"Well I tried to connect with my 3-year-old using NVC and he still hit me! He's not supposed to do that; he's supposed to be relieved that I'm listening to him and respond with "okay, mama, I understand!"
Our instructor had to argue with us at length about how this is not going to happen.
So I am totally not doing 100% Pure Authentic NVC, but one thing I have found so useful and interesting about this type of communication is that I feel much, much less responsible for how other people feel than I used to. I used to have a lot of anxiety about other peoples' negative feelings, and conflict, in large part I think because I somehow felt like it was my job to fix their negative feelings.
And now I feel more like "Wow! You are feeling really upset that I said that it's time for us to leave the park. I can really see how angry and disappointed you are. You wanted to keep playing. Yeah. That's hard." but I don't feel like I need to solve his problem. The problem is our collective thing to come up with solutions for - maybe we can work out a way to stay for five more minutes, maybe not. But I am not responsible for his feelings, and that, weirdly, has really freed me up to feel and express more compassion.
Along the way I started to see the value in having a parent (or another person, friend) be a good gauge for one's feelings. I know you say that feelings are never out of perspective and I suppose I'm still having a hard time with that. But, isn't acting neutral towards feelings taking away the feedback system for gauging feelings? I feel like this feedback system is really helpful, not only for children but for all of us.
Can you elaborate on this? Are you talking about a time when someone has big feelings that aren't really about that moment, but about being tired/hungry/hormonal/etc? If so, when my child is very tired, he sometimes has mini-meltdowns at bedtime. At that time, I briefly empathize with him, but I definitely don't get into a big thing with him about his emotions, because I think they are not due to a big thing that needs to be dealt with, but just because he's tired. So it looks more like "I hear that you're upset. But you know, sometimes when I'm very tired, I get very upset. So I think this is a signal that your body is ready for sleep now."
I feel like this is contextual. I definitely try to take feelings about interpersonal stuff seriously, but if I think that the particular feeling is more about feeling exhausted or hungry, I try to move through it quickly. (I do this with myself, too.) With that said, I still take seriously the fact that the child is feeling that emotion. I don't try to make it bad or shameful or talk him out of it - "You are not really feeling this!". But I don't sit down and process for 45 minutes, either.
(I have seen other people actually process and process and process with what looks to me like a kid who is freaking out because she's hungry, and I am not sure I think that's always helpful to the child, but I'm not in their shoes.)
I love that my DD is starting to use "NVC" language herself.
My son does this, too. I think it's kind of cool. I mean, he is still three years old, he isn't Gandhi. But it is interesting to negotiate with him. Interesting, and sometimes exhausting! I frequently feel hoist by my own petard.
Anyway, I'm glad to see this thread here! Sometimes when I talk about this type of communication, I feel like it sounds a little bit like I'm in a cult! Which is mildly funny to me, because I am just not a joiner.