Communicating compassionately can be integral in cultivating authentic, strong relationships. It can help us provide supportive platforms for fostering understanding, growth, and collaboration. Integral within this practice is the use of feelings and needs words to help communicate experience effectively, so that others may be able to connect with what we are saying. As we may not always be equipped with the language to directly express how we are feeling or what we are needing, here are a couple of resources from the Center for Non-Violent Communication to aid in the process.
Our feelings are caused by what we observe, not by what others do. Although someone outside of us may do something for us to observe, they are not responsible for making us feel a certain emotion. We experience emotions based on what we observe and what we tell ourselves about the observation.
Additionally, our needs are not at the mercy of being fulfilled by someone outside of us doing something specific. Although individuals may be able to contribute to our meeting of our needs, their actions are not the only course for our needs being met. Needs can be met in many ways, and they do not require a specific individual to engage a specific action. This is the difference between requests and demands.
For a crash course in Non-Violent Communication as explained by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg (which covers the above topics and many others), you can view this comprehensive video: NVC Basics