« Ten Percent Happier with Dan Harris

#165: Oren Jay Sofer, Practicing Mindful Communication

2018-12-11
In every conversation we have, from mundane to serious, our personal motivations drive what we say. But most of the time we are not aware of what our personal motivations are and we can end up mindlessly saying something that causes conflict with someone else. Oren Sofer has spent years studying this and has written a how-to guide to help people apply mindfulness techniques to have more meaningful conversations. He describes the importance of learning to communicate better as a "life hack" that will have a positive effect on every area of your life.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
For maybe see the ten percent happier vodka than her You were too now in the middle of a conversation with somebody forever ever check your email, in the middle of a conversation with somebody d ever lose your temper in the middle of a station ever say something? You later regret. You feel like you're, failing to get your message across ever feel like you're talking past, whoever you're talking to I think most of us have had these feelings. Can meditation help damn straight again and our guests this week or in so is an ace on this score. He spent years looking into how to use meditation as a communication tool, and just as you heard me say, a thousand times that happiness patients gratitude compassion. These are all skills. Will communication is a skill to and it can help you.
Pretty much every area of your life, including your interpersonal relationships and your work life. So this is a pretty important episode we're gonna, do book say what you mean. So here to talk about all that come up. I think this is a really really really good episode, a first. Let's hear your voice mouse, here's number one! I then my name of dusty. I may huge band of ten percent happier elephant. You reply cast every week and I find a coaches on your app extremely helpful. So thank you. Some the reason I'm calling it because I'm a suggestion, assistant and Ivan. talking about my bonnet, the patients for a few years now- and I might add- it really work. and I really enjoy talking to the patient, about that
Recently, I was out by physical therapists if I wanted to use my opponents at the rehab centre on one hand, I'm very excited to talk and teaching about something I love so much, but on the other hand, I am concerned that my ego will try. make me into the next girl I wanna be I'm, so I wondered if you have any advice for somebody like neither thinking about teaching, so thank you very much and keep the great work in thanks. I appreciate that I also want to get to the question, but I love that you shouted out the coaches on the Temperature Nap Europe. They need more love Jiffy just to amplify that point, but if you are subscriber to the app where you get a coach, a real person who's been teaching has been practicing meditation for a long time and they can answer your questions quickly and in great detail and it's incredible resource. Some were really proud of
and that leads to to your question, which is should, should you be feel uncomfortable teaching, I'm a little bit of our hardliner on this, not super hard labor, but in the mission out of which I emerge meal, Joseph Goals, teacher in Salzburg, tradition that the people who who teach in the traditional and who on. Our app have been doing this for a long time, and I said this before the Pike S eye comparisons has to my wife. Who's got years and years and years of medical training, Med, school and advanced agreed before Med school and infectious diseases, and then dead fellowship and residency in all this stuff and these these meditation teachers may them at that level of training for years and years and years of sitting on sailor,
freedom and because it's such a responsibility to get under the hood of somebody's mind and to be able to give them advice in this really intimate way. That being said, tit to guide somebody in basic meditation, we the caviar. You know if you're open about the fact that hey I'm a practitioner, I don't how much practice you dusty have, but, speaking generally, if you ve been practicing for that about time, a couple years in you, Canada, which are doing to be able to give people the basic meditation instructions. Well, I don't see the problem with that I I do that and I'm I don't have the level of experience that I described, that our teachers do and I have actually ta I've. I've personally had the question you have what I remember going to my teacher Joseph go soon saying: hey people are asked ass
He made a guide them in basic meditation when I give a speech somewhere at ok, ok, so if I just don't present yourself as some sort of good it, goes to the other part of your question, which is you don't want? Your ego too, we ve been insert telling you some big story about how you're some fancy guru well, that's always a risk and by the way, that's a risk for actual gurus. Worse, we ve seen me to the meeting movement sweep through the Buddhist World recently and and and take people down. So so you know it is it is possible. I hadn't history would suggest that even people who spent decades becoming bona fide gurus can run into problems. Yeah, I'm not going to I'm not going wave you away from that issue, but am also how can you say that you shouldn't do a little bit of teaching if you feel like you, ve gotta enough meditation under your belt, and you want to give people the basic instructions? I think that's fine.
I think, if you want to get into teaching in a more formal way, though, you probably should have some credentials and narrow ways to do that. Their there are places out there that offer certification her instructors. I believe the centre for mindfulness at the University of of Massachusetts, medical school and in Worcester does. Some of that, I believe, is a program. Let's run through sounds true, which is a publisher. I think I think that's tar, bracken and Jack Cornfield have a thing through them and you can also take a look at. I am ass. The incite meditation. in society and bury Massachusetts, and also spear rock in in on the West Coast in and check out wooden what they're doing in terms of training. People too teach. I think there are options out therein. You should avail yourselves of them yourself of them, but in terms of anybody was listening and you want to go out and just teach a little bit of meditation to your friends or informally, semi or co
workers, I don't think it's a big deal to teach people the basics of my fullest meditation. As long as you're, honest about your level of experience, are it lets divorced, Never to be there and I'm calling from Philadelphia Pennsylvania. They do have a question for you well and that Europe will be quick or not, but it goes I read your book temperature happier and I've been doing a lot of breeding ever since traveling and sims three. meditation bucks, so my car send for you as a lot These things talk about how essential it is to be authentically yourself. Is it possible to us authentic to yourself without Giving everyone your life story, I know you ve been very open with your passed by. you're, someone that but say
underlines some trauma, and it's just not the best for you emotionally or spiritually, can be authentically yours after everyone that you, maybe it's, because there is no, somebody I don't know, but for whatever reason, do you think it's possible to be offensively yourself without thoroughly giving everyone you're like story thanks. So much look forward to hearing meal and enjoy your day by? Thank you. I think I can make naturally too, that the answer is yes. Irreligious depends on the context, I think is a common sense thing don't give my life storied everybody I everywhere that wrote a book about it. If you are a masochistic one actually read that book you you can do it. but you know, I'm not walking around telling everybody I needed here at ABC News about. You know
