A Midlife April Fool

In celebration of spring’s new beginnings, I’ve begun the process of midlife self-transformation in the area of interpersonal communication.

I dabbled an over-60 arthritic toe in these waters last year after reading Adam Grant’s Think Again ~ The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know. I wrote about this in my post The Power of Knowing You Don’t Know Squat.

I’m happy to say that book completely changed the way I approach opinions that differ from mine. Now, instead of arguing, this is how I communicate with someone whose opinion does not agree with mine:

APRIL FOOLS!!

LOL! Are you f*cking kidding me? No way have I achieved this transformation! I have, however, made some progress, thank you very much. I USED TO be like this:

But NOW I’m like:

Baby steps.

This week, I finished reading Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg. I loved the book. No joke. It has changed my thinking and I’m excited to begin putting this new (to me) approach in action. Here are some of Rosenberg’s quotations that spoke to me:


Avoid ‘shoulding’ on others and yourself!

Marshall Rosenberg

Use anger as a wake-up call to unmet needs.

Marshall Rosenberg

The more we talk about the past, the less we heal from it.

Marshall Rosenberg

We are responsible for what we hear other people say and for how we act.

What others do may be the stimulus of our feelings, but never the cause.

Marshall Rosenberg

It is a rare human being who can maintain focus on our needs when we are expressing them through images of their wrongness.

Labeling and diagnosis is a catastrophic way to communicate. Telling other people what’s wrong with them greatly reduces, almost to zero, the probability that we’re going to get what we’re after.

Marshall Rosenberg

Empathizing with someone’s ‘no’ protects us from taking it personally.

Always hear the ‘Yes’ in the ‘No’.

Marshall Rosenberg

When it comes to giving advice, never do so unless you’ve first received a request in writing, signed by a lawyer.

Marshall Rosenberg

This book has had a profound effect on me. As a result, I now approach all communication with others in this way:

APRIL FOOLS!!

LOL! I wish! Nope, I’m not there yet, but I have made great progress. I USED TO be like:

But NOW I’m like:

Baby steps.

After reading Nonviolent Communication I did have an enlightened conversation with a family member, during which I stated this:

"I am understanding that you feel frustrated, and need independence, respect, and admiration.  I will give you the gift of meeting your needs by allowing you to do for yourself unless you specifically ask for my help."

APRIL FOOLS!!

Yeah…no. I have not worked up to actual conversation yet. But I did write this statement in my journal and it really has transformed the way I interact with this person by changing the way I feel and the messages I tell myself (when I’m not on persevacation). This is big and I’m excited about continuing this work.

Source: The New Yorker Magazine

I’m also super excited to try out this Nonviolent Communication tip when I apply for my Portugal Residency Visa:

"I'm hearing the 'Yes' in your 'No' about my 6-month refundable beach apartment rental agreement! I'm not taking 'No' personally because I'm empathizing and hearing 'Yes' to my application! Awesome! Thank you! Namaste!"

APRIL FOOLS!!

Seriously, both Rosenberg’s and Grant’s books have opened my eyes, mind, and heart in unexpected ways. While those who know me might not notice dramatic behavior changes, I hope incremental shifts eventually make a positive impact. No April foolin’ about that.

I owe a thank-you to blogger Shauna for recommending Rosenberg’s book in this post, which immediately caught my attention with its title: “Arguing is My Thing.” Thank you, Shauna!

Wishing you all a Friday filled with fun and foolishness! Thank you for reading 💜.

“Spring” in my neck of the woods.
Mother Nature April Foolin’

All images are my own except as noted.

The Hot Goddess

Instagram: retired_rewired_inspired


If you enjoyed this please remember to Share, Like, Follow, Comment, Subscribe. (This is my “call to action” I’m supposed to include in every post. Thanks so much for your support!)❤

36 comments

  1. Happy to be fooled because really who can make such huge transformations. Certainly not me. After awhile all those self-help words start to sound like bees buzzing in my brain. All each of us can do is try to be the better version of ourselves. It doesn’t happen every day. Not in my world anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m with Bitchin over 60. Self-help is like buzzing in my brain and body. Just say no! I am a fan of non-violent communication. Kudos on opening to more peaceful communication that aims to understand, not win. Happy Foolin Natalie! 😋

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There’s is so much goodness in this post. First, I love your smile. Second, you got me each time with the pie charts. And even while laughing, or maybe especially because, I learned some great things about communicating. I love finding the “yes’ in the “no”! Thank you for a great post, Natalie!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Wynne! 💜 Finding the “yes” in the “no” really stuck with me too. Despite my irreverent tone and somewhat snarky pie charts (snarky pie is a must, right?), I am quite taken with NVC. Lots more learning to do.
      I appreciate your kindness 😊.

      (Why can I see Miss O rockin’ pie charts and other infographics in her journal entries one day soon?)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You totally got me! I was “all in” with the graphs …. now laughing so hard! Seriously though, the quotes you referenced really gave me some things to think on. And I think I’m going to try the “I hear the yes in your no” response myself and see what happens!!!! Great Post! Best Wishes, Leigh

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love, love, love your “current status” graphs, Natalie! Speaking as someone well into the over-70 camp, life’s pretty short for spending too much time worrying about those in the other quadrants/slivers of the graphs! 😏

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Brilliant post, Natalie. Really love those quotes by Rosenberg, they serve as a good reminder. Btw, I had to google the book to make sure it was no April Fool’s joke, only to see that you’ve already stated it wasn’t. Guess the joke is on me…LOL! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. LMAO about these pie charts!

    And yes to this quote. “When it comes to giving advice, never do so unless you’ve first received a request in writing, signed by a lawyer.”

    I stopped giving solicited/unsolicited advice long ago, and my life has been so much better.

    Liked by 1 person

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