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Basics of Non-Violent Communication Workshop - DVD1 Part1

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The Basics of Nonviolent Communication with Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD The following presentation is from a 1 day Introductory Workshop held in San Francisco, CA in April, 2000 Part 1: The Purpose of Nonviolent Communication & Expressing Observations and Fellings ...but first, let me begin by clarifying the purpose of Nonviolent Communication. Its purpose is to help you to do what you already know how to do. Why do we need to learn something today that you already know how to do? Because sometimes we forget to do this. We forget because we've been educated to forget. Now, what is it that I'm talking about that we already know how to do? The purpose of this process is to help us to connect in a way that makes natural giving possible. Natural giving possible. What do I mean by natural giving? Let me do you a song to make it clear what I mean by natural giving. ♪ I never feel more given to than when you take from me ♫ ♪ when you understand the joy I feel caring for you ♫ ♫ and you know my giving isn't done to put you in my debt ♪ ♪ but because I want to live the love ♫ ♫ I feel for you. ♪ ♪ To receive with grace may be the greatest giving ♫ ♫ there's no way that I can separate the two ♪ ♪ when you give to me I give you my receiving ♫ ♫ and when you take from me I feel so given to ♪ You all know that giving. You know how to do it. And that's what I'm interested in, our remembering to stay with that quality of giving moment by moment in any connection. But we also all know it's easy to lose it. It's easy to lose that connection, so that instead of enjoying that quality of giving, which is possible every moment, in every contact we have, in spite of how precious that is, we forget. And instead of playing the game that that song is about which I call "making life wonderful", - it's the most fun game I've ever heard - instead, much of the time we play another game called "who's right?" Have you ever played that game? [laughter] It's a game where everybody loses. Isn't this amazing, that we all know about this quality of giving that the song was about - it's possible every moment, we... we find that the richest thing to do - and much of our life we end up playing "who's right?" Now, the game of "who's right?" involves two of the most devious things human beings have ever come upon. One, punishment. See, 'cause if you're wrong in the game of "who's right?" then you deserve to suffer. Can you imagine a more diabolical concept to educate people? If you haven't already abstained from punishment, I'm sure by the end of the day, that will no longer be a part of your consciousness. No more punishment. You won't do it in your families, we'll get rid of it with criminals, it just makes things more violent, we'll find other ways to deal with other nations besides punishment. No more punishment. No more reward. it's the same game. It's part of the game of "who's right?" If you're right, you get rewarded. If you're wrong, you get punished. No more. No more. It has created enough violence on the planet. No more guilt induction. See? No more shame. No more concepts of duty and obligation. Just what the song is about, natural giving. So, how did we get off target? We got off target, according to Walter Wink, a theologian, who writes in his book "The Powers That Be", we got off target about 5,000 years ago. We... we lost... We got off target because we started to get some wild thinking. Wild thinking that human beings are innately evil. When you believe that, that human beings are innately evil, then if things aren't going as we would like, what's the corrective process? The corrective process is penitence. See? If people are evil, you think that the way to bring about change when people are behaving in a way you don't like is to make people hate themselves for what they're doing. So, for these political reasons and theological reasons, we started to develop a Ianguage, that I call jackal Ianguage. It's a language that cuts us off from life and... ...makes it very easy to be violent, very easy to be violent. In fact, in that book I mentioned, Wink says that domination cultures... one of the things you have to educate people is to make violence enjoyable. See? And we've done a good job of that. We make violence enjoyable in our culture. For 2 hours a night, from 7 to 9, when children are watching television the most, in 75% of the programs they watch, the hero either kills somebody or beats them up. You see? And when does this happen? At the climax of the program. We've been educated for quite a while to make violence enjoyable, Even though I think what that song was about is what is really closer to our nature, this natural giving, we've been educated to make violence enjoyable, and educated in a way we can even be violent to our children. So what is jackal-language like? Jackal-language, as I've mentioned, is a language of moralistic judgments. You think in terms of who's right, who's wrong, who's good, who's bad, and when you mention change, yes, we want change at times, so