what a moron I was at various points in my career and had had a panic attack and blah blah blah. It's more like you know. If the time is right and I feel like it can be useful, I may say something about it, I think, that's probably true, for whatever story you have never quite known: what up being authentic yourself actually means I mean just maybe not being full crap and being honest, but being honest, I think on Sunday, but the recent that. I heard the Buddha say that I think I'm gonna be able to reproduce somewhat. currently is he talked about right speech or wise speech, and you say the truth and say it at the right time and. that that strikes me he is pretty commonsensical and also was so. I I You should be honest with people, but that doesn't mean needed to tell him everything. Always
but the very question, and I can see why you would wrestle with it and especially if you need to protect yourself, I definitely don't think you need to share anything your uncle it was sharing and that's a failure to do so makes you inauthentic. I don't think so at all. I think you have to make sure that, especially if you got trauma in your past that you're careful about that alright. Well, thank you for the question. Both questions, as always, it's really awesome. That we get these questions come in and, as I said last week, were gonna start pretty soon yet and the teachers themselves to come and at some of these question, all right so or in sulphur, whose a friend and a teacher on the ten percent happier app has a new book called say what you mean all about what the subtitle is a mindful approach to nonviolent communication, not valid communication is not a term he made up, it's actually a way of, and you'll hear him talk about this. It is a system for or communicating? That is as advertise nonviolent, but there's it there's a specific
meaning of violent within that context anyway, if you're before before we get into this conversation, Let me just say that, if you're into what or an orange when it was popular teachers and our and actually you can find new meditations from him on his profile page on the ep that are that these meditations are directly related to his his new Book, which again, is all about the fact that community is a learning skill. You can apply it directly to people you can apply. in your online life, which is becoming increasingly complex area for communication of late Finally, let me just say this: he has it very interesting personal story. He was a child actor. We dont cover that here, because he has. On the pike S before so, if you want to learn more about how he gonna do station in the first place, etc, etc, I recommend you scroll back in the feed and check that up, but this time we're in a dive deeply and how to use meditation to be better communication, so I'm going to stop talking and let orange communicate here we go
see my friend he too good to be back here. So just tell me about the book I was just saying to you apologetically before we start a ruling that I haven't had a chance to read it. I have to say that all the guests, which makes me a horrible podcast host, but so just walk, walk through the voice of, and it gives me the chance to explain it cool. So the book is kind of the result of the last twenty years of my practice and I started, meditating, when I was nineteen and five or six years ago, and I found phases of his great. But every time I open my mouth, it goes out the window and what good is that you know I know that feeling yeah, so I'm so I was very lucky to stumble across the sky anymore Rosenberg, who founded not this practice, called nonviolent communication
and I took to immediately like as quickly as I took two meditation. It was one of those things where the first time I heard about it. I was like, oh, my god. This can changed my life this is amazing, and I am so very quickly. I started taking classes and workshops and eventually going on these communication retreat It sounds like a maze. I didn't even know that you could learn how to community better, and that kind of blue my mind, because you communication is the one thing that we all do in every context of our life and its it's like one of the most important factors that determines our success at work, the quality of our relationships at home or with friends, and yet it's the thing that most of us have the least training it. You know, so I was really hungry for tools and
Then, over the years I started realising that the mindfulness practice and the clarity of awareness and the strength of qualities like kindness or patients were restraint were worse so necessary for their communication tools. I was learning that yeah. If you can't be aware good luck having a meaningful conversation with somebody right, so over the last fifteen or twenty years. The two really came together in me, and so the book say what you mean. A mindful approach to non bout communication is: how do you learn these tools with mindfulness an awareness as a foundation? What tit nonviolence communication making it I get an initial pang of annoying. It's what I hear the terms like. Oh my god. What is this the soldier? What what? What about it spoke to you? I love. I love that
a lot of people get an initial ping of annoyance and then, unfortunately, a lot of people get another dose of annoyance when they talk to people who have a learned, nonviolent communication, because they ve learned it often incorrectly. They ve learned it in this kind of rigid. Form and so you're talking to someone and they sound like a robot where it feels like their manipulating union What are you doing? Stop he heard just be normal, so so one of the things I emphasise a lot when I teach communication, is it's not about what you say? It's not in the words in so much of our communication is nonverbal. It's in the tone of our voice it's an hour, expressions our body language, its in things that are even more subtle. You know that we can't put our finger on really acknowledged. Everything he said sounded good, but I don't trust him right, as We can't say why, so
it's not about what we say it's about, where we're coming from, and the quality of connection and understanding that were able to agree with someone. So so what is nonviolent communication so shorthand. His envy see nonviolent communication was found, good by this man in Marshall Rosenberg, and he grew up in Detroit in the forties and he lifted the race riots and, I think, was forty. Three forty four and like dozens of people, were killed within a few blocks of his house. Zat a huge impact on him as a small child is like. Oh my god, you know people might try. Kill you for the clear, your skin and then going to school ass, a young jewish boy. In Detroit he was the subject of a lot of anti Semitism and physical violence, and then you realize ok, people might wanna hurt you cause your last name.
So this had a really strong impression on him, but then he was also exposed to people like his uncle, who took care of his grandmother was paralysed and his uncle would come over the house every night and wash her and feed her, and he would he would it be beaming. He would be so happy to be helping and giving to his his mom and so so marshals like what's goin on here. How come some p when their needs are met, resort to violence and other people are able to feel so much joy in giving to other human being. So this kind of set him out honour on a mission to learn and understand more about the nature of violence in the nature of human relationship. To study with people I Carl Rogers Hoof.
