At a retreat, I supported a conversation between two men who had experienced a break in connection. One man of Chinese and European descent – let’s call him Chris – shared the pain he experienced growing up in a primarily European community. He shared the taunts he had experienced, having people use slurs and language that insulted people from Chinese backgrounds, that made fun of the shape of their eyes, the tone of their skin. He was sharing this experience with a European-descent man – let’s call him Robin – to help Robin understand the needs that were going unmet [...]
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So far roxymanning has created 13 blog entries.
In NVC circles, there are several topics that are often raised when someone behaves in a way that’s painful to another person. Discussions come up about the toxicity of shame, about how feedback that’s harsh and judgmental directly counters NVC principles. People dismiss and actively seek to repress certain types of responses as counterproductive, asserting they stimulate shaming which does not produce change. There’s discussion about the importance of seeing each person’s humanity – looking for the needs beneath the person’s behavior, and gently trying to help them find more productive ways to meet their needs. There’s a repeated implicit [...]
How can nonviolent communication help us return to the powerful vision of social change for which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so strongly advocated and for which he died? How can we inspire ourselves to stand up for social change? Every time I hear stories from the civil rights movement, every time I look at images from that time, I wonder how the people, ordinary people just like you and me, were able to do the things they did. I think about our current times, when so many of us feel powerless, when I hear so many people say, “I’m [...]
"Where Are You From?" Q: I just started a new job. When I asked a coworker of Asian descent where they were from, they glared at me and said that was a microaggression. I was just trying to break the ice and don’t understand why they were upset. A: I’m guessing your coworker’s response was pretty confusing to you? I can imagine you were looking for an easy topic to introduce to get to know another person? Wanting to show interest and friendliness in the hopes of building connection in a new setting? I can imagine if those guesses [...]
"You're so articulate!" Q: I’m a dark skinned, black person with college educated parents and a college degree. I'm met again and again with surprise from white people about the way I talk and the assumption that it means something about my intelligence and my character. What can I say to them that would begin to open their eyes to the fact that their assumptions are racist? A: I’m hearing how deeply frustrated you feel that people are surprised when you speak in a way they don’t assume is typical of black people. I can imagine so many reasons for your [...]
Roxy Manning, with Janey Skinner Nonviolent Communication (NVC) was developed, in part, because its founder, Marshall Rosenberg, was inspired by the work of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. King and countless others who responded peacefully, yet powerfully, to vast systemic inequities and abuses. Dr. Rosenberg witnessed the transformative power that an active, courageous commitment to nonviolence could bring. Like Dr. King, he also believed that lasting transformation comes not just from creating external change, but working for that change from a place that embraces everyone’s humanity. As Dr. Rosenberg’s teachings of nonviolent communication spread, NVC has in many places shifted away from the [...]
Does this seem familiar? You’re in a meeting. Maybe it’s a workshop around equity and social justice issues, maybe it’s your community group holding a planning meeting for their next event. Pat makes a suggestion, and folks keep talking, ignoring the suggestion, proposing others. When Riley makes a similar suggestion, suddenly everyone is excitedly discussing the idea and expressing gratitude to Riley. As you see the dejected look on Pat’s face and notice Pat has stopped talking, you feel frustrated! You’ve seen this happen with Pat and Riley many times. And you see this behavior playing out repeatedly, with people [...]
By Ranjana Ariaratnam, David Johnson, Talli Jackson, and Roxy Manning This post, the final article in the WCI 2017 series, was written jointly by that year's trainers. This article is our invitation for you to think about inclusion and interdependence, how you have experienced them (or not) in your life. We don’t purport to have definitive answers, and we are enjoying the exploration. Come explore with us! Ranji ~ We were at an NVC retreat, early on in my immersion into NVC, and I’d been trying to ask the owner of the lodge about options for people with non-mainstream dietary [...]
The events that have unfolded since the election continue to stimulate a huge amount of fear in me and those around me. I’ve had many sleepless nights since November, stemming from my children wondering if Trump’s election meant half the country did not like people of color, from colleagues applying preemptively for Canadian visas, and from my observations of what appears to be a systematic dismantling of the already limited protections for our environment and our social programs. I’ve been wondering how to respond, and how to help my children and those around me respond, to these uncertain times. I believe [...]
Where in your life do you stay silent and not show up fully? What prevents you from showing up? Do you wonder if it is possible to be intensely authentic and real and yet hold care for everyone in the situation? Most of you reading this article have never seen me. If you don’t know me, I’m Afro Caribbean. I’m a large, dark-skinned black woman with very short hair who dresses very casually most times. I love the San Francisco Bay weather because it allows me to walk around in shorts and flip-flops for much of the year. This is [...]