have no idea what they are needing to receive in the interaction and why it’s important to them.
Consider...why do you communicate with others?
Besse van der kold, author of “The Body Keeps the Score” gives us one answer, “ language gives us the power to change ourselves and others by communicating our experiences, helping us to define what we know, and finding a common sense of meaning.”
When we communicate with others we are asking them, “please know who I am and care about what matters to me.” and “please be in this world with me.”
Consider what Universal Life Giving needs you are attempting to care for when you speak.
You will need your Needs list and your Needs I attend to when I communicate worksheet to complete this task.
Think of 3 different conversations you have had in the last 24 hours (or thereabouts). Write a very brief description of each conversation in each column of your Needs I attend to when I communicate worksheet. Now get out your Universal Needs list. For each conversation, look at the Needs list and choose all the needs that you were hoping to care for with the conversation. Write them in the column under that conversation description.
Notice - Are there 1-3 needs which show up in each conversation?
If you look at my example, you’ll see that the need to be heard, for understanding and for contribution show up in each conversation. This means in each conversation I was wanting to be heard and maybe to give the gift being heard to another, I was wanting understanding, either self understanding or understanding of the other, and I was wanting contribution, either as the giver or receiver, or both.
If you notice any needs which show up in each conversation, write them, as I did, in the space provided. Realize that these are needs which are probably alive most times you speak with someone. Imagine - for example, how different would your conversations be if you and the person you were speaking to held active and compassionate awareness of the need to be heard in each and every conversation.
Take a few moments to absorb the work you did above. What struck you? What would you like to remember? Write for at least 5 minutes in your journal considering these questions. When you are done, share your thoughts in the comments.
Here is a challenge for today...over the next 24 hours…listen for the “please care about what matters to me” message in yours and others speech today.
You create the world you live in every moment and with every thought, and every moment and every thought is a chance to create a new future for yourself.