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Posts: 180
Reply with quote  #1 
One CNVC certification candidate that was leading an NVC workshop at Pacifica said that "needs are internal". 

I've been trying to search all over the internet to look for where in NVC it says that "needs are internal" -- and I'm finding no trace of it.  

I don't even remember seeing it in any NVC book.

I suspect this is more of an "NVC culture" myth, more than an NVC principle.

Who would be open to pointing me to a credible source that says that "needs are internal"?   

What I mean by "credible" is for example, Marshall's work, CNVC, etc. -- as opposed to some forum blog post where its someone's "lay-opinion" that this is true.

If anyone is able to help me, I imagine it could help me reconsider how needs are internal, and maybe open up new learning, depending on what it says about it.

Where I agree with this principle is that I see when I am are able to increase my ability to orient to as many needs as possible as internal, then it can bring about greater self responsibility.
I've also since thought about this "needs are internal" principle further and see it as an attitude that also doesn't account for interdependence if it applies to all needs (eg. I don't see it as applying to the "interdependent" needs, such as the need for community, water, air, etc). 

I'd love to know we can hold our NVC with both self responsibility and social responsibility.

If needs are internal, then we don't need to worry about things like global warming, or the collapse of the environment.  We don't need to worry about how clean, fresh water on a global scale is growing extinct. 

I also don't see a reason why we would calculate other people's needs into the equation when we are making decisions (eg. deciding whether to rape or kill), because under this lense, "needs are internal".

I also suspect that if needs are truly internal, then that's where attachment theory falls apart.

Or maybe I've misunderstood something.  

Here are some further questions:
  1. How does the principle "Needs are internal" fit with recognizing interdependence  and care for the environment?
  2. Does this world view hold that we can contribute to, and influence, one another's needs?  If so, then how can needs be "internal", if we do recognize that there is influence?
  3. If there is no influence, what is the point in being compassionate towards others?
  4. How does "needs being internal" integrate coherently with attachment theory?


Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #2 
I value the curiosity, exploration and learning and appreciate your question Melissa.
I cannot think of credible source but I can relate to the statement "needs are internal". My understanding is that my needs are unique to me in the present moment and I hold the energy for every one of them. In other words, every need,  when met or unmet, has a particular energy and this energy vibrates in me. Just like I take responsibility for my own feelings I also have the energy for each feeling in me.  If if I were the only individual left in the world or perhaps trapped in a very confined space after an earthquake I would have the same universal needs. 

1. Interdependence comes into play when there is a relationship whether with other human beings, or the environment. We recognize the interdependence, make our choices  with the assumption/understanding that all needs can be met once discovered, at least strive towards that. It does not change the  internal nature of the needs.
2. Contribution is a need (for me) in itself and it may invoke the energy of a particular need in the other. I am not sure if the NVC consciousness includes influence. When I practice NVC, I don't have the intention of influencing the other. 
3. I don't see the purpose of compassion is to influence others. For me, it helps reducing, or ending suffering and it is a need for me
4. I don't know.. 

Willing to share what comes up for you (or anybody else) when you read this?

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