how do you get change in the jackal-system? Watch a parent try to bring about change in the child. This is a parent teaching a young child, to say one of the most important words in jackal. "- Say you're sorry. - I'm sowwy. - You're not really sorry. I can see it. You're not really sorry. [crying] - I'm sorry. - OK, I forgive you." Can you imagine a game like that? Can you imagine a parent responding to a child that way? And if a parent is gonna do that to a child in their own family, what are they gonna do to people from other cultures who behave in a way they don't appreciate? Of course you're gonna have violence wherever you have this kind of thinking. In cultures that do not have this thinking, you don't see violence, you see? So... That's how we got off target. Even though we could be playing the game "make life wonderful" each moment, we have been educated for quite a while to play another game "who's right?" So what are the parts of this game of "who's right?" I've just mentioned one of them. One part is moralistic judgments; Iearning how to go up to our head and think basically in terms of right and wrong, good and bad, normal / abnormal. I Iearned this game very well. I speak several dialects of jackal. [laughter] I grew up speaking... I grew up in Detroit. We spoke a rather harsh dialect of jackal. You might call it Detroit jackal. [laughter] For example, if I am out driving and someone is driving in a way that I don't like, and again, I want to install change, you see? I roll down the window "Idiot!" [laughter] Now, theoretically, the person is supposed to repent. See? [laughter] "I confess I was wrong, sir. I will change the error of my ways." It's a great theory. It didn't work. I have tried it more than once. It doesn't work. So I thought maybe it was that particular dialect of jackal. So I decided to get a more cultured use of jackal, so I went to the university and got a doctor's degree in professional jackal. [laughter] Now, when somebody is driving in a way I don't like, I roll down the window "psychopath!" [laughter] Still doesn't work! You see? There's another part of this Ianguage of jackal. "Amtssprache", That's very important. You see? A language that denies choice, denies responsibility for our actions. I use the word "amtssprache" for this part, having read an interview with the nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. In his trial for war crimes in Jerusalem, Eichmann was asked: "was it hard to send tens of thousands of people to their death?" and Eichmann answered candidly. He said: "to tell you the truth, it was easy. Our Ianguage made it easy." That answer shocked his interviewer, and his interviewer said "what Ianguage?" Eichmann said "in fact, my fellow nazi officers and I, we had our own name for our language. We called it amtssprache" Amt in german means "office" and ssprache "language" I'd call that bureaucratic language. He was asked for some examples. Eichmann said: "it's a language in which you deny responsibility for your... your actions. So if somebody ask you why you did it, you say "I had to"; then you don't feel so bad if you have to do it, you see, you're not responsible. "But why did you have to, jackal? - Superior's orders. Company policy. They made me do it. I couldn't do elsewise." Very dangerous Ianguage, amtssprache. Very dangerous. We have giraffe schools. I use the word "giraffe" you see, as a symbol for nonviolence. We'll see today that the language we're gonna study is the language of the heart. And so I use giraffe Ianguage for that, because giraffes have the largest heart of any land animal, so... Giraffe requires... always being conscious of choice. You see? We never do anything that we don't choose to do. But I was teaching giraffe to a group of parents and teachers in one community, and we have giraffe schools throughout the world. We have 5 in Israel, 4 in Palestine, some in Serbia, and so forth. And in giraffe schools, of course, we want to make sure that the teachers and parents never use amtssprache. One of the most dangerous languages in the world, to teach a child you have to do something. So I was saying this one time in St. Louis, Missouri, to a group of parents and teachers, and a mother got very upset. She said: "but there are some things you have to do, whether you like to do it or not. It's our job as parents to teach our children what they have to do. I mean, there's things I do every day that I hate to do, but there just are some things you have to do. - Well" I said "could you give me an example?" She said "Well, easy, there's so many. Let me think. Ok. Like when I leave here tonight, I have to go home and cook. I hate to cook. I hate it with a passion, but I have done it every day for 20 years; even when I have been sick". [laughter] - Well," I said "I'll be very happy today to show you another way of thinking, another Ianguage, that I hope would open up happier possibilities for you." Well, I'm pleased to report she was a rapid giraffe student. She went home that very evening and announced to her family that she no longer wanted to cook. [laughter] I got some feedback from her family. [laughter] The feedback came 2 weeks Iater, when I swung