CHOW # 309: Taking responsibility for one’s feelings

In Nonviolent Communication, Dr Rosenberg recommends that “We take responsibility for our feelings, rather than blame other people, by acknowledging our own needs, desires, expectations, values, or thoughts”.

In the following sentences, select the sentences where the speaker is acknowledging responsibility for his or her feelings: (Yes or No)

  1. “You irritate me because you keep biting your nails in meetings”
  2. “I feel discouraged when you reject my ideas”
  3. “I am grateful that you brought some water for me because I needed to take my tablets now”
  4. “I feel happy that you got promoted”
  5. “I am disappointed that I couldn’t finish my task on time”
  6. “I am afraid of speaking up because the customer is often critical”
  7.  “I got angry because your slides had spelling mistakes”

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Suggested Solution:

  1. No. Speaker is blaming his/her irritated feeling on the observed behaviour of colleague.
  2. No. Speaker believes his/her discouragement is because of other person’s behaviour. Would be better articulated: “I felt discouraged when you rejected my idea because I needed a boost to my self-image”. This way you are articulating the underlying need for your feeling.
  3. Yes. Speaker is associated feeling of gratefulness with his/her met need.
  4. No. To express his/her needs underlying the feeling, it would have been better to say, “I When your promotion was announced, I felt happy because I was hoping that you would be recognized for all your commitment and excellence over the years”.
  5. Yes. Speaker is taking responsibility for his/her feeling.
  6. No. Speaker is implying his/her fear is because of the customer’s behavioural tendencies. Better to express by calling out his/her need – “I need my ideas to be accepted to raise my confidence level in this role and hence I am afraid of speaking freely in front of the customer who tends to analyse ideas critically.”
  7. No. Speaker’s underlying need is not expressed. This sentence comes across as though the other person is responsible for the speaker’s anger.
What do you think?

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