Connecting with your partner ~
I see how much we want our loved ones to be happy. Yet we might often hear “You make me feel upset or guilty etc.” Can anyone really make us feel a certain way? Is the idea that you are responsible for the way I feel – real or not??
My colleague in Germany, Irmtraud Kauschat shared a brief story I like to illustrate her response.
What I can do is to c o n t r i b u t e to your life in the best intention, whether I find the happy or miserable trigger button in you with my action, is still up to you.
An example: If you visit someone and carry flowers with you as a gift you expect people to enjoy it. When I did this with my mum years ago, she told me: Why do you bring flowers? You could have saved your money, our whole garden is full of flowers.”
Only with NVC I realized that she cared about my (financial) wellbeing and as a student I didn’t have much money and she had the idea there had been a lot of other items I could have spent my money on.
Being able to hear in this way is so vital to supporting loving connectedness with partners, children, parents and work colleagues. Imagine if Irmtraud had got stuck in hearing criticism, feeling guilty, angry or similar — the outcome of the visit would have been different.