It’s Not About You

"We perceive relationships in a new light when we use NVC to hear our own deeper needs and those of others."
– Marshall Rosenberg, Raising Children Compassionately

Living Compassion Tip — Week 48

It’s Not About You

Have you ever ended a relationship by saying, "It’s not about you, it’s about me"? This sentence has been used time and again in jokes, TV series and movies. Usually someone lets out a groan at this all too familiar phrase that seems to say nothing.

Actually, within the context of NVC, this sentence has great meaning. When we learn to listen empathically, we remind ourselves, as Dr. Marshall Rosenberg says, "… that no matter what the words people use to express themselves, we listen for their observations, feelings and needs, and what they are requesting to enrich life."

If your loved one exclaims, "You’re a fool for lending your cell phone to a total stranger," someone not familiar with NVC might blame themselves by taking the message personally or blame and judge the speaker.

The speaker’s reaction gives you clues to what this person might be feeling, needing and wanting for a richer life. It really isn’t about you.

Instead of barreling forward from a place of blame, you can take a step back and inquire. For example, "Are you concerned that someone might walk away with my phone?"

Realizing that it’s not about you offers a chance to take your conversation into a deeper level of connection. Through this deeper level of connection, you can learn more about those you care about and a great deal about yourself, too.


Mindful Practice for the Week

During the week, don’t take it personally! Listen to the little truths that people reveal about themselves daily. Enjoy your week!


Continue Strengthening Your Listening Skills

NVC Starter Kit Book PackageEnjoying these weekly tips? Would you like to further curb your urge to diagnose and problem-solve by strengthening your empathic listening skills? We encourage you to continue learning with the NVC Starter Kit Book Package.

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NVC Starter Kit Book Package

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