through that city again and was doing an evening workshop, and who shows up, her 2 older sons; she had 4 sons. They came up at the beginning to introduce themselves, and I said "Hey, I'm glad you guys came up here. I've been very curious what's going on in your family. Your mother has been calling me regularly telling me about all the changes she made in her life since the training. Like what happened that first night when she came home and announced that she no longer wanted to cook?" The oldest son said to me, "Marshall, I said to myself, thank God" [laughter] [still laughing] I said "Help me understand that one." He said "I said to myself, 'now maybe she won't complain at every meal' you see?" Natural giving, what I started the day off with that song, anything we do in Iife that isn't coming out of that energy, we pay for it and everybody else pays for it. Anything we do out of fear of punishment if we don't, everybody pays for it. Anything we do for a reward, everybody pays for it. Everything we do to make people like us, everybody pays for it. Everything we do out of guilt, shame, duty, obligation, everybody pays for it. That isn't what we were designed for. We were designed to enjoy giving, to give from the heart. - Marshall? - Yes? - I'm over here. My son brought me to one of your seminars, and I met you some 10 years ago, in Oakland. Now, I'm trying to bring my son back. I'm here, and he... said Iast night when I told him I was coming here, he said "well, why don't you go? I have a couple of appointments. maybe you could teach me something". So I thought I would come to Iearn something. Maybe I can teach him. But I'd like to teach him, and I don't know how to do that. I'd like to teach him to at Ieast give me the time of day to communicate with him. He doesn't do that, willingly. And when I try to demand it, it becomes worse. - Yes. - So how do I do that? - Well, that would be a good situation to work on today, because I'm going to ask everyone to think of a situation right now where somebody is behaving in a way you don't like. In this case it's your son, who when you ask him to communicate, he says no. The first thing I'll suggest is you can't teach anybody anything. And to have that as an objective is itself to create problems. So, let's change the objective. Let's never try to teach anybody anything or to change anybody. If that's your objective, you'll create resistance. So that would be my first suggestion today. Never try to teach anybody anything or to change anybody. Is that clear? - Yeah. - Ok. - So what do you do then? Give up? - Oh, no, no, no, See, this is the thinking that's been shaped in us by jackals, see? The game of "who's right?", win-lose, so then if we can't change and win, then the option we think of is to be a chump and Iose. You see? We have been educated to think in those 2 ways, win-lose, right-wrong. No, I'll show you a way. Another option. Ok. Let's get into it. Let's give you a chance to practice it. Some of you have already thought of situations, such as somebody you want very much to communicate with, they say no. So, think of somebody at the moment who is behaving in a way that is not making life wonderful for you, and you'd Iike to get to the place that the song was about, where everybody's needs can get met, and people are giving to one another from the heart, willingly, not out of coercion. You see? Let's see if we can show you a process to get there in this situation, to get everybody's needs met, and where people give willingly, not out of any coercion. So, maybe you are living at home, maybe you choose today to work on a child that you are living with at home who says horrible, horrible jackal-things, such as "no." [laughter] Oh, you laugh! You try living with one for a while. "Please brush your teeth! - No" Maybe you are living at home with a jackal-speaking partner, who says horrible jackal-things, such as "that hurts me when you say that." We'll see today that it's a violent act to say others make you feel as you do. See? To imply that others can make you feel hurt or angry. Maybe at work somebody is behaving in a way you don't like. They come Iate. They're not producing as well as you would like. Maybe your next door neighbor has been sexually molesting children. Whoever you want to pick, somebody who is behaving in a way you don't like, and you'd Iike to see how we would arrive at the objective of creating the quality of connection that will get everybody's needs met through natural giving. That's our objective. Ok? Now, open up your materials to... ...the Iast page. Second to the last page. At the top, it says: "Expressing how we are and what we would like" and it says under "A", "Think of someone who does something that makes life less than wonderful for you." This person that I'm asking you to think about, who is presently behaving in a way you're not crazy about, and what I'd like you to do is answer this question. Write here one thing that the person does that you don't like. We're gonna work on one specific action that the person does that you don't like, to get you familiar with the process today. Maybe the person does several things, but we're gonna show you how the process works