That humanist x, I colleges he did some of his own research and what he found was that one of the key things that makes a difference in whether or not we will see violence as a viable strategy to meet our needs is how we think about things and how we speak at the concepts that we use to understand. Our world can either make violence, seem really logical and even enjoyable or can opt to say connected to our shared humanity. So what is violence? So you know me here. That word are usually think. Ok ass, you know physically harming someone, but obviously there is a lot, more that's like poverty right is violence, lack of education as a form of violence in some way insult insult right verbal. So you no one. I think you're yawn Galton defines violence as any avoidable impairment of basic human needs
So Marshall Rosenberg discovered this process that he termed non violent communication and he called it that for two reasons, one because of this connection between the way we think and speak and our actions and to tat place it in the tradition of Gandhian in Kenya, nonviolence, because he really saw it not just as a process for better interpersonal communication and relationships, not just as a way of having more connection with herself, you know, and in life in particular. These days we can get a estranged from ourselves where we lose connection with. With our own sense of purpose or meaning of direction in life. Who not only is it? Is it useful for those purposes, but it's a tool for social change or actually looking at what's happening in society, the way or institution, structured and using using language using how how we think about things to create change so ass, the context
now. That communication is founded on a few premises. One of the main ones being that our conflict happen at the level of our strategies. Our ideas about what we want in life fundamentally are all human beings share the same basic needs, in one way or another. We all want to be happy. We all want our children to grow up in peace and have education and access to medical care. We all want a sensor, meaning and purpose. We want respect understanding things like. And then are you know those those very in relative importance, depending on who we are you know what stage of life were in an hour. I d is about how to meet. Those needs also vary.
quite a bit so the process of Navarre Communication is one of training ourselves to notice this deeper level of our experience in our self in and others, and learn to understand, our choices are actions our relationships from this different perspective, and when we can really understand what actually matters in a situation, not just what I think I want but why I wanted theirs a lot more room to understand each other, to see things from other perspectives and then eventually to collaborate which is, which is that which is the purpose to actually be able to work together to address whatever needs are present, but so much of come communication. So I've been I've been taking. Some communication only sit back and further I've done
but there's no podcast recently. I don't know why I haven't talked about it to you one on one, but I I had what's called a three hundred and sixty review would you not one of those words yet worry, you hire a firm and they talk to people, write all aspects of your life above below parallel yeah, the joke I've been making is at the conclusion of the report. From my perspective, was you suck from every angle and he was pretty architecture for really hard. But who is is incredibly useful and I are very positive about it. All I ask is so for in its how we learn. Yes, I didn't have many feedback mechanisms other than Mount Twitter, and my wife and so I knew some of my demand deficiencies, but I just didn't. Have it like a forty one page report
with all these anonymous boats force and now I've got his camp Bible measures really useful for success at writing a book about kindness anyway, I get Joseph Goldstein mutual friend. bars. Great meditation teacher had recommended this couple, who I'm sure you're for you live I am sure you know them. Moody, Undiscouraged, Damned Claremont, Yahoo teach them serve basic I teach communication right yeah, so there I ve been working with a little bit on Skype and really like three, and that gets me to the question, which is one of the things I bumped out to get against with them. They don't teach envy see they just have Serbia mindfulness infused George asian journeys is a lot of our conversations, urges you know, Shouldn t he with you know why people in the office- and or at home there. Not. I dont have up
we do have a basic need that trying to be met. Their brown really are aware of. It are not right freighted. conversations are yet. There are occasionally, throughout the day a big, meaningful conversation and often among prepared for it? It's like my wife's gets on issues talking about I'm just sitting there watching tv, but I have to switch in to a mode where I'm really listening and I've. It took me a minute. You. This is a big conversation. Most of what we're doing is like hey, what store can you me an avocado or a somebody? I was there had in my office and just like terrorism, funny gossip emerges or just or or tells me about some shoot, He just didn't you know four Nightline and Bob and again. I know no necessarily that there's a need, that's being met in a lot that aware of these, like you know, is a kind of thing about elected, fax machines yeah beeping at each other? You know that our two dogs sniffing each other, but is a certain amount of like just try
action or conversation that happens? That isn't some big conversation where you have a name Eden? You got figure out what your strategy, the regular mad, etc, etc, etc as great. So if a few different things too, to hit there So the first is the the acknowledgement that this distinction tween strategy. A need is shared the languages. But it's sheridan many. if not all different communication techniques, conflict resolution diplomacy that other up, systems will talk about the difference between a position and an interest or paper concern right! So there's this, There's this sense that their these different levels to our awareness and our behaviour and what happened, We get fixated on the specifics right. I want this to happen. I need you to do that, for
those are strategies, are positions right and when we get fixated on his particular outcome, there's less space to hear each other to dialogue to negotiate we get shut down and locked into this very narrow, narrow view was. The first thing is that that's a shared share framework among many kinds of communication styles. Second, what we mean by need is really important. That word is pretty loaded. It pretty charge if you coming, It's ok, I really need more. You know space and our relations with the girl, that's kind of heavy. What would I do with that? So What we mean by this word need is not a quality of neediness, not equality of desperation or self sent
What we mean by that is a fundamental core value that shared by human beings. So the word need is kind of unfortunate because of the connotations and carries in our culture. But what will be the phrase I actually like to use? The most is what matters is what matters to us and our life. And so the understanding here- and this is going to your question- is that all human behaviour can be seen as an attempt to meet some underlying need took two to satisfy something that matters to us end. The if you just stepped back and think about us like wider human beings, do stuff. We do stuff. is there something it's important to us. We may and be aware of it, and that's the difference and that's what so powerful about this technique so when were unaware of our needs? When were unaware of what matters of? Why were doing the stuff that we do we're, not a choice. So if I dont know why I'm hopping into your office and shooting my mouth off or, if I,
don't know, you know why Hi, I'm, I don't know not answering someone to email or picking up my phone to look at my speed. If I don't know, what's actually happening inside what I'm, what I'm ultimately after what is is going to give me do I need some relief. They want a break lacks my feeling a little bit. You know isolated or lonely, and I just want to connect. I put my head in to your office so the needs, are there there's something that that's mattering to us? Otherwise we would be doing it but we're just not aware of it, and so one of the trainings is too, come more aware of what actually motivating me. Why am I doing this and we can see everything through that lens when we start to it can really transform your life cuz. You start to realize. I don't want to do that. So I'll. Tell you a short story. A colleague of mine was teaching some of the stuff
got a workshop, haven't been Israel and teaching this very concept that everything we do. can we do to meet some deeper basic underlying value or need? ah that's shared universal, so Sir John at the workshop was driving home reaches for a smoke in his car, and pauses. Ok must give a stepping out. It is really through then I'm trying to meet some need here. You know by smoking a cigarette What need my dry enemy? We links, better for loans. Relax, relax want to break want to take my mind off. She is better ways. Do nothin smoking. And quit I smoke to smoke to relax and take my mind things. Obviously, everyone has the willpower to kick kick habit like that, but that that illustrates this difference.
