Monday, April 25, 2011

Staying Out of our Heads

This is this week's "Living Compassion" tip from Nonviolent Communication author Marshall Rosenberg, something I signed up to get via email. It very much resonates for me and says:


For most of us, learning to communicate has meant staying as Rosenberg puts it, "up in our head" rather than in our heart. "Feelings are simply not important. We are trained to be 'other-directed' rather than be in contact with ourselves," says Dr. Rosenberg

We have more words for calling people names in our everyday vocabulary then we have for clearly expressing our emotional state. It's easier to call someone a name than to stop and connect with our own feelings and needs.

We are taught to approach a problem in an analytical way. Finding the "right way to think" will serve us better every time, we're told.

But what we really need for guiding our way and finding a solution that best serves all involved is to keep our head out of our heart. This means checking in with how we feel in the situation first and then using our head to develop strategies for dealing with the present challenge.

It's important to use both our ability to think AND to feel.

This is most excellent advice, even for me, and I'm very much a feelings kind of person. It's especially good for people contemplating polyamory. It's all too easy to plunge in based on a thoroughly rational assessment of the concept and in so doing being completely unprepared for the emotional aspects of taking this big step. So if you are working on some challenge related to an alternative relationship, please be sure to give your heart equal time and consider how you feel about it as much as what you think about it. Notice what words you use when discussing it. Do you begin sentences with "I feel ....." or with "I think ...."? It's a big tipoff as to whether you are presently speaking from your head or heart. By doing both, you are much more likely to find happiness.

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