Connecting with ourselves is the beginning of Communicating Compassionately.

We often grow up now even being aware that we have needs. Within our communities we may hear that we are “needy” or that we are selfish if we attempt to articulate or meet our own needs, so we grow up being disconnected to our needs.

We have much experience in judging ourselves, labelling our words or actions as “bad” or “wrong”. NVC teaches us that all we are ever doing is meeting needs and underneath our actions is a beautiful need. The strategy might be tragic, but the need is beautiful.

It is impossible to give to another if we cannot give to ourselves. We need empathy to give empathy (in other words, it is vital that we connect to our own feelings & needs before attempting to connect with what is alive in another.)

Some of the ways that we can self connect is to:

  • translate our jackals (our thoughts) into feelings and needs
  • Self empathy – what am I feeling? What am I needing
  • Receive empathy from someone who is familiar with the giving empathy NVC style – they will support us to connect with our feelings and needs by making offerings to what they might be based on what we have shared.