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Gillian Florence

How can we mindfully navigate our differences?

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I think this is an ongoing conversation we need to have regularly. I’m not sure if I have any specific tools but For me  mindfulness can help me understand my own feelings around an issue. I also am more aware of my triggers by practicing mindfulness.  For me when I understand my emotions and my triggers I can better understand others. My biggest challenge is helping others to see their triggers  and their emotions when things become charged.

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Hey Sandra,

Yes - understanding our triggers is definitely important. And I agree - it is difficult when the person we are engaged with might not have the same level of awareness. One teaching I have found really helpful is the Needs Inventory from the Center for Non-Violent Communication. It is not a tool I now use formally, but I often think, "Okay, what is my underlying need here? What is this other individual (or groups) underlying need?" Then I reflect upon how it might be possible to address two seemingly opposing needs, such as security and freedom, belonging and independence, or two sides that both hold the yearning to be seen.

Here's a link to the list if you're interested! https://www.cnvc.org/training/resource/needs-inventory

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Thank you for that list. It will be helpful in my practice.   It’s always good to reflect on what need I am trying to fill during a reaction to something. It’s also good to be aware of others’ needs as well. The more I thought about your response I think it is more important than ever to start exploring the underlying needs I am trying to meet with my reactions. It’s another way for Mindfulness can help us better understand who we are.  I know many times I get frustrated in conversations when I’m not feeling heard. I start to get upset if I feel the person doesn’t hear me. I need to find a way where I can step back in the conversation and communicate that better to the person.

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Hey Sandra,

I think this is something we all struggle with. I definitely have a hard time when I am not being heard (the degree of difficulty depending upon the relationship and situation). One thing my partner have done in the past is, when we notice we are both bent on getting our own opinions across and have stopped listening, we pause to close our eyes, tune into the heart, and then after a few minutes or so, we begin again. This always brings an element of peace and care to our discussion.

This formal, mutual, longer pause might not be possible in all relationships and situations, but it could be internally explored I think as well.

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