Our anger is an important key to our needs. NVC by no means wants us to avoid or suppress our anger. It is a feeling that wants to be lived and experienced like any other feeling and is a crucial part of our liveliness. So what do we do once our anger starts boiling?
Screaming it in the face of the person who triggered it doesn’t normally establish a connection between both of us. If we throw our anger and our judgments and diagnoses in people’s faces the chances that they will actually hear our needs will be very low. Rule number one therefore: Provide for a safe distance between you and the other person.
In a safe environment I can turn towards my anger and my judgments at a later time and let them flow freely. A third person can support me. It definitely helps to speak or even scream out my judgmental thoughts:
“What a coward…!”
“Who does she think she is, some big boss or what?!”
“He is really the most aggressive guy I’ve ever known!”
“She really needs to go to therapy…!”
and so on….
It can really help to imagine in our head what we would like to do to the other person in that moment. Many people I have worked with seem to have a blockade to do so because they have internalized that you shouldn’t even think physical violence. The thing, however, is that those imaginations live on in some corner of our soul. When I consciously allow myself to live out my violent phantasies for a moment, they will dissolve after a while.
When I really devote myself to my wolf show, I will soon sense my anger fading while feelings rooted on a deeper level come drawing attention to themselves. Those feelings are very often sadness, fear or helplessness. With those feelings I can continue working because they can help me identify my unmet needs in the situation. And when I bring those into contact with my adversary (instead of my anger) the chances of my concerns being heard will rise dramatically.