Picky eater or mindful eater? It depends on this...

The skill of making an observation

Dear reader,

Last fortnight our practice group worked on understanding the difference between observations and evaluations, and I remembered this comic strip by Bizarro Comics:

When we make an evaluation, we see a behaviour and add our own meaning to it (from this picture: the child is a picky eater).

The problem isn’t in having these judgements or evaluations; the problem is when we see the judgement as the truth about the other person.

He is irresponsible.
She is picky.
They don’t care about us.
She did this on purpose.

We’re taking a small amount of data and generalising it to reflect the person’s intentions and their identity.

Even when we don’t express these evaluations out loud, it impacts how we see the other person, and therefore impacts how we engage with them in our conversation and our relationship.

When I engage with someone I have these evaluations or judgements about, I am less likely to have an open mind and an open heart. So when I do speak with them—even when I don’t express the judgement—I may end up making passive-aggressive remarks, or ‘block’ them out emotionally.

How do we exit this loop?

With the NVC skill of making an Observation, I can look at my evaluations and arrive at the data that’s driving it.

When I ask myself this question, I’m stepping back from my evaluation; I no longer see it as the truth. I can clarify what happened; what I saw/ what I heard/ what I remember.

And by making an observation, I also bring the focus back to my own experience. I can use it as a starting point to become aware of my needs.

Quote of the fortnight

Quote courtesy PuddleDancer Press

What are your thoughts on this? Reply to share them with me!

Video of the fortnight

"Oh, that's so petty of me."

"I shouldn't be so pettty."

Pettiness is something we often tell ourselves it shouldn't be—yet it can be deeply satisfying in the moment. How can we begin understanding this phenomenon?

I had the opportunity to chat with Sarah Peyton (NVC Trainer, neuroscience researcher and author 'Your Resonant Self') on this topic ahead of NVC Academy 's upcoming course 'Pettiness, judgement and self-compassion.'

Watch here:

Upcoming event alert

Our upcoming workshop on Spiral Dynamics is next weekend and we still have some seats left. Join us if you’d like to understand why, even though we all share the same needs, we can find polarization and division in our collectives; and how we can work to bridge these differences.