In this session, I'll be talking about how nonviolent communication can support us in deepening our intimate relationships. And let's start with a dialogue that is likely to be heard in almost any intimate relationship, at least variations of it.
One person says to the other, do you love me?
And the other person said, Oh, yes, of course.
And the first person said, but I want you to be really sincere about this.
I want you to seriously look at this. Do you love me?
And the other person seriously contemplates this and waits and thinks and then finally said, Yes, I really do.
The first person said, then why did it take you so long to respond?
This question is very important, you know, do you love me And it's very hard to answer because we very often don't get clear in intimate relationships what we really mean by that word love.
In an earlier session, I mentioned how some people use the word love as a feeling and emotion. And if they do that, it's pretty hard to know how to answer that question without reference to a specific time and place because feelings change every few seconds.
In nonviolent communication, we use the word love as a need, and a very important need. What's very important that is to know how to manifest this need, what to do to contribute to that need being met, in people that we care for, and that we have intimate relationships with. I have found in working with couples for many years, that the best way that we can really meet people's need for love is to do two things.
First of all, express those needs within us those messages within us that are the hardest to express the most scary to express. Because when we have that ability to share that which is not easy to express, we get a chance to get these needs fulfilled. But if we are so frightened of expressing these needs that we don't say anything that creates barriers in the relationship. Yet it's very difficult for many reasons for people to express these needs that need to be expressed in intimate relationships and when they do express the need Very often it's done with an energy that provokes the very opposite of what we would really like.
Nonviolent communication is a process that consists of an intention to contribute to our own well being, and the well being of others, compassionately. So that whatever we do is done willingly, not done out of guilt, or shame, or fear of punishment, or trying to buy love, by submitting to what we think others expect us to do. That we give solely out of the joy that comes naturally from contributing to life. Our own life and the lives of others.