I wish I would have thought of that last night, when I hate a budget, Rinaldo Bars mindlessly right exactly what was that? What was would worry need now. You know, will do have a sense what you were feeling, but emotions are present all higher. Ok as little hungry, ok, attire. Felt I needed a treat because I had just taken my kid. There were according this on November. First, I just taken my kid trick or treating, but I don't eat dessert anymore. and so I guess, surrounded by all this all treats. But I have that I did want see, wanted some pleasure tat. You want some pleasure some sense of enjoyment. Yes, you know Dan needs a little a little bit of some yet uplifting. Yes right, so they were aware of that. It's like here, that's a healthy. That's a healthy inclination! Pleasures really important in life, you know it's just a question of what kind of pleasure are we going towards? You know
addictive unhealthy pleasure, or are we going towards healthy pleasure, something that actually nourishes us? so when we are aware of that, then we can make a different choice. Sometimes we like emotional eating. We might eat because we're in pain, and we need some relief sometimes we eat, because I'm where over stimulated and we need to grow and when, when you're bellies really full, it's very grounding, you know so lots of times emotional eating will be like. Oh, I just need to be here more, but their other ways to do that anyway, yeah yeah, I saw em now it's great so so maybe back to the book. So what's so? What's the book about so the books that it's a guide to her they have more meaningful conversations that bring peace. Altogether and it's a ray. It's really a practice manual. It's like a step by step, guide with stories and Exercises
and so the three basic steps. The basic framework is that the first step is to lead with presence. And this is the basic training in that you know if we were I have a meaningful conversation. If we don't want to create a mass that we have to clean up later. We gotta be here to learn not just how to be present in our meditation practice, but how to be really present with another human being, I d be aware what happening in herself out of sense and track what's happening for the other person and and not get like you. You say your phrase knock at yanked around by our thoughts and emotions, so this is their all kinds of ways for bringing mindfulness into our conversations in relationships. So it's kind of this translation of meditation. You could say it's an interpersonal meditation so like even right now were sitting together and your nodding her head a little. You know you can feel that movement
feel the weight of your body right and, as I pointed out now noticed, the difference may be a little bit in your level of awareness. How here you feel right or how much sense of connection there is between us so and those kinds of skills of grounding in being present. That's that's like gold, when you're in a difficult moment with somebody, because the mine just takes off the mine just goes into. I can't believe you did this and how com and the last time this happened and I'm never gonna again and you always made if we follow that stuff. Forget it it's over, but if we can just pause okay for summer here, you know that's the foundation for having effective converse,
patients ass, the first training and the first part of the book goes into that in detail. All the benefits of that different training tools for doing it. Things like taking a breath carrying around a stone like something that you can just hold in your hand that helps either remembered it be here so lead with presents as the first step. Then. The second step is about where we're coming from its about our into and this is this is huge. This is a really important, meditative training, so via the instruction here's to come from curiosity and care, Learn how to train yourself to be aware of our intentions? What's my habit, what's my default, and I just tryin alike,. Look good my trying to win my trying to be right. Yes, right remit yeah and then how well does that work out right? If you, if it you know
what is what does that due to the quality of the relationship? What does that, due to the level of trust that the other person has in us? You know and even when we get our way right, it comes at a cost, comes at a cost and good will. It comes at a cost, entrust it comes at a cost in Quality of our connection rights are there other ways of getting our needs, meant that don't have those costs. Just a cost benefit analysis is saying I can live I can kind of like throw my weight around here and make this come out. The way I want, but then what's going to happen next time or how are people can relate to me or what's going to be in that forty one page report right so to say: ok, it's not giving up. What I want is just be nice and let people walk all over. You not be really clear about what you want, but recognised, part of what matters to us as human beings is our relationships and we are social creatures and were contain
You will be part of our mind is continually feeling where do we stand with others know? How do they about me how I feel about them. I belong here? Can I trust this person? You know an end one of the places that we feel the most happiness and joy is when we can give when we can contribute and help out, not not because we have to your someone's threat. Ah, sir, we feel obligated that sucks, but when we just genuinely can help out, you know us again showing two that I feel great just like take a moment now think about the last time. You did something for someone just because he wanted to end and last week you get as I feel good. I just is a very small yeah like what I just die was in Arizona for a couple days with a couple of producers who are,
like one of them is also a dad his kids a year older than mine, and I left a little early to get home for Halloween and I'm trying to get him to leave early with me, but he couldn't because either pack up his gear, but I knew he had a flight that would get him in at least in time. Take you home by six, so his five year old would still be up. So I sent him a text is to make sure you got he. You know the flight had made sure it there and I was curious, deny easier, give Rollo in nice. So would not a huge that not are you thing, but but but pay attention to how it feels inside that sensitive, considering another person reaching out is that offering get if you'll get a good feeling I much more of our conversation read after this break. You see headlines across her screen all day but you're busy. What do you need to know what actually shaping your world? I'm bread? Milk
from ABC News, and every morning we start here. It was extraordinary watching here in Singapore? This is eighty sees new, daily podcast handful of stories. Just twenty minutes director coming thanks for being with us news maker, smart reporting, taken you straight to the heart of a story, starts listen, Free and apple podcast or your favorite podcast out So what were trying to do with these skills is to access, because I feel good for everyone and we can help those who are trying to create the conditions where that sense of spontaneous giving. can arise, recite Gama doing stuff for you, because I'm afraid of you or because I have to because I want, thing from you, but I'm doing it because I understand how it's going to contribute to your life
and I'm willingly thing I am sure, but so sorry, just as I did, he get hung up on that alone, because I know that I do do things occasionally because no reason other than- I I give a crap about the other person yeah, but a lot of time. There is another motivation sure, and I feel, like maybe motivation or intention- is kind of a spectrum and never just one thing that motivates our action. No, no, and maybe some of it is like I want to do better on my next three five c. Maybe it is. I want this personal. Like me, who knows rights Oh, so, to think so, yeah it's it's! It's rare we just one thing were very complicated creatures and so our intentions, are often multi, coloured and multi, faceted right, but the question is- What are we? What are we cultivating? What are we strengthening? Which ones do we want to follow, and so when we went