by showing you how to communicate with the person about one specific thing they do. So, write under "A" one thing this person does that you don't Iike. Now, when I was here in San Francisco working with the school system back in the 70s, the superintendent in the schools asked me to go into an elementary school. He said the parents are complaining about the quality of relationship between these teachers and the administrator. They said the tension in the school is so great that the parents want to take their children out of the school. So he asked if I would go in, see If I could open up better communication between the staff and the administrator. The plan was, I would meet first with the teachers and then get the teachers and the administrator together. So in my meeting with the teachers, I started with the question that I just asked you. I said to the teachers "Can you tell me one thing that the administrator does that makes it hard for you to work with him?" I was asking for an observation. A concrete behavior. What is one thing he does? The first teacher to respond said this "He has a big mouth" Now, can you see the difference between the question I asked and the answer I got? I did not ask "what size mouth does the principal have?" [laughter] So this teacher was giving me an evaluation, an analysis that implies wrongness. You see? We have been so trained to think that way that sometimes we can't separate fact and opinion. All we see is our enemy image. Whether it's an individual or a nation, we have been trained to think in enemy images of wrongness. It obscures reality. We don't see the behavior. We just see our enemy image. In his book "Out Of Weakness" Andrew Schmookler says that when cultures are taught to think this way, not to just see the person, but an image, a judgment they've made, bombs are never far away. You see? So I pointed this out to the gentleman that this was not an answer to my question, I wanted to know one thing that the principal did. This man was stuck. He just couldn't get it. The woman sitting next to him tried to help. She said: "Well, I know what he's referring to." I said "OK, help him out. What's one thing that the principal does?" "He talks too much." No, "too much" is a judgment. I asked for an observation, not a judgment. See, this is how jackal-speaking people think. They really have been brought up to think there is such a thing as a just-right amount of everything. and too much and too little, and that they know what it is. See? So they think that way. It doesn't make resolving conflicts too easy with them, when people have an idea that there is a right and a too much and a too little and they know what it is. And especially when they mix it up with an observation. I was just asking "what does the person do?" and, for the second time, this person couldn't see the behavior separate from the judgment. A third person tried to help. "Well, I know what they're talking about. - Ok, what? - He thinks he's the only one that has anything worth saying. - No. Telling me what you think he thinks is an evaluation you're making of what you think is going on in his head. I was asking for 'what does he do?'" A fourth woman said, "He wants to be the center of attention all the time." I said, "Now you're giving me a judgment or a diagnosis of his motives. Even if it's accurate, it's a diagnosis of his motives, it's not an observable behavior. My question was what does he do?" Now, the entire faculty sits there quiet. Nobody can answer the question. And one of the women said to me, "Boy, Marshall, that's hard to do." Yes. In fact, the philosopher Krishnamurti says that "to observe without evaluating is the highest form of human intelligence" So those of us who have been taught to think in these enemy images, immediately to think right-wrong, good-bad, normal-abnormal, appropriate-inappropriate, too this, too that... We can't see reality. All we see is our enemy images. Well, with great effort on my part, I finally got them to get rid of the images and answer this simple question, "what does he do?" It was several things, but the one that they wanted particularly to start working with him on was this, that during their once-a-week faculty meetings, regardless of what was on the agenda, he would relate it to a war experience or a childhood experience, and the average meeting lasted 20 minutes longer than it was scheduled. Ok. That answered my question of what he did. He talked about war experiences, childhood experiences, rather than sticking to the agenda. I said, "Have you called that to his attention?" they said, "Well, we can see now that when we try to talk to him about it, these other judgments get mixed in, and he gets defensive." So they thought it would be a good idea to talk to him about it, but they asked if I would be at the meeting just in case. So I attended their next staff meeting, and I saw rather quickly what they were talking about, because almost as soon as an issue came up, the principal would say, "Oh, that reminds me of a time..." and he would start to tell a story. and I was waiting for somebody to confront him on this, in giraffe, but instead of that, there was a lot of non-verbal jackaling