How do you respond to "How are you doing?"

And a free resource to help you build a feelings vocabulary

Dear reader,

Earlier this week, I was in a 2-day training with the Little Sisters of the Poor in Bangalore. On Day 1, when I asked the question, “How are you feeling?”, most of the answers I received were: good, bad, okay, fine.

A 2-day workshop with the Little Sisters of the Poor.

This is also often how we respond when someone asks us how we are doing.

But none of these words point to how we are actually feeling in the moment.

The word ‘good’ may mean one or more of the following: calm, relaxed, excited, happy, ecstatic, eager, satisfied…

The word ‘bad’ could mean one or more of the following: tired, sad, angry, irritated, frustrated, guilty, exasperated…

What happens when we express ourselves in this way?

These words offer only a slight indication of how we are feeling.

Being able to articulate how we are feeling, with more specificity, can help us get to the needs our feelings are pointing to:

  • When I’m hungry, I need food

  • When I’m thirsty, I need water

  • When I’m tired, I need rest

  • When I’m bored, I need inspiration

  • When I’m confused, I need clarity

When we can be specific about our feelings, we find it easier to get in touch with our needs.

One way to build a feelings vocabulary is to consult a feelings list regularly and check what word best describes how you are feeling (Get a free PDF list here).

Going back to my workshop: On Day 2, I asked again, “How are you feeling?”
The answers? Excited, curious, energized, refreshed, rejuvenated, tired, restless—all words that describe feelings!

Quote of the fortnight

Unconditional love means I show the same respect to a no as a yes. The person gets the same quality from me, the same empathy. It doesn’t mean I agree or like what I hear, but the person is free from any judgment from me.

Marshall Rosenberg

NVC365: 100 videos and counting!

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Last weekend, my NVC365 series hit a new milestone: completion of a century. That’s 100 videos—in 60 seconds or fewer—on an NVC-related topic everyday.

Practices to embody empathy: free booklet

An NVC-inspired project in Poland recently released an ebook with exercises and activities for cultivating empathy skills. This is a resource you can use for yourself, or with groups. Download it here.

Feelings and needs cards available

If you’ve attended an in-person workshop with me, you’re likely to have seen me use the feelings and needs cards from the picture below. These cards were designed by my colleague L’aura Joy and are my favourite set for use because of the simplicity of design and durability of material.

These cards have recently been reprinted and I have a few sets available. If you live in Bangalore and would like them, you can get a set at INR750+ transportation charges. Reply to this email to book a set.

For those outside Bangalore who would like a set, write to [email protected]

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