We are aware of an intention that that doesn't have a certain that kind of uplifting or or steadying her healthy quality to it. Like you know, I want you to like me: doesn't really you'll good when we're like right is said sense of like pulling or like a small side or, like you know, somehow you have something that I want and trying to get it from you that terrible. So when I'm aware of that say, ok whatever do whether what we need here was actually important to me. You know am I a you know wanting some recognition. Am I wanted to get ahead in my career? Am I like actually wanting to you know? contribute more or feel a sense of success and accomplishment of my life am I wanting more friendship in my life. You know, do I want more connection and, and me So when I start to be aware of those now you're, not the only strategy,
I might still you know which you and be like, hey, you got to lunch briskly from a different place. Now then, what I want- and I am choosing this and am aware. If this doesn't work, you know I've got more options, one I'm aware of my need, for I want to get back to it, two other things, so the sense of like opening the door to take to giving too that sense of mutual free contribution another premise of of nonviolent communication is that given to choices, ok, both of which are all other things being equal right, like both options, will meet our needs. Equally, I'm not sacrificing something huge for option: a over option b, giving too
given to choices. Human beings, unless there are like you know, severely damaged or psychotic in some way, will naturally choose the option that causes less harm that because we feel things because we are empathic, because we have this capacity to be affected by the world around us and feel what other people are experiencing on some level, even to feel what other creatures are experiencing. Given two choices, all things being equal will choose it doesn't hurt someone. Unless some some going on some kind of disturbance there that that needs to be healed or were addressed, So what we're trying to do is we're to create a situation where we can look at. We can look at what actually going on and say. Look how do we We address all the underlying concerns that are here in a way to make us work as best as possible for everyone
The intention is a really really really powerful quality of powerful, powerful factor in in our awareness, and we can actually start to cultivate and train ourselves to have different intentions or to use intentions, are more likely to go in the direction that we want and our life in our relationships. So second training as around examining our default habits and intentions, to blame, to judge, to attack, to defend, to view things in terms of right and wrong should and should- and these are the kinds of apps that make violets enjoyable as if you're, wrong and you're bad, then you deserve to be punished and then being violent to you make sense. Where is if I see things through a different lens, it's not saying that like was.
Don't have use, but if I see things through the lens of you know that your actions are creating harm and I want more safety and respect for myself, my family, my community. Now I'm approaching this issue from a different angle. It's more. I see, I see your humanity, I can, and I see what what about your actions aren't, aren't working The train ourselves in shifting from our default habitual intentions, which get hard wired, those those get kind of coded into our nervous system through experience through the messages we get from society. and starting to learn how to how to come from a different place. It's gonna be more likely to do to bring about what and this is where things like Neuro plasticity errors are so so powerful.
and I go. I go into the book in a little bit about how our nervous system actually gets, gets wired and an hooked up in conflict to these these other patterns of needing to defend myself for needing to win, because everything we have experienced, not everything but most of what we have experienced in our life through the education system to a family through the media is good all those messages that when there's a difference, I was going to rain in some was going to lose, and I know which side I want to be on right. So what we're doing here as we're recognizing there's another opportunity, actually that we can actually use conflict to learn. We can use it as an opportunity to deepen our relationship and will end and that's rare. It's rare
use conflict indifference as an opportunity to learn and one of the key things that we learn when we when we take that on and saying I'm actually gonna use this is we learn what most valuable skills and life, which is the skill to make peace it, but we can, all think of tat were actually had a conflict with somebody else. It made us closer. Not always the case is not always right can be a candy and we ve had. Those experiences in the question is why what's the difference and that's what the book is really looking at, what are the conditions right in meditation practice to talk a lot about conditions, creating the conditions that are gonna be helpful for something. So this is looking at the conditions in a relationship. In a conversation say what are the conditions that are going to make it more likely that when we have a difference or a conflict that we can hear each other and work through
and come out stronger on the other side, and so the first two areas of training of those conditions are one being present, be mindful being aware, because more aware. We are the more choice we have. The second is knowing where we're coming from and and train in being able to get curious. The single most powerful and transformative intention in communication, and dialogue is the intention to understand, because when you trust, when you can the other actually trying to understand you. You can stop. You know. trying to defend yourself or protect or get your way and and and when you feel heard and understood, you're more willing to listen and made here. What's goin on from my side of things, this this insight is the driving in sight of a group that I've been very impressed by called better angel yeah, their great familiar with his work. Yes, a bill was like those last name spacing in his letter,
That's embarrassing, because bill was the star of a Nightline story. I did about the better angels you're going to look it up on your computer. While I talk the better angels- and I talked about these guys on the podcast before, but they took it again, I'm trying to get bill to come on the podcast next time is in New York Better angels, Asia, group that puts red and blue Americans together and and and in dialogue and the goal is you ve all seen, red and blue sitting around a conference table moderated by a journalist and their yelling at each other. We ve done the millions of their bids, but on sixty minutes, but ABC News. We do it all the time ass. It's a calculator, journalistic trope. Well, that is not what the better angels do. They have very detailed. system designed by the aforementioned bill whose a marriage counselor Dave got a real protocol for how they talk to each other and the Rule number one is: you are not trying to change anybody's mind, that is the
cardinal rule and the point is to reach what they call accurate disk? remit to your trying to understand what the other group feels Kerr correctly did not not so that it can be all by, but just because you want to get down to the level of what people actually feel and why they feel that way. Actually you, you know you you, you ve human. I used other and you're, not demonizing, as we do often through our own set of me The echo chambers at which we exist, cannot confine bills names so, anyway bills great and will be entered on the diagnosis, someone I can find it while you talk, I'm ok, yeah! Thank you. They're they're doing great work in and, as you said, it's it's based upon this deal, her intention that I'm not trying to get my way, I'm not trying to change your mind friend, understand you and those are the conditions that we can create in our inner life and our relationships in our coil georgian dirty. Thank you