going on. People were going like this, rolling their eyes, poking the person next to them, yawning, Iooking at their watches, holding the watches up to the ears. [laughter] And I watched this scenario going on for a while, and I said: "Excuse me, but... isn't somebody gonna say something?" Now there's a silence, and the man who spoke up in our first meeting, I could just see him getting his courage up, and he looks at the principal and says "Ed, you have a big mouth." [laughter] So let's see if whether what you wrote down answered the question I asked. Is it an observable behavior? Or did you mix in any evaluation, and my 2 friends here will help us to make this evaluation. This animal has been taught somewhat Iike a police dog to sniff out narcotics, if there's any jackal mixed in, he will howl, if you answered the question, this animal will dance. So sir, what did you write down? - "My dad blames my wife..." - [howls] - "...for my choices." - He does what? - "My dad blames my wife for my choices." - Yes. Blames is a judgment. See? That's already putting evaluation into it. Dad, do you see yourself as blaming her? - No. I see myself as calling attention to the facts. So, see? Dad doesn't see that as blaming. - No, I'm educating. - Thank you, Dad. Yes. Ok. So, how do we say it? We need a direct quote. To make it an observable behavior, we need to say "my father says..." what? - "All of his problems..." - "You are responsible for all of his problems." He says this to the wife, "You are responsible for all of his problems."? - That's it. - Yes. Ok. That's a direct quote. That's what he says. That's giraffe language. You made a direct quote. Ok? As soon as you... have the word "blame" in your consciousness, it's gonna change the whole energy with which you approach the person, because you're basically making a judgment of them as blaming, "which everybody knows is wrong" you see? Yes? - I have the mic... "Lately, my son is not doing his history homework." - Ok. - "My Dad makes harsh judgements and insulting remarks." - Oh, my God. You killed my poor jackal. [laughter] [still laughing] He could have handled the "harsh", that was one judgement, but "insulting", harsh and insulting... you know, see, those are 2 judgments. - Actually, he does use insulting words. - No, there is no such thing. After today, in fact, seriously, by 4:30 this afternoon, you will never hear another insult. It won't exist. Insults will not exist. I'm gonna show you the use of some technology today that takes insults and criticism out of the waves... airwaves. [laughter] So that no matter what your father says, you can never hear another harsh statement or another insult, because we're gonna show you today how to use this technology. [laughter] [still laughing] And with this technology, it will be impossible for you to hear criticism, harsh remarks, insults... With these ears, all you can hear is the only thing human beings are ever saying, "please" and "thank you". That's all... We're going to show you today that all what used to sound like criticism, judgments, blame, are simply tragic, suicidal expressions of "please". - "My brother yells at me to get in the car to go to school, and then he makes me late to school. - Who yells? - This guy. - But, you see, "yells" is a kind of a little bit of an evaluation. He speaks in a tone of voice? - Yeah. - OK. It's the tone of voice. I was asked at Lincoln High School... is it Lincoln High School in San Francisco? Many years ago, I was asked to work with the faculty there. They were having a lot of tension amongst the faculty, racially, ethnically. there was a lot of tensions, and the superintendent asked me to work there, and I started the day asking, "Tell me something that somebody else on the faculty does that you don't Iike." A man turns to the woman next to him and says: "I don't Iike it when you yell in our faculty meetings." She says, "Who yells?" [laughter] Now, she was from a different culture than this man. What was yelling in her culture was quite different. And about 10 minutes later when she started to yell at him by her own definition, I saw a difference, you know? So, raises the voice, when he's asking you to get ready for school. Yes. - Or just kind of gets angry at me... - Gets angry... that's maybe accurate, but it's a diagnosis; we don't know whether he's angry. He might be scared, that you're going to miss school. It might sound to you like angry. