|Living Compassion Tip — Week 39
Are You Talking to Me?
“Requests,” says Marshall Rosenberg, “unaccompanied by the speaker’s feelings and needs may sound like a demand.”
What if you said, “Why don’t you have a glass of water instead of that soda?” Although you may intend this as a request, putting it in the form of a question without attaching feelings or needs oftentimes leaves the listener confused or irritated. The little voice inside the listener’s head is probably saying something like, “Are you talking to ME?”
Attaching feelings and needs to a request lessens confusion and resistance on the part of the listener. They realize you’re talking with them about something that is of interest to both of you.
“I’m concerned for your health and the amount of soda you drink because of the high sugar content. How about having water right now instead?”
In this version, the listener can understand what the request is based on. The little voice in his or her head might now be saying something like, “Hmm, maybe water is a good idea.”
Mindful Practice for the Week
Give others the opportunity to understand your requests. Attach feelings and needs and see how tension-free your conversations can be. Enjoy your week!