The Safe / Stretch / Overwhelm Model

When doing NVC practices that take you to difficult places, it can help to remember the following model:

3 Boolean circles, with SAFE in the center, OVERWHELM on the outside, and STRETCH in the middle

The Compassion Institute advises that if we always stay in the inner circle of comfort and safety, growth becomes impossible. In NVC we often are operating in the stretch zone, where growth happens. However, if at any point for you it goes further, then growth is also impossible. When there is trauma or overwhelm, we need to return to the safe circle.

Please adjust your level of participation accordingly.