In many ways this is the core of the NVC/NbC process. It’s the time when we stop and connect with ourselves, hopefully before we open our mouths or fire off that e-mail, and certainly afterwards, whether to mourn our mistakes or celebrate our successes!

In terms of the 4-step model: in self-empathy we don’t necessarily have to locate an Observation if we are already aware of the Feelings which are alive in us, but it can still be useful to notice what has stimulated those feelings, especially if it’s a repeated pattern. The next step, in any case, is to connect with the Needs related to the feelings. Finally we may consider what we want to do about it, choosing an Action that will help to meet any unmet needs.  One type of Action is to make a Request of another person, perhaps for support to meet a need; other actions which could meet the same deeper need for self-care could include calling an empathy buddy, having a hot bath, booking a massage, doing some journalling, etc etc.

In the bigger picture, self-empathy means simply accepting ourselves wherever we are, without judging, blaming or criticising ourselves. We listen to our story – and remember it is just a story.  Then we drop it, and sink into our feelings and needs in the moment.

Go back to the NVC model