An empathy buddy or practice buddy is someone with whom you can practice NVC. He or she is your bridge from the NVC theory to NVC interaction with people that don’t practice it. It is also someone who listens to how you are doing. Having an empathy buddy is for your emotional hygiene. And finally, it’s a way to experience togetherness in the program, to discuss how you’re doing along the way and to stay motivated.

How it works concretely: you call or Skype each other and take turns in listening to each other as much as possible with the NVC tools. That could mean just being silent while listening, or guessing feelings and needs, or reformulating. All the techniques are covered in the program.

   => It’s helpful if both people have their needs and feeling cards available to refer to if needed.

A structure that I use for the calls:

  • Person A talks uninterrupted for 4 minutes.
  • Person B reformulates what they heard. At the end, she asks “Was that it? Is that what you wanted to express?” and Person A can agree or add/correct something. (Maybe 2 mins)
  • Person B then guesses feelings/needs.
  • There is an optional extra of reading body language, so you can say “I noticed you hunched your shoulders when you said XYZ”.
  • Then you switch to person B sharing and person A listening.

I recommend to do a meeting once a week, and speaking for a minimum of 10 minutes each. But you can agree to anything that works for you: longer, shorter, less often…What is crucial in any case is to set a timer for the person who speaks. This way you take care of each other’s energy and other plans.

How to get a buddy
Rosa sets you up with someone of your own timezone, or as close as possible to it. She sets people up once every two months, to ensure having enough good matches.

If for whatever reason it doesn’t work out with your buddy, you can post a message in our Telegram Group to see if anybody else is up for connecting, or get back to Rose. Feel free to have multiple empathy buddies as well!

After you have received contact details of your buddy I recommend to write for an initial meeting in which you just discuss how frequent, how long and when you would like to meet.

Last but not least: you can keep your buddy as long as you like. It can become a life support, which I wish for all of you!

Scroll to Top