At this point, I am very much in the habit of converting both my own and others’ statements to NVC. However, my increased focus on efficiency these days has made me realize that I tend to mostly ignore requests. I’m pretty consistent about expressing observations instead of evaluations, sharing my emotions, and tying them to underlying needs, but don’t usually go on to make clear requests, except for empathy. I do explicitly ask for that pretty often.
But lately I’ve had less time to do emotional processing and have extended conversations where Will empathizes with me. And I’ve found that I seem to be adapting by more quickly formulating specific requests. An example that jumps out at me from a few weeks ago was that I was getting upset when I had Lydia at night and Will would wake up just a little and suggest a course of action for me to take with her, such as taking her for a pottytunity.
When I’m already stressed out and in a mad mood, I’m not the best at accepting well-meaning suggestions. I talked about that some, but I pretty quickly moved to asking whether Will would be willing to do whatever he was suggesting himself right away. Then, we ended up talking about whether that would work.
My recent experience has left me with a new appreciation for clear requests. I do think that leaving them out can be subtly coercive. Because if I’m not being clear about what I’m actually looking for, the message can be that I want the other person to figure out what I want and fix the problem so I feel better.