Positive action language
Do not ask for what you do not want, ask what you do want.
First become aware of what you want back from another person, then learn how to express it.

Examples of Requests

Father to son: “All I want from you is to start showing a little responsibility.”
Father wanted obedience from his son, but it was not clear to himself that it was so.
“I want to jump when I say jump, and smile while doing it.”

Employer to employess: “I want you to feel free to express yourself around me.”
Employees see that he wants them to feel free, but they do not know how to bring this about.
“I want you to tell me what I might do, so that you would feel free …”

Good person to another: “I don’t know what I want.”
Being a good person (mother,father, son, daughter, citizen …)
Depression is a likely consequence of trying to be “good”.
Please clarify what you would like people to do, to make life more wonderful for you.
“I just want them to love me.”
Please clarify what you would like people to do, so you would feel loved by them.
“I start to get clear what I want them to do, but it is embarrassing.”
Yes, it can be. So what is it, you want someone to do?
“I want you to guess what I want and I want you to always do it.”
I am grateful for your honesty. Please see how unlikely it is that you will find a person that might fulfill your request.

Husband to wife: “I have never seen a train go so slow in all my life.”
Wife does not know what he is requesting from her – does nothing.
He repeats himself – louder.
Wife, even more desperate, answers: “They are electronically timed.”
Unsatisfied with this info, he repeats himself even louder.
Wife: “Well, what should I do about it? Go out and push?!”

Very likely the man needed understanding, empathy.
The man could add a request for understanding, after his observation.
“Can you help me understand what I am feeling and needing right now?”
“Are you scared we miss our plane and would you like trains to be reliable and timely?”

Mother to son: “Why don’t you go and get a haircut?”
May be heard as attack or demand easily.
Instead share your feelings and needs before the request.
“I’m worried that your hair is getting so long, that you might now see well, especially when you’r on your bike. How about a haircut?”

Checking if message is received as it was meant
Learn how to ask for a reflection.
Take responsibility – ask for support in making yourself clear.

Relating to listeners who hear a demand
Make clear that you want people to comply only from free will
Ask what you can do to support that they trust you in that

Be aware of main objective of NVC
NVC is meant to build relationship, based on honesty and empathy.
NVC is not meant as a way to get what you want without care what another needs.