If you’d like to try a new approach in your NVC Practice Group or Support Group, consider this. Pick a reality show or reality movie that most everyone present in the group would find very easy to judge in a jackal way. We chose The movie, “Jackass, the Movie.”
On newsprint/poster paper, or on a dry erase board, write down the words as everyone calls out their judgments. E.g.: Stupid. Idiotic. Thoughtless. Crazy. Arrested development. Immature. Self-destructive. Insane.
Next, ask each person if they can share the feelings they had when they considered “Jackass, the Movie.” Typical feelings were — annoyed, irritated, confused, baffled, freaked out, pained.
Next, ask each person who shared a feeling to see if they can pinpoint the unmet need behind it, and put all the unmet needs on the board too. Our unmet needs included understanding, safety, care, self-care, self-respect, self-esteem, self-valuing
Encourage free discussion for 5 to 10 minutes of what the young men in Jackass may be observing in their lives (parents insisting they get jobs or go to college, a weak job economy, lack of tuition money, many reality stars getting famous and rich). Also what they may be feeling (bored, lost, frustrated, angry, numb, rebellious). And what they may be needing (extreme stimulation to alleviate the feelings of numbness and boredom, attention, fun, relief from pressure from parents and teachers, hope for getting famous as a strategy for resolving their financial dependence on family, financial freedom, space and acceptance).
Finally, ask participants if they’ve noticed any shift in their feelings about the reality movie and the people in it. What feelings come up now? We were very surprised at how much deep compassion and empathy came up for the same young people we previously had disdain and judgment for.