A caveat: all parties involved in communication need to buy in/agree to use these principles.
Check out Grok Feelings and Needs Cards (affiliate link for Bob Yamtich), which creatively teaches us how to identify both our feelings and our needs.
Bob Yamtich’s Background
Bob started out earning his degree in civil engineering. He completed his coursework toward a PhD in that industry, but enjoyed his volunteer work using the principles of nonviolent communication so much, that he switched to studying counseling psychology. He’s a licensed marriage and family therapist now, providing coaching and consulting to individuals and families.
Also from Bob Yamtich, you’ll learn about:
His favorite quote, from Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, founder of nonviolent communication.
One of my favorite Bob Yamtich quotes, regarding processing feelings and experience:
Since I’m a literal and highly analytical thinker, so I start with inventorying my own needs. Instead of jumping to what am I feeling, I take another step, I break things down into bite sized steps. Sometimes it’t too far of a leap to know what feelings I’m having. Some friends introduced me to an education term called scaffolding: What are the small steps you could take to build toward success. So for my feelings awareness, I would think, first, “Whoa, I’m having feelings.” Like a flower blooming, I take in the experience one step at a time, (connecting feelings to needs).
Be yourself. Bob emphasizes the importance of being yourself, while also discovering how to relate to others. When he first discovered his Aspergers diagnosis, he spread out his sources of help, so that he was not relying on one particular friend to help him learn how to better relate. For example, he went to individual therapy and participated in self help Aspergers groups in the San Fransisco area.
Take time before disclosing your condition. Bob talked about making sure you can deeply trust someone before disclosing your condition. Unfortunately, many people still discriminate against autistics.
Take care of business. Bob’s parents taught him the principles of decency and service toward others. For example, if attending a relative or friend’s funeral, be willing to help set up beforehand, and clean up afterward.
Be willing to listen to feedback. Be willing to listen to feedback, especially negative feedback. If your friend is someone you trust, (and is not bullying you), s/he will offer you insight about your behavior to help you become a better person. For example, my wife cares very much about me. She tells me I interrupt quite a bit when talking with others. (Right, me, a counselor!). So I’ve listened to her and I consciously work to listen and not interrupt. I’m sure other people I talk to appreciate that I’ve listened to her feedback!
Favorite Book For You
I asked Bob what one book he would recommend for you.
He didn’t hesitate.
Be Different, by John Elder Robison. John gets what Aspergers/autism is all about, is positive about it. He lays out practical tips as to how live fully to Aspergians, autistics, families, and teachers.
With his trademark honesty and unapologetic eccentricity, Robison addresses questions like:
• How to read others and follow their behaviors when in uncertain social situations
• Why manners matter
• How to harness your powers of concentration to master difficult skills
• How to deal with bullies
• When to make an effort to fit in, and when to embrace eccentricity
• How to identify special gifts and use them to your advantage
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."