How to Self-connect: 4 Steps with NVC!

Are you experiencing a conflict inside of yourself, or with another person?

Would you like to practice Clarity and Self-connection with Nonviolent Communication (NVC)?

In this exercise you will sense an internal shift in communication with yourself and another human being. Take a pen and paper and write down these 4 STEPS in NVC.


Make 4 windows with the following words above:

  1. OBSERVATION: Try to go to the situation in which where you saw or heard something that you didn’t like. Did someone say or do something that you didn’t like? Write it down in a few sentences.
  2. FEELINGS: What feelings were alive in you when you made the observation? What did/ do you feel? Close your eyes. Take your time to travel inside your jungle. Tenderly welcome any unpleasant feeling you encounter. Is it Sadness, Fear, Anger, Frustration, Pain, Discomfort? When we choose not to welcome unpleasant feelings, these tend to come back anyway and very much uninvited (in the form of a larger, build-up shield against old pain. This happens in Burnout, Depression, Guilt, Shame, and Fear. It takes more time to get clarity and self-connection than when we chose to practice Emotional Hygiene :). Also check the difference between real feelings and pseudo-feelings that contain thoughts, like ‘I feel that I am criticized’ or ‘I feel criticized’. Translated to FEELINGS both may sound like: I feel scared, insecure, doubt.
  3. NEEDS: Ask yourself what is it that I really, really need so much right now? Is it Authenticity, Care, Connection, Safety, Play, Understanding, Harmony, Closeness, Independence…(there might be hundreds of universal human needs!).
  4. REQUEST: Can you reformulate now what you really would like to ask yourself? What are your options to fulfill your beautiful need? It can sound like: When I see/ hear …. I feel….Because I really need … Can I start fulfilling my need with …(action)? Or when you request another: Would you be willing to help me with … today let’s say for 20 mins? 

Take your time to find out what you really need to make your life more enriching, fulfilling and beautiful. Can you then make a request to yourself or another person by reformulating your words and be as concrete as possible, action, time, date to take really radical care for your needs?

CHECK: Can you try to separate a demand from a request? To avoid the latter, it helps when you mention your need clearly in the request.

AND: Especially when we move from OBSERVATION to FEELINGS, there are many thoughts that can come up. Make a large window next to the 4 steps for (Self)Connection, in which you write down your thoughts, uncensored anger, judgements, comparisons, have to’s and so on. TRUST that these thoughts are showing you what need is super alive & important! In NVC we learn to communicatie needs, we look for the need behind any action, judgemental thought that feels unpleasant.

PLUS OFFER: Email me when you need a Dutch or English digital Feelings & Needs word-list to serve you in this process of connection! I’d be very happy to send you one and to anyone in the world.

I wish you meaningful exercise fun and much Self-care!

Warm wishes, Renske


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