#1 You are smiling, but I see tears in your eyes. What is going on?
NVC: Expressing Feelings
#1 It sounds like you are feeling frustrated, am I paraphrasing that correctly?
NVC: Identifying Needs
#1 When you cancelled our date night two weeks in a row, I felt disappointed, because I wanted to spend time with you.
Brandon | Brandon observed that Ashley has been biting her nails and tapping her foot when Ashley arrived at the restaurant for Dinner. Ashley | Ashley noticed that Brandon has declined to participate in their typical "date night" the last 2 weeks in a row, which deviates from Brandon's Usual behavior.
NVC: Making Requests
#1 I am worried that with our busy lives with work, school, and kids, the cancellation of our routine dates might make it difficult for us to stay connected. Perhaps a different night? How about Friday nights?
Brandon | Sensing that Ashley was describing her perceived thoughts about herself, Brandon used paraphrasing to clarify how Ashley was really feeling. Ashley | Through tears, Ashley distinguished between how she thought Brandon felt about how she really felt. Ashley described her actual feelings of rejection.
#2 Yes, I am frustrated. When you cancel our usual date night, I feel rejected.
#2 I appreciate your honesty. Though I have a temporary commitment to Thursday evening football, I would be happy to attend date night each Friday evening with you.
Ashley | Without influencing Brandon with guilt, Ashley communicated her observation of Brandon's behavior and began connecting her feeling with her need. Brandon | Brandon attempted to validate Ashley's Feelings and expressed his own authentic feelings about the conflict, while moving towards taking responsibility for their feelings.
#2 I didn't realize that when I didn't commit to our date night, you were left feeling sad. I am sorry, what do we need to do from here?
#2 I can relate to your statement, as I too feel understood by you.
Ashley | To avoid making her request sound like an attach or demand, Ashley revealed her own feelings and needs before initiating a request of Brandon. Brandon | Brandon realized that, while he had made a new commitment to football during the seasons on days and times that were not flexible, he appreciated Ashley's concern about their date night and demonstrated adequate reflection.
#2 The only reason I cancelled our date nights is because they were scheduled on Thursday evenings and it is football season. I sense that you want us to keep our promises to each other, is that right?
Ashley | Ashley expressed appreciation for Brandon's active listening, empathy, and validation of her feelings. Brandon | While Brandon held boundaries regarding how his time is scheduled each week, he demonstrated his needs and feelings to come to a resolution.
#1 I am glad we clarified our feelings and I realize that you don't think I am inadequate.
Conflict resolution isn't always about "compromising", but rather feeling satisfied with being heard and using the four steps of nonviolent communication.
#1 Thank you for speaking with me, I feel understood by you.