E-Prime Week gives us the opportunity to start the holiday season off with just a little less conflict, and Non-Violent Communication (NVC) can be a good addition to your semantic toolkit. Here are links to a couple of links to articles to help you tune up your communications skills and invite a little less ire, and a little more "irie!
E-Prime Aids Compassionate Communication
by Sara Mcgrath
With the intent of improving clarity, directness, and honesty, users of English-Prime (E-Prime) simplify the English language by omitting the verb "to be," along with its conjugates (i.e., am, are, is, was, were, been, being.) "Be," which does not exist in all languages (i.e., Lakota-Dakota), promotes passive, ambiguous language that can confuse or mislead recipients who have sensitivity to subtle judgments,implications, or untruths.
To exist or not to exist? I ask this question.translated Hamlet, William Shakespeare.... Read the Entire Article
Using E-Prime and English Minus Absolutisms to provide self-empathy.
by Lois Einhorn
OUR SELF TALK, especially when describing ourselves, can have a significant effect on our health and well-being. Can it make us sick? According to Stephen Levine, one of my favorite spiritual teachers, "If we heard a couple at the next table speaking to each other the way we speak to ourselves in our minds, we wouldn't be able to eat the meal when the waiter brought it. We'd be too nauseated."
Last semester, I created an upper-level undergraduate course on Compassionate Nonviolent Communication. I came up with an idea after noting how frequently I heard students naming, blaming, and shaming themselves--saying things like "I'm a moron" or "I'm lazy" and labeling themselves with words such as "ugly," "stupid," "slow," and "foolish." They seemed to take their labels as facts. One student who frequently said "I'm stupid" started to see himself as "stupid" and another who frequently said "I'm ugly" began to think of herself as "ugly." This young woman later told me she had slashed her arm with a razor.
Out of curiosity, I asked my students how many knew someone who engaged in self-mutilating behaviors. Every student raised a hand. I asked about eating disorders and all students said they knew of someone with one or more eating disorders. These students also all admitted to frequently describing themselves with negative labels when talking to others or to themselves.
I decided to begin the course by focusing on these judgmental labels. If peace really begins at home, I needed to change the ways students spoke about themselves. If we could learn to speak about ourselves in more discerning, non-judgmental ways, imagine the changes that would naturally occur in ourselves, our families, ours communities, even in the country and the world.