Original NVC Support Group Exercise #1

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.

About swpollack

I’m an independent mediator and collaborative communication coach who can help you to co-create greater ease, connection and mutual understanding in your personal and professional relationships. As a non-traditional specialist, my aim is to get concrete results for my clients in a fraction of the time usually required by traditional therapy and counseling. Please visit my business website: www.mediation-usa.net . The emotion-based coaching work I do is deeply therapeutic, yet I am neither a psychologist nor a psychotherapist. Instead I work with a holistic, empathic process called compassionate, nonviolent communication. I also facilitate ongoing support groups for people who want to learn this organic process of nonjudgmental communication to help build bridges of connection, harmony, collaboration and understanding. For more about my Build Compassionate Relationships meetup group, visit: www.nvccoachmiami.com . I’ve been offering these services to the public since 2000 in the greater Miami and Fort Lauderdale area, as well as by phone and through Skype conferencing. . Nonviolent Communication is a process developed by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg. It’s based on a very pure, nonjudgmental language of feelings, needs and requests. I’ve found this to be a powerful tool in my mediation work which involves bringing two or more people together despite a painful history of conflict.
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