2012-08-02

What are my unmet needs?

NVC centers around listening and trying to understand what the needs are behind the words. NVC presumes that emotions are expressions of needs. When we act out, or act in, get upset, sad, or angry, we're pretty good at expressing those feelings and what caused them. NVC tries to go beyond that to understand not why you got angry but what unmet need caused you to react with anger in the first place. So, with that in mind...

I just had a deeply alienating conversation. It went like this:


kagero: I finally setlled on a piano and bought one.
f: woot!
kagero: Roland RF 7F
f: the one-piece three pedal attachment is nice
f: not standard, but available
kagero: I got a bundle
f: it's really motherfucking expensive
f: I hope you got a good deal on it
f: holy fuck
kagero: no pedal, I just got the bundle for the stand
kagero: there are no good deals avaiable
kagero: the best you can hope for is that they include stuff
kagero: It was between this one and a kawai mp6
f: why on earth did you buy a two thousand dollar piano keyboard?!
kagero: some ppl seem to like the kawai better, and it's cheaper
f: not that you can't buy whatever you want, but you do talk about money being tight
f: you better turn into Beethoven, dropping cash like that ;) .

I was expecting the disbelief. After all I could barely believe that I did that myself. I got a tax refund this year, so I figured why not.



kagero: tax refund
kagero: the kawai mp6 doesn't have built in speakers
kagero: I guess I wanted to own something nice.
f: it's definitely nice
f: you gonna take lessons?
kagero: I am taking accordion lessons. Naomi suggested getting a keyboard to supplement.
f: so you're buying used accordions
f: but a two thousand dollar keyboard :) .
kagero: yup
f: interesting calculus there
kagero: I considered also buying $2k accordion but I decided against it
f: a keyboard feels more versatile than an accordion in my brain
f: so maybe it's worth it

At "interesting calculus" I got annoyed, and it got worse. I got more annoyed and then depressed.


f: the accordion is your primary instrument, right?
kagero: I don't have a primary instrument, I just started palying
f: I'm sure you're over this topic, but I have seized upon this part of it as the most intriguing part
f: you are learning how to play the accordion, you're not trying to learn how to play the piano … I guess I meant that
f: I can see you getting annoyed at me having the nerve to ask such questions

....

kagero: [...] I had no good reason to buy anything more expensive than a $100 keyboard. But I decided on a digital piano. And then on getting a good one. Just because. I still want to learn to play the piano, but again, no good reason to go for anything expensive. I decided to do it anyway, because I can afford it.

After I explained that I decided on the Roland because I could afford it this conversation could have ended, but it didn't because:


f: well, more power to ya
f: I don't get it, but I don't have to :) .

What's not to get? At this point the defensive but-you-did-it-too really kicked it.



kagero: I don't think it's that difficult. Why did you spend the money you did on your casio?
f: it was cheap and I wanted to learn how to play piano
kagero: I guess that depends on how you dwefine cheap
f: I got the cheapest weighted keyboard available
f: and I got the instrument I intended to play, not an instrument intended to help me learn another instrument
kagero: but why buy a weighted piano at all?
f: because that's more like a real piano than the non-weighted
f: and I want to learn how to play *piano*
f: I don't follow the logic you're going after here
f: I want to learn how to play piano, so I buy a cheap decent piano
f: you want to learn how to play accordion
f: you buy used accordions
f: someone suggests you get a keyboard to help you play accordion
f: and you get an expensive really nice piano keyboard
f: if I bought a baby grand, your logic would make perfect sense
f: or if I bought my piano to help me play guitar better

The Casio Privia PX-130 was not the cheapest weighted piano available. It cost about $500 (MSRP $699) and a new one still does (you can get on on B&H Photography for $400) even though it came onto the market in 2010. It's still considered best in its class (among lower end digital pianos). Its resell value on ebay is $280, but it's pretty hard to snag one at below $300. Believe me, I've tried.

I went on to suggest that any keyboard would have done the job, unless you plan on playing an acoustic piano.

f: sure, but I was advised weighted > non-weighted
f: and it makes sense to me
f: I don't know why you're dissecting this … there's no parallel
f: and there's no problem … you're a grown ass woman, you can do what you want :) .
kagero: Sure there is a parallel. There is no need in either case, just an arbitrary decision that better is better.
f: hahahaha
f: whatever lets you sleep at night :) .

Unless it's literally the same it's not the same. 

It's the condescending attitude that's triggering, but why? I expected this, and I fairly certain I expected the my-choices-are-logical-while-yours-are-not attitude as well. 


NVC feelings:
Mistrustful: it feels like f'd intention is to make me feel bad.
Frustrated: cannot get any acknowledgement for my point of view
Aggravated: it appears that a different set of rules apply for f, ie it's ok for him to state things absolutely without justification or explanation
Disappointment: I enter conversations believing that I can make myself heard if I try hard enough
Indignant: I'm being condescended to.
Resentful: bitter about the above.
Contempt: feeling put down upon I feel contempt for f, his inconsistencies, lack of honesty, self awareness, his hubris
Alienated: there is no connection here, just a conversation where i'm feeling criticized and condescended to
Discouraged: it seems like there is no way to make me self heard and understood
Dejected: the fact that he keeps going on when I am clearly upset indicated his lack of concern for me
Hopeless/Helpless: I can't change this situation because he doesn't care what I feel,

Needs:
Acceptance
Affection
Consistence
Mutuality
Respect
Trust
To understand and be understood
Honesty
Equality
Communication
Ease
To matter

Did this help? It surprised me that I feel unappreciated and uncared for and that I feel such strong lack of affection.



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