I understand that it is quite possible that you and I have not yet met in real life, but I have decided that we are friends.
Personal Belief: “You” and I are friends.
Do you disagree with me?
Do we have ideological differences?
Do you believe that you have negative feelings in my direction?
Do you personally object to me giving you this title in my own life?
Well, none of these things affect my personal belief that we are friends.
As we are both human, we are bound by the condition of existence we have found ourselves in, we have the same types of needs, and we are doing our best.
Personal Belief: At all times, all humans are doing their best.
For me, this is enough to call you friend, regardless of my personal opinion about your value system, or how you have engaged, or are currently engaging, with life.
I’m not going to hold the condition you have found yourself in against you. If you are or have been harmful, I believe in rehabilitation; I do not believe in retributive justice.
As friends, I plan to talk to you about my feelings and needs.
To discuss my feelings and needs, I will be referring to the Nonviolent Communication Feelings and Needs Inventories. The odds are high that if you are attempting to communicate your position in life to me, I will refer you to these inventories and ask if you would be willing to discuss, from these lists of words, what your experience is like. You will always be free to decline the invitation to utilize these communication tools.
As autonomous individuals, we can make requests of each other for assistance to meet our needs, and we will always be free to say yes or no to these requests. We are also free to change our yeses to noes, and our noes to yeses, as we so choose.
Dear friend, I have a request to make of you before we begin.
Would you be willing, when making a request of me, to ask if I would be willing to assist you?
Demands do not meet my need for respect/self-respect. If you make a demand, I will ask if you are willing to rephrase the demand as a request for assistance. You will always be free to not rephrase your demand, as I will always be free to say “no” to any and all demands. This will not change my view that we are friends.
Today, friend, I feel satisfied, but I have two needs to work on at the moment:
Movement and Water
My plan to meet these needs are to drink water and….
Boom. Movement. I consistently struggle with movement. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been on the lookout for a treadmill for 50 USD or less. I have made space in my home to receive it. But until I find what I am looking for, I still have the need in life to move and I can feel that this need is at a deficit.
How do you meet your need for movement?
What are your feelings and needs today?
What is your plan for how you are going to meet the needs that are not yet being met?
I’m looking forward to talking with you.
I’m looking forward to sharing this journey with you.