Here is a basic overview of the NVC dance floor. Go here to do an easy online course by Joel Young on the NVC Dance Floor and the Empathy cards. You can also download the dance floor for free here.


This is an important step but is only internal or with a friend you are getting empathy from – not out loud with the person you are trying to connect with. It’s where you get to vent all your judgements, interpretations, feelings that blame (misjudged/abandoned etc). Get it out! Then when you are ready, move to one of the other steps.


This is about giving a SHORT, FACTUAL, description of what TRIGGERED you to want to connect.

“I noticed you went to the movies and didn’t text me.”
“I saw the rubbish wasn’t put out this week.”
“I notice we have not had a date for about 2 months.”


This step is about taking time to know what I am feeling and say it out loud. Have a good look and see what’s really going on. Watch out for ‘feelings that blame’ or ‘interpretations’. They belong in ‘Jackel’ mode as sharing them will likely trigger defensiveness. If you do feel like Jackeling, then step back into it and go for it, BUT keep it internal and use it to help you know yourself.


This is about what you really want. Take time to really sit with your feelings and discover the need. Not the strategy, but the need. This isn’t a demand on anyone, but a need that you have.
It will be unique to you because of your life story. It’s not to be ashamed of or to be used as a demand of others. It’s something that fills you up and you can ask others to help meet this need.


This is where you ask. It may be a request of yourself. It may be of another person. It might be just a request to be heard. Keep it simple, doable, and present focussed.
“I would really like to know what you just heard me say.”
“I would like to go on a date this month – what do you think?”
“I would like to hear what you are feeling and needing at the moment.”
“I would like you to figure out a way to get rid of the rubbish this week so I need not worry about it.”
“I would like you to listen to me for 5 minutes while I get my thoughts out.”

These are requests – not demands. If you are not really asking. Don’t ask – go back inside and see why this feels so strong that you cannot make it as a genuine request. If you can’t bear hearing ‘No.’ in response to your ‘request’ then it’s not really a request!


Have a look here for some cards you can use that help this process.