Part four in this series may be for those who have already established a practice in recognizing needs consciousness and/or working with a facilitator. If your new to the practice and this next part is confusing, go back to the first four parts and enjoy working with developing your practice.
In exploring naming your personal needs as described in part two of this anger series you will with more practice develop a choice for naming the first set of needs that come up or you can take another step. This is the step that this article will focus upon.
The first choice to stay with the first set of needs that encourages and feelings and needs dialogue. This will support you to connect with the other party and share what is going on for you. An example, I was late for a doctor appointment and as my doctor entered the office she stated that she was frustrated because her need was for being on time. She did state her feelings and her need and I could empathize with her yet I wasn’t connected, so to establish one it would have taken us into a dialogue.
To take her sharing to a deeper connection she could have stayed with her needs a moment longer and then connect to the new feelings coming up . This may have allowed for another set of needs to come to the surface. For example, “I am concerned for the loss of being punctual and respecting my other clients time when you arrive 15 minutes after our agreed upon time.” Had she mentioned this to me I would have had an instant connection that didn’t startle me and one that I could stay with and be authentic immediately back in my expressions of regret.
This step of the practice is then to add another level to identifying your feeling and needs.
1. After identifying your unmet needs, stay with it for a few moments and notice if new feelings come up. Sometimes there may be sadness at having these unmet needs and if you open to this your may find another need arise that you are more connected with. This is usually the one that if you express to the other party that they can hear with more understanding and clarity and not hear any blame or shame.
The third stage before talking it out with the other party is to consider what may be going on for them that had them behave or make the decisions that have stimulated you. These actions are similar to the process you just completed in determining your own feelings and needs yet now it is to imagine what is alive for them. What stimulated their behaviour or decisions.
- Consider what the other party/parties may be feeling.
- Connect to what needs they have.
Once you are comfortable with having some understanding of their perspective and what might going on for them, make a choice if you want to share what’s alive for you, or if you want to listen to them first. Begin to connect, start talking.
In the model that Dr. Marshall Rosenberg has written about in Nonviolent Communication, he suggests following a guideline to follow to support creating a new dialogue. To view this process – go to NVC – four part process
For Parts one – The first part in becoming friendly with anger begins with understanding its function
and two – The second part in becoming friendly with anger is being willing to recognize our anger verses being angry
and four for those who are ready for a bigger challenge in their established practice – Part four – in becoming friendly with anger deepening the needs consciousness
In the article called, The first part in becoming friendly with anger begins with understanding its function, we left off with the question of, “How do we begin to recognize that when we feel anger in our daily relationships it is that our danger signals are simply telling us we are not getting our needs met?” The first three steps to understanding more about this could be:
- Commitment – make a personal choice to begin resolving your difference and choose to connect in your relationships
- Develop Understanding – become curious about how to be objective about what is happening that is causing your anger. A good rule of thumb is to view a situation as though seeing it through a video camera and describing this without blame and shame. For example, “the room was dark and the table was at an angle that I did not see,” versus, “you left the table in walkway and you turned the lights off, what did you think was going to happen!”
- Be Willing to Take Personal Responsibility – take time to explore what your feelings are and know that these feelings are created by an unmet need you have. What could needs be? In the above example you may be feeling annoyed, hurt, and frustrated because you have a need for safety, trust and reassurance that if you walk through your family room in the dark you’re not going to walk into a table.
Having personal agreement to these first three points will give you incentive to create opportunities for going beyond your differences in situations that typically create anger. The next four steps are inner based self inquiry and actions steps to begin to practice the next time you notice your feelings of anger rising.
- Notice what you are telling yourself without judging yourself. What stories are you putting to the situation. In the above example it might be, “he/she always moves the table and never puts it back. He doesn’t care about anyone but himself!” Or perhaps you are not comfortable with the idea of having needs and expressing them. You may have been brought up to not have needs or may have them confused with ego thinking. Simply notice and commit to moving forward with;
- Identify the emotions or feelings that are coming up. Some of us will have a vocabulary of feelings and others will sense in terms of experiencing. After choosing a few that are most alive move on to;
- Identifying what needs of yours that may not be getting met. This step will begin to decrease the level of heat you are feeling and begin to let you connect to what’s underneath the surface of your reaction.
- Decide what you want. Make this a clear and positive action request which will be easier to find agreement with. You cannot come to agreements with statements of what you do not want.
Once you have stopped to check in and separate the enemy images to understand more objectively what has stimulated you, identified your feelings and needs that stimulated your feeling and come up with a clear positive request of what you do want, the next stage is to deliver the message. For on go to link:
#1 – Anger usually covers up feelings that we want to protect.
For example if we are overlooked for a promotion at work deep down we may be feeling disappointed, hurt, and possibly annoyed and not ready to share this even with ourselves therefore what we might notice is anger. Processing the news of not being chosen we may cycle into thinking in what could be called “enemy images, ” to protect our feelings. We begin to think about something being done to us, or begin thinking of ourselves as not being good enough.
#2 – Anger indicates that something is happening that we are not in alignment with.
For example, a parent of two children may become angry witnessing one child dominate the other by acting in a bullying way. This could be a trigger for the parent who reacts in anger to protect what is dangerous. In this case the parent has a need for emotional and physical safety for both children.
#3 – Anger is to get us out of danger, fast!
Anger is an inherent human function to stimulate us into action. Imagine the adrenaline that runs through your body when you get angry. The next time you notice yourself becoming angry make a point of checking out how your muscles begin to respond, how you breath and the power you feel. You need this to get yourselves and others out of danger. If your child was crossing the street and a car was coming, this anger is useful for you to act immediately to get that child out-of-the-way of the car.
The second part is becoming friendly with anger is be willing to recognize your anger versus being angry for more, go to link