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Nonviolent Communication can hurt people

hobbitkaiju:

realsocialskills:

People who struggle interpersonally, who seem unhappy, or who get into a lot of conflicts are often advised to adopt the approach of Nonviolent Communication. 

This is often not a good idea. Nonviolent Communication is an approach based on refraining from seeming to judge others, and instead expressing everything in terms of your own feelings. For instance, instead of “Don’t be such an inconsiderate jerk about leaving your clothes around”, you’d say “When you leave your clothing around, I feel disrespected.”. That approach is useful in situations in which people basically want to treat each other well but have trouble doing so because they don’t understand one another’s needs and feelings. In every other type of situation, the ideology and methodology of Nonviolent Communication can make things much worse.

Nonviolent Communication can be particularly harmful to marginalized people or abuse survivors. It can also teach powerful people to abuse their power more than they had previously, and to feel good about doing so. Non-Violent Communication has strategies that can be helpful in some situations, but it also teaches a lot of anti-skills that can undermine the ability to survive and fight injustice and abuse.

For marginalized or abused people, being judgmental is a necessary survival skill. Sometimes it’s not enough to say “when you call me slurs, I feel humiliated” - particularly if the other person doesn’t care about hurting you or actually wants to hurt you. Sometimes you have to say “The word you called me is a slur. It’s not ok to call me slurs. Stop.” Or “If you call me that again, I’m leaving.” Sometimes you have to say to yourself “I’m ok, they’re mean.” All of those things are judgments, and it’s important to be judgmental in those ways.

You can’t protect yourself from people who mean you harm without judging them. Nonviolent Communication works when people are hurting each other by accident; it only works when everyone means well. It doesn’t have responses that work when people are hurting others on purpose or without caring about damage they do. Which, if you’re marginalized or abused, happens several times a day. NVC does not have a framework for acknowledging this or responding to it.

In order to protect yourself from people who mean you harm, you have to see yourself as having the right to judge that someone is hurting you. You also have to be able to unilaterally set boundaries, even when your boundaries are upsetting to other people. Nonviolent Communication culture can teach you that whenever others are upset with you, you’re doing something wrong and should change what you do in order to meet the needs of others better. That’s a major anti-skill. People need to be able to decide things for themselves even when others are upset.

Further, NVC places a dangerous degree of emphasis on using a very specific kind of language and tone. NVC culture often judges people less on the content of what they’re saying than how they are saying it. Abusers and cluelessly powerful people are usually much better at using NVC language than people who are actively being hurt. When you’re just messing with someone’s head or protecting your own right to mess with their head, it’s easy to phrase things correctly. When someone is abusing you and you’re trying to explain what’s wrong, and you’re actively terrified, it’s much, much harder to phrase things in I-statements that take an acceptable tone.

Further, there is *always* a way to take issue with the way someone phrased something. It’s really easy to make something that’s really about shutting someone up look like a concern about the way they’re using language, or advice on how to communicate better. Every group I’ve seen that valued this type of language highly ended up nitpicking the language of the least popular person in the group as a way of shutting them up. 

tl;dr Be careful with Nonviolent Communication. It has some merits, but it is not the complete solution to conflict or communication that it presents itself as. If you have certain common problems, NVC is dangerous.

hobbitkaiju said:

Thank you so much for writing this. NVC was really helpful for me in learning to communicate better with my darling partners and most trusted friends, with whom I did sometimes need help in phrasing so that we wouldn’t hurt each other accidentally. I do still suggest NVC for that to people who are interested. But all these critiques are so valid and are issues I’ve been thinking about without being able to frame/verbalize/find words for until now. I really appreciate this. 

Anonymous asked: If you want more bisexual representation, what media are you creating with more representation. Are you writing a novel, movie, video game, whatever? Or are you just complaining that other people aren't giving you what you want.

lgbtlaughs:

nonmono-perspective:

First of all, this question is awful. It’s classist and rude. Not everyone can afford to have their queer work distributed, because in the entertainment industry you often have to have an in, and to have an in you have to have money. 

Secondly, I am a college student. I’m studying creative writing, so yes, I do create queer characters and include them in my work. I certainly can’t afford to self-publish, and there is not much of a market for bisexual media, due to biphobia. I hope that one day I can have work published and widely read, or maybe even work as a script writer. But right now I’m a student. Guess what? I still deserve to have representation.

And it’s not a simple matter of “getting what we want,” for oppressed groups it’s a very serious issue, because we have poor mental health, and it doesn’t help to have poor representation. So you can fuck off with your tone, thanks.

-Hannah

oh yes i’ll just go commission bisexual characters on a bunch of tv shows i am the head of, and publish a million books with queers in them via the numerous publishing houses i own, and i’ll just create movies with all the funding and contacts i have in the industry. better yet, i’ll do it all by magic because i’m a fucking wizard

Attention: Guys who cosplay/want to cosplay spandex-clad superheroes

relenawarcraft:

OK dinguses, here’s something that’s gonna make your life and the lives of everyone who sees you at the con so much better.

