Well, yesterday we went to look at two houses. The second house was perfectly nice inside: double-glazed, nice floors, reasonable kitchen and decent-sized rooms. Central heating and shower as per children’s request (and mine, if I’m honest). Rent affordable. So far so good. On the minus side, it was right on the side of a busy main road and quite noisy; there were no local shops, just a yard at the back, and a lovely view of the gas-works. It did not feel like home, so I don’t think we are going to go any further with that one.
Now: I need to ask you a question. Are you NVC’d? No, this is not some new government initiative to introduce qualifications in window-cleaning or bin-emptying or something equally moronic: it stands for ‘Non-Violent communication.’ When you read up about it, NVC sounds lovely: it’s about listening to your feelings and improving relationships and increasing understanding and blah blah blah.
To be fair, when practised properly it’s probably great: it’s just that I’m prejudiced against it because I’ve come across it used badly. I’ve seen NVC used to suppress strong feeling, to reinforce states of denial (‘everything in the garden is lovely’) and to sustain an environment where controlling behaviour is used in the guise of gentleness. I’m not expressing this very well – there’s a phrase I’m groping for and I’m not finding it – but I guess you know what I mean. We’ve all come across people who – passive-aggressive! That’s the phrase I was groping for. Thank God! We’ve all known people like this, and I would a hundred times rather someone had an outburst and told me what they were feeling rather than smiled sweetly and expressed it in another way. And that, I think, is the danger of something like NVC.
Have you come across NVC in any situations – at work, maybe, or in Home Ed groups, or other groups you belong to? Maybe you have a different view. Let me know – I’d really like to hear of instances where people feel it’s worked.
Happy Wednesday. I have to finish my Ian Rankin now as it’s due back at the library. They forgot to tell me it was on a one-week loan… I’ll post a review on Friday.
Oh, and the first house? The first house seems just like a dream. I’ll keep you posted…