And am because when I'm, when I'm fixated on trying to put things in a certain direction. There's no space for us to hear each other, understand or understand one another in this is like one of the most I agree just absences in civil society today and civil discourse? Is that space of mutual respect and actually trying to understand one another? and it's on its on both sides. You know the whether you time laughter writer, redder blue, like both sides in general, are demonizing the other an end recognising that you know we very different ideas about how to meet our basic needs as a society. Right, but if we look deep enough, my guess is that. Most of us want the same thing as for most of us want to live in a peaceful society we want. We want people to have access to health care and clean water and medicine. We want people have access to meaningful work, you know
and and so that the differences are in. How we go about that, and so there isn't that sense of being able to shift from the the fixation the obsession with the strategy. So and its possible it's very possible, a colleague of mine facility some ground breaking legislation in Minnesota on child custody, people across the Eu a working together, they never agreed on their views, but they were able to. Draft legislation that Everyone signed unanimously because they were able to develop the criteria to say, will what's actually written to us. What is this legislation need to meet? What bottom line here? It took a lot of time. It took a lot of effort. It was many months for those who are interested you can get a bay envy, see dot, org and look up Mickey cached hands were on the Minnesota, Childs childs custody, ledges legislation, so so to get back,
the framework so we're starting with mindfulness presence than were focusing on our intention. So I always like to point out here that two thirds of this we have a new tab. We're saying because so much of communication is about where we're coming from an what's going on inside, if that's not there We can learn all the fancy words and tools we want. We're still can be running the same trip, but it's it's it's because it goes back to what you said at the beginning, which is that we can animal logistically sense. whether the person were with is listening to us and what their really want, no matter what they robotic LISA exactly so this brings so the third step so once were here, and we ve got a helpful positive intention in the conversation and the next training, which is where The system in the process of nonviolent communication comes in his learning to train our attention. When we focusing on
Where are we placing our attention, and this is where the skills of meditation are super useful, meditation in many ways is and is not only a training in intention, but a training and attention what we, what we pay attention to and so are we focus, Non things that are more likely to help us get what we want and usually our default is to focus on things that actually go in the other direction. We focus our. We don't like we focus on. I disagree. We focus on you now the things happened in the past that are colouring. My perception of you right now, and arguments and why you shouldn't and should in are wrong and so forth. Verse. is paying attention to four different things, and this is the core framework, not about chemicals. We want trainer attend to notice number one. What happened now interpretations, not my judgments and evaluations. Just the observation. What action what am I reacting to hear and so to go back to the three sixty review
No from reading that, I am sure that the com, where someone says you know Dan just always wants to get his way of making stuff up. Where that pretty close to what was so that's not so useful whereas, if someone says you know When I sit in meetings with Dan, he he only speaks about his point The view and doesn't ask people for the four imp- that's really useful: now you have clear observation about what you're actually doing or saying that's, creating this perception, or this interpretation and others that you only care about yourself by the way of a is your major wipers. Tremendous is your major point three hundred to the larger point: having toward means. You remained at my my boy, you're, making me now inaction, they feel better. The guy at a meeting asking for about the other people's input, the, rather than just spouting, whatever happens to be neurotic obsession that is flitting through your brain,
because you want the unemployed, because in the end, product can be better fascinated by the way that process is more enjoyable IRA. on, not being a jerk, you say much more enjoyable way to live, yeah yeah that and that goes deck goes back to intention to the sense of you know what are we ultimately after here and and what's the best way to get it? You know and it is that the outcomes are better when we take other people's perspectives, an input into consideration. Like it s more, enjoy, looks not fighting we're. Not you know rigid and narrow and kind of tents inside, because we need this thing to happen. It's more like we're. Here's my idea, buxom holes in it. tell me tell me, you know what you what you think it is the important in the workplace particular when there's a power differential in of one person. If someone as more powers wanting to use these tools to make it really easy for other people to dissent. Guess I well, I was doing the former and then find that doing the latter it is I was I was. I was
and I'm probably still do so of this pantomiming- a desire for people to poke holes, but really wanting to just get my way right. But I found that DR doing a little bit more of the latter, which is like yeah. Let's just how me figure, this out is redounds to my benefit like massively nearly ruined my relationships, but also in the end product, yeah, exactly and and also through its relation relationship, the quality of the work and also the quality of my life in those moments. Yeah? I just annoying with this I mean this is this is this is why we cannot just swagger around telling people what to do. You don't have to answer. I want to because its cause? It's it's a question. I think of have somewhere deep down inside of like. Why can't I control my world so actually profound question
you now, because we have this experience of. There are certain things we can control. We do have influence in certain areas right predicted over our body. You know, depending on our level of health or ability, but you know we can move around. We can, you know, eat this, her walk there do that. But then you know we start to realize the rest of the world doesn't obey my will and that's inexperience of frustration. That's called Duke of Buddhist world stressful, and so you know what what opening their from the from the perspective of contemplative practices that the universe is giving us feedback. The universe is telling us Siena Warren you're not in charge here. Actually and the more you try to control this. The more you gonna suffer what happens
you let Go- and this is this is where you know letting go, doesn't mean giving up what's important to us. It means that we understand the limits of our influence, but there's also something I don't know. If I'm going to be able to articulate this- and I might be about to make an idiot of myself, which is common on my own show, There's something about being a lie. What I like about Buddhism again, not that a mark, a religious Buddhists, but I I see Buddhism like I see journalism, it's a thing I do, but I like about Buddhism is that you are aligning with small t. True, if, like the universe is telling you actually, it feels better not to be right. The universe is telling you you. If you are a lining yourself with the way things are you're, gonna, love or less yet exactly so so so that the model here of Communication is
