In addition to the emphasis on empathy in NVC, Marshall Rosenberg also recognized the power of grieving when our needs are not met or will not bet met. Dr. Charles Whitfield, psychologist and writer wrote in, “Healing the Child Within” that unresolved grief probably contributed to alcoholism and addiction more than any other cause. Unresolved or trapped grief generates a poisonous unpleasant bodily feeling that pervades until it is released or discharged from the body. In an effort to deal with this need to Grieve, the mind and ego will often resort to some far out strategies, including getting into relationships that remind us of the ones that caused the grief, or using rage to suppress the grief energy.
In NVC, we recognize that often times our needs are not fulfilled and are not going to be fulfilled. In those cases, the need to mourn or grieve is often the next step. Even the smallest disappointment could trigger a need to mourn. In a perfect world, our accumulated grief would be zero and in real time we would mourn losses as they come up, keeping us free of the toxic energy of unresolved grief. Obviously that is not easy or even possible in some case, so we need to do what we can to not add to the accumulated grief in our systems.
Crying is usually the most effective way to grieve emotional loss. For many this is not an easy task. In some cultures, crying is discouraged. Most people do not understand the therapeutic benefits of crying.