I have recently learned that I am apparently a very violent communicator.Â My husband seems to be taking great joy in pointing this out, LOL. Luckily for me, he’s just as violent as I am, HA! (Wait, is that violent to say?!)Â I guess I should write a couple of posts on this, but it basically comes down to the fact that I speak judgments.Â I am a quick judge, and I tend to speak my judgments as fact.Â I know its hard to believe, but speaking that way can put other people on the defensive.Â (NO WAY?!)Â So why do I do it?
Long before I reached adulthood, I learned to communicate in an impersonal way which did not require me to reveal what was going on inside myself.Â When I encountered people or behaviors that I either didn’t like or didn’t understand, I would react in terms of their wrongness.Â If my teachers assigned a task I didn’t want to do, they were “mean” or “unreasonable.”Â If someone pulled out in front of me in traffic, my reaction would be, “You idiot!”Â When we speak this language, we think and communicate in terms of what is wrong with others for behaving in a certain ways….
Ahh, yes.Â That’s what I do.Â I am afraid that I am the first one to judge others actions and think in terms of what others have done wrong.
Our attention is focused on classifying, analyzing, and determining factors of wrongness rather than on what we and others need and are not getting.Â Thus, if my partner wants more affection than I’m giving her, she is “needy and dependent.”Â But if I want more affection than she is giving me, then she is “aloof and insensitive.”Â If my colleague is more concerned about details than I am, he is “picky and compulsive.”Â On the other hand, if I am more concerned about details than he is, he is “sloppy and disorganized.”
Ohhh, sucky.Â I do that too.Â I speak like that often.
It is my belief that all such analyses of other human beings are tragic expressions of our own values and needs.Â They are tragic because when we express our values and needs in this form, we increase defensiveness and resistance among the very people whose behaviors are of concern to us.Â Or, if people do agree to act in harmony with our values, they will likely do so out of fear, guilt, or shame, because they concur with our analysis of their wrongness.
Crap, crap crap.Â I don’t want people acting in harmony with me only because I’ve guilted or shamed them into it.Â I really do want to build everyone up and live in peace.Â It looks like I have a new project…
Seriously, this book is really awesome.Â I’m afraid that I have yet to master communicating nonviolently, so you’ll have to wait for the solution in a future post.Â For now, I can say that I realize that I communicate like scum, and I am trying to speak my feelings rather than judgments.Â The hilarious thing is that I tell my kids to speak their feelings and needs all the time, and I somehow decided it doesn’t apply for grown ups.Â Fantastic.
At least I can learn about my hypocrisy now, while they’re still young.