Emotions in nonviolent communication


Our feelings are as limited as trumpet sounds, as described by Rollo May, a psychoanalyst, and this is what we see also in the movie “Inside out”, which was behind the survey conducted by Paul Ekman, that talks about 5 basic feelings which are joy, sadness, anger, fear, disgust.

The feeling in the moment is the second step of nonviolent communication, which means, I am expressing what I feel or sense at the moment, not thoughts, and this is what is important for us to express our feelings  and not to express beliefs or ideas.

The first point that helps us distinguish between feeling and idea is the connected pronouns after “you”, as if I say I feel you are , and this turns the expression of feeling to express an idea or belief.

The second point is related to the use of phrases such as “as if” “as if you were”.

For example: I feel like a loser, I feel like I’m living with a wall.

The third point is to use some pronouns and nouns such as: I feel that Wissam has acted appropriately.

The second component of this encounter are the sensations:

Eugene T. Gendlin says: “All of our pent-up feelings turn into physical pain”

Sensation is what is related to our body, it is what comes to our body from the outside or from the inside such as pain, heat, balance and this is what we call sensation.

Eugene T. Gendlin says: Our sensory perception and our awareness of our feelings are integrated, thus, we become more able to make decisions, because our body is a wonderful computer that makes us aware of ourselves, and it makes us behave in a way that is consistent with our values, principles and the human form that we wish for.

Returning to the giraffe and the wolf, the giraffe realizes its feelings and expresses them, while the wolf does not know their feelings and sometimes doesn’t express them. This is the difference between the language of the giraffe and the language of the wolf in expressing emotions and feelings.

The important point that must also be talked about is the distinction between the stimulus and the cause, in our dialogue and human relationships, we hold others responsible for our feelings, and this is what we call the distinction between the stimulus and the cause, while the giraffe bears the responsibility for its feelings by recognizing its needs.

What is the difference between stimulus and cause?

Others’ behavior is a stimulus , but the real cause of our feelings is our own needs and our expectations of how our needs are met.