This is called a Men’s Dance Belt.

image

It’s for male ballet dancers to wear under their tights. Its purpose?

TO MAKE SURE NOBODY SEES THEIR BULGE.

when I’m at a con, nothing kills a potential good superhero costume more than seeing the cosplayer’s friendly neighborhood spider-cock through the costume.

.

janetmock:

Yaaaaas! Getting all of my life.

This is from “Wimbledon” by Rich White Ladies. The song’s really good, in my opinion.

janetmock:

Yaaaaas! Getting all of my life.

This is from “Wimbledon” by Rich White Ladies. The song’s really good, in my opinion.

I really don’t want to do this but I feel like I have no choice

kinomatika:

I’ve been panicking about making this post for a while now and I’m so overwhelmed and terrified and I can’t think of anything else to do right now so I guess I’ll do it.

There’s a pretty good chance that I might end up homeless soon.

The long and short of it is that my husband and I have been having some pretty terrible marital issues for the past year or so and It’s been getting progressively worse. I’ve been doing my best to salvage what I can and be encouraging when he needs encouraging and staying out of his way when he wants to be left alone, but what it all comes down to is that I’ve spent the last few years being severely emotionally abused and hurt and now I’m being thrown out.

It’s gotten to the point where my husband has been threatening to throw me out. 

I don’t have anything of my own. I have a computer, a few electronics, some at supplies, my clothes, and the money in my paypal (which isn’t much) and I’m absolutely terrified. 

I can’t go back to living with my parents because (as some of you know) my mother is extremely mentally unstable and my father is emotionally and physically and verbally abusive. 

My friends have offered a temporary stay but I have an overwhelming feeling of guilt & that I am burdensome (even though they have reassured me that I’m not - this is just my own personal fear and confusion talking) and so I really do not want to push myself onto them.

I cannot afford a place of my own and I am not in a place where I can shack up with strangers who I don’t know or trust, and I’m feeling very horrible and scared and empty and confused and lonely and unloved right now. I even feel sick writing this because I feel as though I am at my lowest low and I do not deserve to even be making a post like this, but I am really at my wits end and ive been crying for a few hours now and I’ve thrown up twice due to stress and I’m just… really fucked up.

This is the second abusive relationship I’ve suffered through in my life and I’m feeling pretty broken and terrified and helpless and worthless.

I know that this is a huge thing to ask of the general public, but if I could get a little money together, I might be able to take care of myself for a while, and maybe, just maybe figure something out where I won’t have to give up everything I’ve worked so hard for and give up friendships I’ve made through these past years to go back to living with my incredibly abusive parents.

If you feel like you want to donate anything… even a penny, even like fifty cents, my paypal is:

nerosfishbowl@gmail.com

If I can maybe scrounge together a little nest egg, I might be able to keep myself safe. I might be able to like… hopefully not self destruct. IDK how else to explain it. I’m just lost. I’m scared and lost and really, really really messed up.

I don’t know how much longer I have in this house, but… yknow. I’ll keep you updated.

Again I’m sorry for even posting this, I know it’s ridiculous and farfetched but I feel like it’s my last resort and I’m just… really scared.

Disability Rights activists were working their asses off for my rights long before I was born. They fought hard to get me curb cuts and accessible bathrooms. They protested so my friends could get sign language interpreters in hospitals and braille menus at restaurants. They stood united when Congress wanted to exclude people with HIV from protection under the ADA. But in working so hard to ensure that my generation of crips would grow up on a better playing field, they had to make some concessions.

So what didn’t we get in the ADA?

Well, we didn’t get a lot of things. We didn’t get the right to services and supports in our own home, we didn’t get punitive damages, and we certainly didn’t get enforcement.

The ADA Is Not Enough by Stephanie Woodward

It’s very important to recognize the disability activists that brought the ADA into existence, as well as the ways our lives would be different without the ADA - including you, parents or guardians or babysitters with strollers, travelers with suitcases, athletes with temporary injuries, and countless other temporarily able-bodied groups.

It’s also absolutely crucial to recognize how much work we have left to do on this, the 24th anniversary of the ADA. The whole article linked above is fantastic and includes lots of details about those three areas - home support, punitive damages, and enforcement.

(via disabilityhistory)

So I don’t have the book near me (packed up ready for the move unfortunately) but Ruth Colker found in 2003ish that somewhere around 85-90 percent of federal appeals court employment cases under the ADA were decided against the plaintiff.

That is, not only do trial courts consistently refuse to enforce the ADA - people who get their case through trial and to an appeal are losing 9 out of 10 times.

The ADA could be so wonderful if judges would enforce it.

(via charlesdingusesquire)