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn't; but "raises the voice", "has smoke coming out of his ears..." that you can see. You see? That's observable. Yes? - "My fifth grader Jesse refuses to do his seat work." - [howl!] Refuses is a diagnosis. Maybe an accurate diagnosis, but it doesn't tell me what he does. - He says, "no, I don't want to do it." - Says "no, I don't want to do it." That's the behavior. - "My husband doesn't tell me things which will affect me deeply." - Ok. That's the first jackal husband I've ever heard of. [laughter] - This is a new experience for me today. - "A student in my class incessantly talks loud, won't stay seated or keep his hands to himself." - I hear about 3 judgments in there. Let's go over it slowly, 'cause I hear 3 diagnoses. Say it again so we'll hear the 3 diagnoses. - "...incessantly talks loud..." - Loud is your interpretation. Louder than you would like. If you want to say it, put it that way. "Louder than I would like" - "...won't stay seated..." - "Won't" is a diagnosis. "He doesn't stay in his seat after I've told him to". He might in the future. We don't know whether he will or not, so that's a diagnosis. Doesn't at the moment. Doesn't when I ask him to stay in his seat. - "...and does not keep his hands to himself." - "...and does not keep his hands to himself." - Ok. Since coming to the introductory presentation on tuesday night, I've been very aware of hearing evaluations. - Yes. - In myself, and especially in other people. And so I started to wonder, are all of those violent communications? Or would there be a way that some of those are, according to this model, nonviolent? - I would say that any evaluation of others that implies wrongness is a tragic expression of an unmet need. tragic in the sense... for 2 reasons. First, it decreases the likelihood that we will get what we want. Even if we don't say it out loud, even if we think it, if we are even thinking that what somebody else does is wrong, it decreases the Iikelihood that we will get what we want. And second, it increases the likelihood of violence. So, what could be more tragic than that than expressing ourself in a way that gets in the way of our getting what we want, and increases violence? Anything that we want to say that implies wrongness on the part of the other person, I'm suggesting, is a tragic, suicidal expression of an unmet need. Say the need. Learn a need consciousness, which is what we're gonna get to now. That's how we evaluate in nonviolent communication. We evaluate from the heart. We make judgments, but we make need-serving judgments. We judge whether what people are doing is meeting needs or not. We don't moralistically judge the person for what they did. We judge whether it's serving life or not, because needs are our direct connection with life. They're the life that... Needs are the life seeking expression within us. So we evaluate with reference to that, and that requires 2 kinds of Iiteracy, feelings and needs. So let's be sure that we are all speaking the same language when I use the term "feelings" and "needs". So under "B" it says, "imagine that you are talking directly to the person, and express how you feel when the person acts in the way described above, and use this form:..." Again, we're talking to the other person. we're telling them now what they did, and we say, "When you do this, I feel..." how? How do you feel when the person does what you wrote down under "A"? Write that down. - "When you do this, I feel angry. - Ok. Anger is a feeling created by unnatural thinking. We'll get to that next. [laughter] - "When you're not ready to Ieave at the agreed time, I feel anxious and impatient." - "When you speak that loud, I feel intimidated." - [howls] - Intimidated is a diagnosis. Be careful of words that are more descriptions of other people, what you think they're doing to you, like intimidating you. So, write down the following as not feeling words. Do not mistake these words as feelings. I feel misunderstood. I feel used. I feel manipulated. I feel judged. I feel criticized. I feel ignored. For example, aren't there times when you think somebody's ignoring you? Don't you feel relieved? [laughter] And at other times don't you feel angry? You see? So words Iike that really say very little about what's alive in you. They say much more about how you are interpreting the other person's behavior, and above all, never mistake the word "rejected" as a feeling. I feel rejected. No. That's not a feeling. That's a suicidal interpretation. Ok, who's got the mic? There's the mic. - "Hurt, disappointed, disenheartened." - yup. - "Feel angry and betrayed." - Angry, yes. [Howl]... for betrayed. Betrayed is one of those words Iike intimidated, ignored, misinterpreted, used, manipulated. It's more a diagnosis of the other person than a feeling. - What about contracted? - Contracted? If you mean tense and like that. Ok. If it's that. - "When you call me up and, speaking loudly, tell me you are going to cut off funding, I feel angry and scared." - "When you leave the dishes in the sink, I feel powerless over my environment and time, which feels frustrating and scary." - "When you start talking loudly in the middle of my sentence, I feel hurt because I think you are not listening to me. - Yeah, the feeling is great, but you're gonna lose it when you follow the word "feel" with the word "because I think" Any time you're thinking, your chance of getting what you need is greatly decreased. [laughter] Especially when you follow the word "think" with the word "you". Then I think you not only won't get heard, I predict a defensive-aggressive reaction. So, it's gonna be hard for people to care about your feelings when you follow that with a diagnosis that implies wrongness. But we'll get to that next, 'cause we're gonna see next that we... After the feelings, there's 2 places we don't go. And one is up to our head. We stay in the heart with feelings. We don't go up