(5.4) Relationship Audits

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Does This Relationship Meet My Needs?

Each of us has many kinds of relationships. You may or may not have a romantic relationship right now, but I imagine you have some kind of relationships: family, neighbors, friends, dogs, etc. or have had some in the past.

Pick 1-3 of your most important relationships, the ones that currently impact your life the most. Technically you can do these audits for relationships with people or dogs who are no longer among the living, but it probably helps to start with beings who are alive. We’ll cover grief and transitions in the next section of this course.

For each relationship, print out two copies of the NVC Needs Inventory. Start with your role in the relationship.

Pay attention to how your chest and stomach feel as you read each one, how your breathing changes and any other body sensation.

  • Go through the list once and Circle the needs that you believe the relationship with you meets for the other person. Take the time to savor the experience of helping that person meet their, and imagining how it feels to them to have that need met.
  • Underline the needs that the relationship doesn’t meet for the other person. Relationships don’t have to meet every need!  Notice if there are any needs that you are capable of or interested in meeting, but are not doing. At some point, ponder why you are not doing so.
  • Put a star (*) next to the needs that you believe you are interfering with for the other person. Is your relationship truly blocking the meeting of that need, or does it just require some creativity and adaptation on their part, to find a strategy to meet their need allows your relationship to thrive? If your behavior is interfering with them meeting their needs, is there a behavior or habit that you could change?

Repeat from the other direction, assessing whether the relationship meets your needs.

Go over the first list again. Then consider whether it would be useful to discuss your findings with the other person in the relationship, possibly using your NVC skills.

In what ways could the relationship change so that it doesn’t interfere with either party meeting their needs?

In what ways could the relationship change so that it might help both parties meet more of their needs, or in more satisfying ways?

BONUS: Do this activity for the relationship with your inner child