"Everything we do is an attempt to fulfil our needs."
Core thought-line of NVC


When I was younger, I felt that there were many things, that I 'had to' do. I have to do my homework, because I have to graduate. I have to work, because I have to earn money. I have to help others, because to be a good person.

Then someone told me, that everything we do is an attempt to fulfil my needs. This means that when I do my homework or work, I do it because it is fulfilling at least one of my needs. I found needs like learn, growth, stability, certainty, lightness and several others. Knowing these needs helped me to change the way I experience the things I do. Suddenly I could say: I choose to work and help others, because it gives my life meaning and makes me feel that I belong.

Nowadays I still do a lot of things I did when I was younger. There is still a voice in my head, that says I 'have to' do these things. Yet, there is a second voice too, that says (with a big smile), that I choose to do these  things. The bigger the second voice, the lighter and more joyful my life seems to be.

'Choose-To' / 'Have-To' Cards

Why do you do the things you do? How often does it feel you 'have to' do things, because someone tells you to or because you tell yourself? How often can you honestly say, that you 'choose to' do things? And in my experience it often feels like a combination of both: part of you wants it and another part feels you have to do it. It's our experience, that you you feel lighter and more joyful, when you can honestly say, that you do something because you 'choose-to'.  Yet sometimes it is not always easy to feel which reason is stronger or if you've been sufficiently able to shift from 'have-to' to 'choose-to'.

We see the 'Have-To' and 'Choose-To'  cards to evaluate and judge your strategies, in other words the things you do or are about to do. They can help you to:

In the following examples you can see, how we combine these two cards with several Strategy Cards and the YES / NO-cards

1. Understanding yourself

Do you do things because you think you 'have to' or because you 'chose to'. To Marshal Rosenberg (founder of NVC) it was so important that people do things (for him) because they chose to, that he had a card in his pocket that stated the text on the right: "Please grant my request only if you can do it with a feeling of joy and only if it will make your world more wonderful.". He added: "Please do not grant my request if you have any sense of duty or obligation [...] or out of fear for punishment or hope of reward." In other words, don't do it because you feel you 'have to".

Picture front yes card Pause Card Backside The front side of the Yes and No cards offer you the first

2. Understand others

Pause Cards Frontside Clarity about the length of the pause is another thing, that helps to accept a pause. An unpleasant period of time is easier to endure, when you know the time, that you can continue talking about the subject at hand and when you can work on 'solution' to an unpleasant situation.. The frontside ofters therefor the possibility to enter a time or date, when the conversation will be continued.

3. Yes or No

Picture of balancing cards Pause Cards Frontside Some decisions are easy, some are difficult.

Create, Order and Like

Order 2 or more laminated cards in our webshop. You are free to download the picture of your preferred language (Right-click your card and 'Save Picture As') and/or in another way create your own card as long as ensure that it shows you found it on our web-site. Please contact us, if you want to translate this card in another language. Register now and/or go to our Facebook page and we will keep you informed about new developments, new games, new applications, other languages and updates.

Copyright Kommunikasie, Tulpstraat 47, 7514 ZJ Enschede, The Netherlands, tel: + 31 622 802 976,