is helping us to do that in our interpersonal relationships, is helping us to align with the way things are. So let me just run down it here, so these four steps within this third were in third partner. It out with retraining, were training our attention. What are we focusing on refocusing on four things? One? What happened was the observation to. How do I feel about it? Wouldn't RO the emotions that are going on me now, what telling myself you did to me. I feel betrayed attacked, manipulated those aren't. Emotions are stored is about what you're doing to me. How do I actually feel do I feel, hurt too, I feel frustrated I feel annoy shall confused. Do I feel a frightened, panicked, we're not always sharing that with other people. Does it's not always appropriate depending on the context, but are we aware If we're not aware of what were feeling we're, just reacting to the
all around us and were living in the stories that were creating, so what happened? How do I feel about it? Third, why? What matters there's the needs. Why? Why are these feelings going on? Why did this particular behaviour? This particular action has particular statement. This party the situation, why why even thinking about this, If there wasn't something that mattered to me, I wouldn't be. I would be wasting my time here, being aware of what actually matters to me and then last. So what? Where do I go from here? What's next, What what I want to ask of this person in this moment right now, what can I do to move this conversation or problem forward one step, not the ultimate solution, not the end point, but just right here right now. How do I create a little bit more understanding and connection together so that we can figure this out so we're trying to train our attention to identify those components of our experience into here,
That from someone else- and this is really this is really huge, so attention is one of our most valuable resources, my soul, and we know today that in others mill of dollars, going into persuasive technology to capture and retain our attention on our devices and the result is this kind of massive, tragic fragmentation of our mind. Where were where our attention span, as is short, were pulled in a million different directions, and ten, if the whole, you know our minds are so malleable and and and impressionable, and so what we pay attention to will shape our mind. Whatever we give attention to. That's gonna become the dominant theme of our consciousness so
where we place. Our attention is really important. as human beings, one of the one of the key insights that we have and contemplative practice is. When I'm aware I can choose where I put my attention, And it's it's a super small subtle thing: it's like! What's the big difference, if I pay attention to my thoughts or listen to the sounds around me or feel my body what it makes a huge difference, because, depending on what we're paying attention to that's influencing the whole internal atmosphere and landscape of our mind, and so were training ourselves to actually choose where we put our attention in conversation and putting our attention in places that are more likely to help us understand one another and figure, things out and so where, where this comes in is
not only in how we express ourselves so being without being able to say to something I hate when you know when you came to me. Office in, and you said that thing I was stupid, confusion, com perturbed I'm really wanting us to work together on this project and move things forward. in a way will where we're both having him there's the need in a really colloquial way and one in collaboration and teamwork. But I'm not saying I need clean Operation and teamwork- norms- Empta Tony, was important to me, like you know, wants to work together and make sure that we have checkpoints where we're both giving input in Savannah, going to make a request requesting soliciting up, can we talk a little bit more about the workflow and how we handle these choice points? I'm not I'm not good cutting straight to the chase. To the end was when the mistakes we make, we we focus a like. I need you to do this. Dial it back a little bit. You know where this is gonna go.
We just have a conversation about this. We explore this summer. I want understand where you're coming from me, You had a reason that I didn't know about. I tell you a little bit more about where I'm coming from the make sure that I'm being clear- and you understand me thus expressing yourself the other side of it- is obviously listening hearing where someone out where someone else's coming from- and this is where the two. Sir. I'm pretty amazing and transformative when we can use them in a natural way. what things Marshall Rosemary used to say that I love it. He said never listened to what people think about you, You'll live longer, enjoy your life! More Instead of listening to the judgments that people have you're so selfish, your arrogant, you know or you're whatever stories of people telling us all their judges list was listen matters to them. Listen, how their feeling and listen what they need obvious We know you did or says something at work for them. but the judgment in the blame it s just does just their interpretations so
All judgments. can be understood as a kind of counter productive and tragic expression of our unmet needs, This is how we ve learned to express something ones, not working for us so of year. If you're late- and you know I feel, hurt and offended mean I might have a judgment- you know like you're, you mean disrespectful and ah here you know only only care about yourself, thank you know the world revolves around you. Why are you here that use their yours? I'm so sorry sounds like you know. It didn't work for you,
really hearing you want some more respect for your time, want to know that you know I'm I'm taking you into consideration. I ask that right so can defuse a situation. I won DR. I was working with doing some training works and addiction medicine at a patient screaming at em cause he needed to cut off as some his opium the prescription was over need to transition out within five or ten minutes of using these tools of just reflecting back to the person what he was hearing. What matters to you, how you're feeling you know really really want some choice over your care really hearing, you know you're in a lot of pain and to make sure that that you have some relief and get that you know. Guy was smiling and laughing these are powerful tools for for understanding one another and transforming our complex and relationships. I agree Bolivia's get back to with a question, I asked the beginning that we naturally close out grant which is alive of our conversations? Aren't you know some,
screaming at yes, a lot of us, it's just like whatever you were just chatting in the office or having transactional discussion when my wife about who's gonna. Do what visa fee, the kid or whatever you call that one I could is below but more afraid, then Just how sitting around I was disguised, I told you I was on a shoot in Arizona with no right to producers I really like, and we had a lot spare time were around talk and its great, so I dont know what what what are the needs in those moments right, so that's it two things. So one of those Are the moments that we train. It's really hard to learn the stuff when you're in a conflict, because every going bonkers inside alarm bells are going off. Your hormones are rushing. There's emotions like oh, my god. I figure this out in persons mad at me. That's the time to try to learn how to communicate. You know If you want to learn to swim, you don't jump in the ocean and the stormy day you got pool and shallow, and so those,
like, really relaxed thing conversations. That's restart, restart training yourself just to see if I can be present. can I stay aware. Warm just shoot. The breeze was somebody great great training, ground low stakes, you know doesn't matter, you can take your time. You can practice pausing. You know where my coming from can start to be aware of. My intentions can start to be air of my need, so a lot of our Chit chat is meat. a very important need for us as human beings, which is a need for healthy social connection. So full engagement is activated the parasympathetic nervous system when. Look at another human being when we talk in we listen all the neural architecture there of the It's the vaguest nerve stimulates parasympathetic nervous system and it helps us to regulate and her. Action has called co regulation when we're here, easy light conversation it soothing for a nervous system.
