NVC & Mental Illness
Someone recently asked if it is good to do NVC with someone who is mentally ill. Of course this an incredibly complex question. Finding a shared definition of mentally ill might be useful, but is, perhaps, beyond the scope of this article. For our purposes here I will reframe the gem reader's question this way: "How do you connect with someone who's mental/emotional reality seems to block connection with you in a way that you don't know how to transmute?"
This question assumes that you want connection with this person. Noticing whether you really want to try to connect is a very important first step. If you are not acting from a choice to connect, then you are likely acting from some sense of duty or obligation. This only adds to the suffering of all involved.
With any relationship, when you know you want to create connection you start first in your own heart. You allow yourself to feel your caring and appreciation for this person.
This moves us out of idea of "doing NVC" and into living NVC. From the perspective of living NVC as a consciousness, the question, "Should I do NVC with this person or that person?" doesn't exist. It's like asking if you should live from wisdom and compassion. The answer is yes as often as you possibly can.
It's easy to lose track of the purpose of NVC. The purpose of NVC is to create a quality of connection in which all needs can be honored and met. You might have some goal oriented conditioning that influences you to leave out the connection part. In this case, NVC becomes a strategy for getting a specific result rather than a consciousness of connection that opens you to a world of possibilities.
This week choose a specific event or time period in which you are working to live NVC consciousness rather than do NVC. During this focused time tune into your own feelings and needs and those of the people around you. Let your expression flow naturally from this place of focus.