Radio Inspire

How To Learn Sign Language


While working with the participants in my program, I noticed there were certain sentences that I said, of which my participants said ‘can you please repeat that, I want to write that down’. And I thought, I guess these sentences are useful, so I want to share them here with you as well. The first sentence: Can I interrupt you for a moment? There’s something going on in me. This sentence is super useful when someone is speaking and you notice that you get triggered, you cannot listen anymore and you want them to stop talking, so whatever you’re feeling can be addressed. I actually have a whole video about how to interrupt people in a connecting way that you can find up here, if you’re interested. Do you have space to listen to me for like 10 minutes? So I use this whenever I would like someone to listen to me, but I want to check if they actually have space, instead of them maybe being super full or distracted by something else and then I wouldn’t really get heard, right? So I want to check whether someone has space, and I want to add a certain amount of time to it so they know what they’re saying yes to. ‘How would it be for you to…’ So you can finish ‘how would it be for you’ with any requests that you have, and I like to start my request that way instead of saying, ‘can you do this for me’ or ‘do you want to do this for me’? Because when you do that, it seems like the other person can just say yes or no and when you say how would it be for you, you invite the person to check with themselves is there a yes, and if not what might be stopping them and that way you really get a dialogue and there’s more of a chance to find something that works for both of you. ‘Would you be willing to try out this strategy for X amount of time?’ This sentence I use whenever I have a request that I imagine might be a bit challenging for someone, a bit out of their comfort zone. And when I have that kind of request, I want to make it more safe for them by adding something that gives them a bit of a trial period. Do you want to try this out for an hour? Do you want to try this out for a month? Do you want to try this out for three times, for one time, and then we check again whether you like it. That’s how you can use that sentence. ‘Can I think about it and let you know tomorrow?’ So that “Can I think about it?” sentence has been crucial for me, because this gives you some time to really check with yourself, whether you want to say yes to something, whether you have what I call a ‘full yes’ for something. And if you don’t, you can also think about how you want to share that with the other person. ‘I would really love to find a way to get both our needs met.’ Whenever I sense that I’m starting to move towards a bit of a conflictual situation, I like to set the intention for myself, and also to ask if the other person has the same intention, to try to get both of our needs met, instead of trying to be right. So I like to set this intention whenever I think I’m in a bit of a fragile territory, a delicate situation, or I can tell that maybe someone might get triggered or I’m a bit triggered. Then I just want to set this intention. So that’s where we want to go from here. ‘I would prefer to do X because I have a need for Z.’ So sentence number seven, I use whenever I don’t have a yes for something. In my old days before NVC I would have said no. Instead I would like to say now ‘I would prefer to do this and this’, just to propose an alternative. ‘Because I have a need for…’ Because I have a need for rest, because I have a need for variety. Because I have a need for connection. That way it’s more clear to someone why I want a certain thing, and what is the need that is behind it. So really to find a way to connect with them about it. If you want to prepare a full conversation with someone and it’s a conversation that you think might be a bit tricky, I have a Tough Talk Preparation sheet that will tell you exactly step by step what to do, and you can download it for free, if you click up here. Please like this video, give it a thumbs up if you liked it, and share it with anyone you think might find it useful. Let me know in the comments what you thought of it, and what other videos I should make according to you. Alright, see you next time, ciao ciao!


  • Thank you for your videos! I like the way you explain nvc in small amounts and it helps me to remember what I love about it. I am very interested in shame and would love to hear your way of dealing with this feeling. There is a wish for growth and understanding in me and one of my favorite strategies would be one of your videos about this topic.

  • I have been using, "can we find an empowerment" to mean, when everyone is happy at the end with my kids. For more broad understanding, "a strategy where all our needs are met" means the same thing.

  • Resumen en Español:
    1.Te puedo interrumpir por un momento?  Me está pasando algo…. 
    2. Tenes espacio para escucharme por… 10 minutos?
    3. ¿Como seria para vos… (petición)?  En vez de Podrías…. /Quisieras…. Para no limitar su respuesta a Si/No
    4. Estarías dispuesto a probar…. (estrategia) durante (1 hora) (1 mes)? Si veo que es desafiante para alguno de los dos
    5. Puedo pensarlo y decirte mañana? 
    6. Me encantaría encontrar una forma de que los dos podamos satisfacer nuestras necesidades… 
    7. (En vez de decir No) Mmm… Yo preferiría hacer X porque tengo una necesidad de Z

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