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Non-Violent Communication - Expressing and Receiving Gratitude

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You're brilliant. I said "It doesn't help." She said "What do you mean?" I said "I've been called a lot of names in my life. Really, I have." Some positive, some far less than positive. I can never recall learning anything valuable by somebody telling me what I am. I think there's zero information value in being told what you are. And great danger. You might believe it. It's just as dangerous to believe that you're smart as that you're stupid. Both of them reduce you to a thing. We're much more than either of those. But I can see in your eyes that you want to express some gratitude. "Yes!" And I want to receive it, but It doesn't help me to be told what I am. "What do you need to hear?" What did I do to make life more wonderful for you? "Well, you're so intelligent!" No, it doesn't help. It doesn't help. What did I do? "Oh I got you! I got you!" She opens up her notebook. She showed me two things that I had said that she had written down. She put a big star by them. See? That helps me now. Okay. That helps me to know that somehow my saying those two things made this person's life more wonderful. So that's the first thing we need to say in appreciation. We need to bring to the person's attention concretely what they did that made life more wonderful. Second, at the moment we're giving the gratitude, to say how we feel at that moment about the person having done that. So I said to this woman "Could you tell me how you feel now as a result of me having said those two things?" She said "Hopeful and relieved." Hopeful and relieved. That gives me much more than telling me what I am, that I'm "brilliant". Just to know that somehow my saying those two things now this person feels hopeful and relieved. Now when I hear the third thing, I'll be able to really enjoy this gratitude. I said "What need of yours was fulfilled by my saying what I did that leaves you feeling hopeful and relieved?" That's the third thing we need to see in a giraffe gratitude. She said "I have an 18 year old son. I've never been able to connect with him. It's been very painful that we never can connect. I have needed some direction to help me connect with him. Those two things you said met my need for some concrete direction." Had she expressed her gratitude in giraffe, she would have said "Marshall when you said these two things..." and showed me what the two things were. "It leaves me feeling hopeful and relieved. It meets a need of mine to connect with my son in a way that I want." That's how we say gratitude in giraffe: those three things. It's also important how we receive gratitude. Let me show you how a jackal receives gratitude. Jackal, when you offered to give me the ride over to where I'm going afterwards, I feel very grateful because I really have a need to spend more time with my family. If I took the bus, I'd have an hour less time. "It's nothing." "De rien." If you want to terrorize a jackal, express love or appreciation to it. Really. If you really want to scare a jackal... I've never seen anything scare jackal-speaking people more than sincere gratitude or love. Why do you get so nervous, jackal, when you hear it? "Well, I don't know that I deserved it." Jackals have this dangerous concept in their head: "deserve". It's a very violent concept. It implies that you have to deserve appreciation. You do deserve punishment if you behave in a certain way. The concept of deserve is a key ingredient in a violent way of life. If you believe in deserve, you think certain things are "worth things". You'll set up a very destructive economic system. You'll set up a destructive correctional system. A very dangerous concept. It's not the only reason. Why else do you get so scared when you hear gratitude, jackal? "What's wrong with being humble?" So you want to have a need for humility. "Yes." You know, jackal, there are different kinds of humility. I'm afraid that your kind is a jackal humility. I think your kind is the kind that Golda Meir, the Israeli prime minister was reacting to when she said to one of her politicians "Don't be so humble, you're not that great." The main reason that I believe that gratitude is so scary for many of us to receive is beautifully and poetically written in 'A Course in Miracles' where they say "It's our light, not our darkness, that scares us the most." Having been educated in this jackal way to hate ourselves; to think that there's something wrong with us. It's a big jump to really see what I was saying: that we have enormous power to make life wonderful. There's nothing we enjoy doing more than exercising that power. Unfortunately, that's a pretty big jump for us to come to, but we can come to it. That's how we say gratitude: observation, feeling and need, same literacy. Make sure it's coming from the heart to celebrate and never to praise, compliment [or] reward. Any last comments or questions before our time is up? I'm grateful for all your time and attention today.

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 43 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: CNVC
Director: CNVC
Views: 236
Posted by: ltiofficial on Nov 14, 2014

An excerpt from Marshall Rosenberg's seminar on non-violent communication.
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