NVC Empathy Cards – Games and Uses

Here are some games and uses for the NVC Empathy Cards (Feelings and Needs Cards). There is also an excellent instructional course here.

Empathy Poker:

1. 1 Player chooses a couple feelings cards that are alive in them at the moment and lays them out.
2. Other players take turn offering needs cards.
“Do you feel __________ because you have a need for _____________?”

Dance Floor:

To gain clarity for yourself or practice expressing yourself clearly, follow the steps (Jackel, Observation, Feelings, Needs, Request) on a current issue. If it’s a difficult conversation with somebody leave the Jackelout! Don’t jump to the Request too quickly and don’t be scared to go back and forth (that’s why it’s called a dance) while you figure out what you really are feeling, needing, and requesting.

My judgements and irrational thoughts are….
When I notice…
I feel…
Because I have a need for…
I would you to consider (or myself to) …
(Check this out for some more information on the NVC Dance Floor.)

Here and Now Needs:

This can work well at the start of a small group meeting. Hand a pile of cards to each member and ask them to choose one ACTIVE/CURRENT/ALIVE need or feeling card and tell the story of that word making an effort to link it both to the present and a time when you were a child.