Compassionate Communication Practitioner

Compassionate Communication is a process of connecting with people in a way that allows everyone’s needs to be met through empathizing with the universal needs we all share. It is a way of relating to ourselves and others out of an awareness of feelings and needs rather than judgments, labels, punishment, guilt or shame.

At the heart of Compassionate Communication is the ability to connect to our own ‘humanness’ and to the ‘humanness’ of others. It is to see ourselves and each other not as objects or as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ but as whole, dynamic persons with varying combinations of feelings and needs. When we can express that which is alive in us in a nonjudgmental, non-blaming way we have a much greater chance of inspiring an empathic connection with others because as humans we all share these same qualities; e.g. the needs for trust, safety, appreciation, caring, freedom… the list goes on. When empathy is experienced in connection to another person (or to ourselves) we, as humans, have a natural desire to improve the life of that person. Within this connection an exchange can take place that greatly enhances the chances of getting everyone’s needs met.

Compassionate Communication Practitioners hold an acknowledgement that domination thinking and violence have been trained and habituated into us in a poor attempt to control others and be controlled by others. The basic premise of Compassionate Communication is that this unskillful training, though thousands of years old, is not our true nature. Gandhi once said, “Don’t mistake habit for what is natural.” Compassionate Communication is taught on the underlying supposition that our true nature is one of desire to make life more wonderful for ourselves and others. Unfortunately most of us have lost the skill and know-how to fulfill this desire. Compassionate Communication is as much a process of unlearning old, unskillful reactions as it is gaining new tools and developing new responses.

Compassionate Communication Practitioners also have an understanding that we are responsible for our own reactions to any given situation. Example: If identical triplets are on a beach and a wave comes and crashes down on them and recedes, one of the triplets may be exhilarated, thrilled and laughing, one may be furious, resentful and yelling while the third is despondent, frightened and crying. What made the difference? The difference comes not from what happened but rather from the fact that each of them has different needs, expectations, values and perceptions. The same can be said for any situation or interaction. It’s not that something or someone makes you feel anything but rather your needs are being met or not met.

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