Re-posted From: http://KindCommunication.org/2014/05/18/emotional-fatigue/
We can’t be at our best all the time.
Sometimes there are moments when I just can’t bring myself to give someone empathy. Or I can’t slow myself down and be present enough to share my feelings and needs, leaving out my judgments and evaluations. Or I find that I feel so much distress that I can’t help but make a demand.
When I first started learning Nonviolent Communication I would judge myself harshly for these moments. ”I blew it again” or “I know better, why don’t I do better?” or even simply “I suck”.
But judging myself in those moments only pushed me deeper into sadness, confusion, anger, and feeling defeated. Those judgments of myself didn’t meet my needs for compassion, integrity, understanding, or support at all. And so as I’ve grown in my understanding and using of Nonviolent Communication I’ve come to accept these moments where I can’t choose the strategy of NVC as moments of “emotional fatigue”.
Emotional fatigue is something that is temporary and can be addressed. If it isn’t though, it can quickly evolve into full on burn out. So when I notice that I’m emotionally drained, I ask myself “what are my needs right now?” Often what comes up is rejuvenation, rest, relaxation, empathy…sometimes connection and sometimes space…sometimes peace and sometimes play.
What would this look like for you? What if the next time you snap at a friend or co-worker, the next time you make a demand to your kids, or the next time you try to fix your partner’s problems instead of giving empathy, you stopped and realized that you might be experiencing some emotional fatigue? That you might just not have the energy in this moment to be fully present, honest, and compassionate. And what would it look like for you if you didn’t judge yourself for that, but rather was curious about what could help you feel more rejuvenated?
You are not a superhero. You are not an enlightened guru. You are not perfect. And that is okay. Be curious about yourself. What helps you to relax and recharge? Why are you trying to “push through” instead of “taking space” for yourself? Why are you holding yourself to unreasonable ideals?
We are most capable of helping other’s meet their needs when our own needs are satisfied.
KindCommunication.org is a project by a close friend of Wiki World Order, Alex Leach. WWO fully supports the study, practice, and teaching of non-violent communication as one of the core solutions which already exists.