to the head. We stay in the heart and connect with needs. But, we'll get to that. If we want to use nonviolent communication, we want to be sure that we do not use the feeling in a violent way. Because feelings can either connect us at the heart or they can contribute to more division and violence. So we certainly do not want to ever express our feelings in this way: "I feel as I do because you..." Ok? We never want to express our feelings this way: "You make me feel..." Now, that will be a hard habit to get away from, because in a jackal-culture, feelings are very instrumental to using guilt as a way of manipulating people. The way to manipulate people is if you can convince them that they make you feel as you do, then they should feel guilty and change. You see? It's another form of this violent game. So, for example, if you are a parent and you want to use feelings in a violent way rather than a connecting way, you would express them this way: "It really hurts me when you don't clean up your room." [laughter] Ok? Or, "you make me angry when you say that." I was talking during the break about one of my happiest days as a parent was when my oldest son went to a jackal school for the first time. he had gone 6 years to a giraffe school that I had helped create, and, uh... but then, I wanted him to learn how to enjoy jackals as well, so, uh... and in giraffe schools, we also want to be aware that the children are not always gonna be in this setting, so we want them to learn how to stay with their own values regardless of which structure they're in. You see? So he comes back the first day from school, and he looked less than happy, and I said, "how was the new school, Rick?" And he said, "It's ok, Dad, but... whew! boy... some of those teachers, Dad..." I said, "what happened?" He said, "Dad, I wasn't even in the front door, really, i was halfway through the front door, and some man teacher comes running over and says, "my, my, Iook at the little girl." Can you guess what the teacher was reacting to? Yeah, my son's hair was down to his shoulders. See, in a jackal-school, as we all know, authority knows what's right. See? There's a right way to wear your hair as a boy and a wrong way. A right way to do everything. And who knows? The teacher. And what do you do if somebody doesn't do it? You use shame, guilt, and so forth. You use the word "girl" as though it's an insult. Welcome to jackal-land. So i'm getting burned up, ready to go do a Iittle BAT therapy with the teacher, [laughter] forgeting all about my teachings, and I said to my son, "How did you handle it?" He said, "I remembered, Dad, what you said, that when you're in that kind of environment, never give them the power to make you submit or rebel." One of the things we want to teach children very early, no matter what structure you're in, never lose track that you are free to choose what you do. Don't allow institutions to determine what you do. I said, "Hey, man, if you remembered that, that's a big gift. I really love that you could remember that under those conditions. Then what did you do? - I put on my giraffe ears, Dad, tried to hear what he was feeling and needing" I said, "You remembered to do that? What did you hear? - Pretty obvious, Dad. He looked irritated and wanted me to cut my hair. - Hey, wow, man, i'm really glad you could remember that. How did that leave you feeling?" He said, "Dad, I felt sad for the man. He was bald and seemed to have a problem about hair." [laughter] [still laughing] So we want children the same thing we want to teach adults. Institutions can't make you do anything. Other people can't make you do anything. No human being has ever done anything they didn't choose to do. A palestinian in the village of Hebron disagreed with me one time. He said, "I don't agree with you, Marshall, that we only choose to do. Where was my choice 2 days ago? A soldier puts a gun at my head and says, 'Take off your clothes or I'll shoot you.' Where was my choice?" I said, "Seems pretty obvious to me. You had a choice of whether to take off your clothes or not." He laughed. He said, "OK, I got your point. I chose not to take off my clothes. That soldier knew I didn't have a gun. He was doing this to dishonor me. I chose to risk my Iife to protect my honor. - Ok, so... I'm not saying we always Iike the choices we have, but nobody can make us do anything we don't choose to do. So I said, "Apparently the soldier also chose not to shoot you. Or else it was a very poor shot." [laughter] My children taught me this about nobody does anything they don't choose to do. From the time they were 2 years old, they educated me that I couldn't make them do anything. All I could do is make them wish they had. [laughter] And then they taught me another lesson. That any time I would do that, they would make me wish I hadn't made them wish they had. They taught me that violence creates violence. You see?

Video Details

Duration: 47 minutes and 18 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: CNVC
Director: CNVC
Views: 2,285
Posted by: ltiofficial on Feb 18, 2013

Part of 4 of a Workshop by Marshal Rosenberg in San Francisco.

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