If you already know about “LVAC” from my LVAC Nation! book, or from the Cobwebs and Ugly Wallpaper book, or this website, then I think you’ll enjoy learning about the “LVAC Stance” which goes beyond simply memorizing and using the LVAC mnemonic (where LVAC= Listen, Validate, Ask, Comment.)
We already know that by remembering to use these four simple steps in our daily communications with our children, spouses, and others, we are maximizing our understanding of what they are trying to say AND helping them to maximize self-understanding as well. And we know that by Commenting too soon, before Listening and Validating, we short-circuit both of these processes.
But we should also understand that there is a general Spirit of LVAC; an “LVAC Stance” which basically says:
“Whenever someone is talking to me I’m going to try to relax, sit back, and observe. I’m going to make up my mind to take a position or stance of learning about what others around me are trying to say to me regarding how they are feeling or what they are thinking without interrupting them or waiting impatiently or anxiously for my turn. I’m not going to make it my chief priority to speak. My main goal is to Listen, not Comment. I will work on feeling centered and at peace with myself so that I can really be present when interacting with others, whether they be my kids, my spouse, or whoever else.”
Make it a deliberate practice to approach your world with this stance. It is one of inquiry, of learning, and of truly connecting with others. When you go through life constantly communicating your anxiety agendas by interrupting, one-upping, or otherwise Commenting right away with either words or behaviors, you lose the connection, as well as, eventually, the trust. Do this often enough with your children or spouse and you will lose Emotional Credibility.
(Next time I’ll talk about the idea of “Emotional Credibility”. Hint: Emotional Credibility=trust + likability)
A. Ferraioli, M.D.