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No More Compromise

Compromise means you give up some of what you want and I give up some of what I want and we both feel equally disappointed.

In the consciousness of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) compromise is unnecessary suffering.  Instead, NVC rests on the premise that all needs can be met. This is based on the experience of connection in which a natural giving arises from the heart.

How does this natural giving from the heart look?

The last time my mom visited, my sister, and I went out to lunch with her. As we walked around downtown after lunch my sister smoked a cigarette. My mom told her to put it out several times saying she didn't like it. My sister refused.

I am guessing my sister had needs for relaxation and autonomy.

Last week my mom called and expressed how she was affected by seeing someone she loves smoke. She said that having watched her father and sister die from emphysema, she feels fear and tremendous grief and has needs for consideration around the pain smoking stimulates for her.

Hearing and connecting my mom's feelings and needs, my sister's needs for relaxation and autonomy shifted and the need to contribute to my mom became more important and she agreed not to smoke around my mom anymore, not out of guilt or duty but out of a genuine desire to contribute to the well being of my mom.

This week notice when you or someone you are with is tempted to compromise. Name the feelings and needs on both sides.  When you have really connected with each other's feelings and needs, you will feel a shift in the quality of your connection and an action that truly works for both of you will be obvious.

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When Empathy Doesn't Work
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Interrupting to Connect


1 Response

  1. Jan 29, 2010
    Tina Taylor

    Hi, LaShelle ~

    I'm not seeing here how the mom's needs were met. She has fear and grief about the sister DOING smoking, not about SEEING the sister smoking. The emphysema wasn't caused by the mom SEEING them smoking; she knows it was caused by their factual smoking. What I see here is maybe some secondhand smoke inhalation prevention needs being met, but not the needs of the mom actually listed. It seems also to disrespect the mom's intelligence by trying to put on a false show for her.
    I also wonder whether the sister's autonomy and relaxation needs were truly met by adapting her behavior towards smoking almost "in secret", or a pretension, "out of sight out of mind". What about honesty, and acceptance?
    I have had dilemmas similar to this, and I look forward to hearing back, thank you! ~Tina

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