Wayland Myers | NonViolent Communication: How to Stop Arguments In 60 Seconds + The Power of Loving Detachment

“Nonviolent communication is powerful because it has really understood some very key things about what creates a connection between people. It helps people create an environment in which what is talked about is done in a value-free, non-judgmental way. So then what is talked about is focused on what is going on in each person on a vulnerable level rather than a ‘let's have a dialogue and debate' approach. Sometimes it's like an archeological dig to get to the root of why one person feels the way they do. The outcome is a bi-directional desire to be, to cooperate, to help, and it's spontaneous.”  – Wayland Myers

Wellness + Wisdom Episode 483

Clinical psychologist and Author of Nonviolent Communication: The Basics As I Know and Use Them, Wayland Myers, explains the 4 steps of the life-changing nonviolent communication (NVC) model, what it means to “reside in the heart of the giraffe,” how to let go of your jackal approach when faced with interpersonal conflict, and how to use this communication tool when you are feeling especially triggered.

At its core, why should you care about or want to learn the nonviolent communication model?

By the end of this episode, you will understand the incredible potential that this simple framework has to change your life and relationships.

Nonviolent communication is powerful because it has really understood some very key things about what creates a connection between people. It helps people create a non-judgemental environment. - Wayland MyersClick To Tweet

Listen To Episode 483 As Wayland Myers Uncovers:

[1:30] The Evolution of Nonviolent Communication (NVC)

[21:15] Examples of Practicing Nonviolent Communication in Everday Life

  • Why it can be harder to practice the NVC model the higher the intensity of feelings and emotions that you are feeling.
  • A specific example of how Wayland used NVC to help a friend including share his honest emotions with him.
  • How Wayland and his wife were able to work out a difficult moment of tension through NVC when he shared with her that he was thinking of not coming to her book club anymore.
  • Why Marshall came up with the examples of the jekyll and the giraffe for his NVC method.
  • The power of NVC and how it has helped Wayland understand what really creates a strong connection between people.
  • How to speak to your partner when you have an unmet need and they're not willing to help you with it.
  • Josh and Wayland role-play a situation many couples face and how to apply NVC to the situation.
  • Why it's natural that you're going to fumble the first couple of times using NVC.
  • What takeaways you can use from Josh and Wayland's role-play situation and apply to your own relationships.
  • The 4 important pieces of information someone needs to use NVC to help repair a relationship or to heal or situation.
  • How Wayland tries to “reside in the heart of the giraffe” and why that is key for him when practicing NVC in his personal life.

[45:00] Political Divison + How We Can Be Whole Again Through Nonviolent Communicaiton

  • Why Wayland believes that underneath it all, we all have the exact same needs despite our different opinions about politics.
  • What Josh and Wayland would like to see from the US government especially honesty and open communication rather than just mandates.
  • The long way we have to go yet as a species and why we're like a 13-year-old behind the wheel of a Ferrari.
  • Why we might find ourselves being drawn to one side of politics over the other.
  • Wayland's views on politics and why the Left and Right may have different beliefs on methodology and what we think is important but we all want a government to do what it can do for us and do it well.
  • How we can switch our mindset and be more curious than judgemental when it comes to other people's different thoughts, opinions, and beliefs.
  • The software vs hardware in our brain and why some beliefs are just naturally wired within us.
  • I Feel, Therefore I Am: Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio on Consciousness as a Full-Body Phenomenon

[1:01:00] Wellness Tools for Greater NVC + Loving Curiosity

  • Exploring whether or not NVC is enough or what other tools we can use to bring more loving curiosity into our lives and relationships.
  • Why taking care of your own health and physical needs is key before helping others.
  • How Wayland's wife has been one of his greatest teachers.
  • The difference between male and female brains when it comes to social skills and problem-solving.
  • Why females often just seek comfort instead of resolution when speaking about their current thoughts, problems, and conflicts.

[1:07:00] Loving Detachment: Why It's a Gift

  • Unpacking what loving detachment is and why Josh is working on it right now in his own wellness journey.
  • Wayland's own definition of loving detachment and how to apply that to different close relationships.
  • Why loving detachment can actually be a gift and plays a positive role in the human evolutionary process.
  • Wayland's daughter's addiction and the struggles she went through at a young age.
  • How Wayland's loving detachment allowed his daughter to naturally experience the consequences of running away while he also kept a close eye on her.
  • The fork in the road we experience when we determine whether or not we can continue with a loving detachment or not.
  • Christine's moment of hitting rock bottom and realizing that she really needed to make a change in her life and heal her addiction.
  • What helped Christine thrive and be successful in her addiction recovery and life afterward compared to others who would still struggle.
  • The Creative Act: A Way of Being by Rick Rubin
  • The most important factors that will help a person be creative, heal and grow in life.

