Human Stories


I’ve been invited to give a TED talk in March. Excited, I asked myself- what will be the main message of my speech? It didn’t take me more than a day to get clear on that: Honesty.

Honesty is what brought me into NVC. My whole body screams with a longing for Honesty: Not to hide ANYTHING, to be like a child living fully transparency where my internal life is in no difference to my external behaviour.

While being with people, I hide tiny parts of myself. And these tiny parts I hide are what make the difference between the life I live and the life I want to live:  When I am not honest, I am like a dead person- I am then physically tired and bored. It takes life away from me.

And yet, it is so so so scary to show these parts I hide. For example, I find it extremely challenging to do the followings:

– To stand up in the middle of a large family gathering and say: “All evening, though being with you I actually feel lonely. I would really like to hear if there are other people who are not completely enjoying how we spend time together?”

– To interrupt a person who is talking about Russian politics, to let him/her know that I would like to speak about something that engages my interest as well (rather than just thinking in my mind how to escape the situation).

– To approach a group in the street that seem to be having fun together and ask them: “Hey, it seems like you are having a lot of  fun, can I join?”

– In a group of guys who make jokes the whole evening, to say: “Since we’ve been chatting I am trying to act as if I am secure about myself, but actually I am really insecure and I am disgusted by myself for doing it. I wonder, are you like me- hiding parts of yourself too?”

– etc.etc.

Everyday I have million moments when I don’t have the guts to say what is actually going on in me. 

NVC is teaching me Honesty that reveals my own vulnerability. I want to share 1 simple yet profound example of such Honesty. It is an example from my girlfriend (who is in the last 3 years my biggest inspiration in regard to Honesty).

Nearly each time she meets someone, she says quite soon: mmm, I feel stressed now because I want our connection to flow and I don’t know what to say…”.

This is exactly what I feel in soooooo many situations, but almost never say it. I hide it.

Each time I hear her saying it, my heart melts- She just reveals what is there in her, unfiltered. Her doing so has the effect that Marianne Williamson describes as:

“As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same”

When she does it, it gives me the safety to reveal what is actually going on in me, what I hide, even when it is shameful, not fancy, not cool, or un-appreciated. But it is true.

There is nothing I see that is as beautiful to me as the truth- this thing that is already there without us choosing it.