So we're meeting a very, very number, really basic important needs for connection for belonging for enjoyment. For a sense of ease. Those are really really good for us as human beings, We need a lot of that. We need more of that. No, we don't do that enough in our life these days, because everything is so mechanized and systematized. An instant touch screen get there right now, we're not chatting good were were Instagram, right exactly, and so that's one of the that's gonna like this. That's one of the things that were trying to learn and to shift and to shift out of with these tools is to recognise that conversation is an organic process. It's not instagram or twitter. It's not a touch screen, it's not a text message. It takes time you have to listen. You ve got a pause if to breathe it it doesn't go in a straight line. You know so were come. back into our bodies, coming back into the natural world of you got to the forest,
walk in a partner straight lines, everything's. You know this way in that way and upside down and us we're conversations like it's a mess, but we can to be at ease and to Vienna flow with that mass were coming toward the end here, but is- and I want to do- I wanna let down what you plug away as we do with all of our guests like everything you got going, but is very him before we do that that weave any big thing. We missed that we should talk about his paws and say spine zone techniques. Really, I can think of one thing, but I don't know if it's too big of an issue to cover their remaining time. What a I day, the one that comes to my mind and then you can. You can throw yours out there that the one thing that that that I
When I say like, if there's one message that I want people to take away from listening to this, it's that communication is a learning skill and it's one of the most. You know lumpy autograph hacks, like life hacks ruling and for a life hack that will have. a positive effect on every area of your life learn to communicate better. It's the most powerful lever for positive change in your life, because we do it everywhere and its and it's it's very accessible edge. So so in line with your mice, central thesis as a public figure, which is that all of the things we want our skills. You know happiness nations in gratitude, generosity, right focus, Yankees are all
hills when and because of their brains, capacity. Tat learn because of a narrow path. the city we can, we can actually through behaviour. through how we use our attention, how we apply our intention. We can develop these capacities. So your your question or point guess I don't know if this will be. We can do this quick enough, given that I was late for this and we both have Devon Pitts. So if, by the way, I was not offended at all that you were late, can I give you a heads up in advance? You did and Anna's I'm totally yes, my schedule, but I did. I did have the wherewithal to tell you and Ryan Husa reducing the show that I was going to be a little bit late. can we apply these skills. You talked about Instagram and how we gonna pick on Instagram, but online
error? Facebook? I can we absolutely. I hope. So absolutely I mean a mail, so so I think we can address this briefly and and I'll say- two or three things so number one email. And social media are generally tone deaf mediums, it's practically impossible to read the tone of someone's voice or where they're coming from It's an odious and gifts and sends emerges and gifts and if there's my rule of thumb, and I have learned this the hard way more. More times than I care to admit, if there's anything emotionally charged about the interaction pick up the phone or get together in person, don't try to do it over email. Obviously, there exceptions because some
I am sure you know it's like its. It is easier to do it in writing, because it's too charged in person and then you have more time to kind of think things through at a different situation in general. Don't try to have difficult or meaningful conversations over. Over email, because you can because it's so ripe for misunderstanding, because you can't read tone thus number one number, two and all of the skills apply, so presence training in mindfulness. Just that ability to pause before you hit send. Oh, my God back in again, like I generally consider myself fairly adapt learner. It is I give me so long to learn when I've got that feeling and I've just written and amount of a girl. You noticed ok or an let's just leave the draft and come back to that tomorrow and re, read it and see if I get ascended or not or change it, while with Islam Wilbur it.
and you know I've learned. I've learned the hard way if you know of one emo and then you ve got like you know what it. What is it like weeks of cleaning up the mess with somebody where it turns into ten e mails? Are three phone calls and immediately cheese? I only had not sent that one else would just pausing if we did that we would change our online relationship a lot. So that's one. And then using these other tools are really checking aware. My coming from here we're gonna energy, my putting out there into the world with this message. What am I modeling Am I modeling the values that I want to see in the world? In my modeling respect, empathy, kindness, patience, mutual understanding, you know and we can start to actually communicate in those ways online, with with choosing our words more carefully being aware of our intention and taking time to pause and slow down.
We did you did you did handle that quickly, so plug zone was done about yeah when everything play yeah yeah, so I am super excited. I turned forty last year and I ve got a book coming out. It's such a great gift to slay and I'm just really, I'm really I'm really thrilled to share these tools with people at such. An amazing thing like wish everyone had these tools. I wish everyone knew about this stuff so because called say what you mean a mindful approach to nonviolent communication communication, its Ansell now in its available December eleventh, it will be dropping, there's a ton, a great gifts that come with it, including some free access to ten percent happier after my courses and guide meditations on the app so say what you mean is available for purchase and non sale December. Eleventh otherwise, the best way to stay in touch and learn more about my teaching and my work is through my newsletter. Irene
To personal emails a month and send out a guided meditation or an article or a link to a free event. And the best way to get on my newsletter is too is just through tax message so and you get the six free, guided meditations islands and free e book, a bunch of gifts when you subscribes to the best way to do that is to just text the word guided gee you, I d like guided meditations at a text that one word guided to the number or for two to two and a text message to walk you through the steps known to man. Later in my website is Orange J, so for dot com. If you want to learn more, they really happy to hear from you and stay in touch o r n J, a Y s o F, hear from you got it Dhaka. That's right! Awesome thanks! So much for having asked him to see you again
Ok, that does it for another edition of the ten percent happier podcast. If you liked it, please take a minute to subscribe rate us also. If you wanna suggests topics, you think we should cover or guests that we should bring in hit me up on twitter at Danby. Harris importantly, I want to thank the people who produce this project. Lauren Efron Josh, CO hand and the rest of the folks here and be see who helped make this thing possible. We have tons of other projects. You can check them out at ABC. Pod casts dot com, I'll talk to you next Wednesday, there's not a person in America who hasn't been impact it in some way by the corona, I was pandemic, but it every community. There are pockets of people who were soon
every day. This is my last day of the cylinder stretch to drive off about photos from one of our Visa or America's essential workers, the people who are keeping moving. I turn into a home school mom and now in a new programmes from eighty see news you gonna hear from damage. I she went back to my office and so unkind because he is not here, and I can assure you that our community has found faintly worrying. This is essentially inside the from the emergency room. The police cruiser to the Czech outline Yuki one. This pandemic sounds like the people putting themselves no one's way, there's always a risk. Brain is home to re. Kids are my husband or maybe errands, listen to the essentials inside the curve on Apple podcast, river, pod, costume.