[1:24:00] Living Life on Life's Own Terms

  • The life-changing moment Wayland's father went through when his father passed away from the Spanish flu and his grandmother told him that he was now the man of the house.
  • How his father's childhood impacted the way that Wayland was raised to not accept life on its terms but to take charge and be responsible until he tried the 12-Step Program.
  • Wayland's atypical depression and having the need to take medication for it for about 30 years.
  • Exploring epigenetics and how events in the mother's life can impact a baby's health while in utero.
  • The hard life Wayland has experienced and the gratitude he has for what he has done with it.

[1:30:00] The Four NVC Components: Observation, Feeling, Needs, Request

  • The polarization that Wayland sees in our society today and why that concerns him so much.
  • Cultural differences such as in Holland where they don't show appreciation or say, ‘Thank you.'
  • How we can tell if a need is coming from a wounded and unhealthy place or from the heart and soul.
  • Inner work practices for peeling back the layers of the needs that we had when we were younger and why they no longer mean something to us now.
  • The impact of Wayland's father forbidding talking about emotions as a family.
  • Similarities in both Wayland and Josh's own families growing up.
  • Why we have such a righteous need to be correct and “win” an argument.
  • The three things that are true when we are angry according to Marshall.

[1:40:30] Building Resiliency with Nonviolent Communication

  • How NVC can help us build greater resiliency.
  • The current state of the USA's democracy that is pushing people to be more resilient, use their voice and get more involved.
  • Wayland's ideal world and how he believes we can get there together.
  •  The call for both political parties to learn how to engage in constructive dialogue because we need both perspectives and diversity for us to learn how to enrich the value of our lives as a result of it.
  • Why our fundamental need is not to feel safe; we just want to feel safe.
  • How, in a heterosexual relationship, a woman can share with her male partner that she does not feel safe.
  • Also how, in a heterosexual relationship, a man can share with her female partner that he does not feel respected.
  • How Wayland has gotten to a place where he now trusts his inner compass completely to follow his dreams and what brings him joy.
  • Nootopia – Save 10% at checkout with the code “JOSH10”
  • Feeling & Knowing: Making Minds Conscious by Antonia Damasio

Power Quotes From The Show

'Loving detachment is where we allow the other person the opportunity to encounter the natural consequences of their choices. That's the thing about hitting rock bottom, you can push off.' - Wayland MyersClick To Tweet

How Loving Detachment Helps People Heal

“Loving detachment is where we allow the other person the opportunity to encounter the natural consequences of their choices. The dignity of being autonomous and capable is so powerful. I always used to think that the concept of loving detachment sounded like abandonment but my daughter needed to encounter that consequence because it was her turning point. That was her springboard and that's the thing about hitting rock bottom, you can push off.” – Wayland Myers

Men vs Women's Approach to Handling Conflict

“One of the things that has really helped eliminate about 9 out of 10 arguments in our home is to ask yourself, ‘Are you looking for comfort or solutions?' For males such as myself, my very first impulse is to get in there and fix it but maybe your partner just needs you to listen to them. In the example of my wife, 80% of the time she just wants to be able to talk about something openly to help her work through it; she doesn't want me to give her a solution.” – Wayland Myers

How to “Reside in the Heart of the Giraffe”

“When you have two people in a situation of being in a heightened state of emotional pain, as I call it, try to reside in the heart of the giraffe. To do this, look at the other person and say to yourself, ‘They have the same set of needs for connection but the way they're going about it really isn't working.' For whatever reason, they have gotten desperate but there is a very positive vulnerability behind all of that front that they're putting up. I just hold that awareness and know that this is a good person because I know they're a good person and we're just really fumbling and stumbling because we really haven't figured out how to sort this thing. That other person may only know to take my inventory and try to shame me or something but what they're wanting is something that I know is good.” – Wayland Myers


Links From Today's Show 


About Wayland Myers

Clinical psychologist Wayland Myers extensive career extends from beginnings in mechanical engineering to the world of social studies and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the CA School of Professional Psychology in San Diego.

Followed by work in management consulting for various types of business, two 11 year stints of private practice, founding a hospice patient care and volunteer program, serving as president of the board for a second hospice for a 10 year period and working as a roving psychologist at a large medical hospital for two years.

Wayland Myers' Background on Nonviolent Communication (NVC)

He has vast experience in the method of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and worked closely with the practice’s founder, Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D.

In addition, Wayland is author of a very popular book: Nonviolent Communication: The Basics As I Know and Use Them.


Wayland Myers: Nonviolent Communication Basics

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About Josh Trent

Josh Trent lives in Austin, Texas with his love Carrie Michelle, son Novah, and a cat named Cleo. He is the Founder of Wellness Force Media, host of the Wellness + Wisdom Podcast and the creator of the BREATHE: Breath & Wellness Program. Josh has spent the past 19+ years as a trainer, researcher, and facilitator discovering the physical and emotional intelligence for humans to thrive in our modern world. The Wellness Force Media Mission is to help humans heal mental, emotional, and physical health through podcasts, programs, and a global community that believes in optimizing our potential to live life well.

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