The “Apprentice Giraffe” game cards
These card games are a wonderful tool to know ourselves and improve our relationship with others. It is a game created by Laetitia Marre alias Léti Gribouille and inspired by the book “Non-violent communication” by Marshall B. Rosenberg. If you are a visual person like me, I am sure you will like this game. Also, I think the way the author draws the giraffe and the jackal is really adorable. I bought these cards last summer, a time when I felt a vital need to understand my daughters and redefine my relationship with them. So I bought the connection pack.
I let you discover the little video presentation below:
- Léti’s old blog is still interesting. I am also in awe of what she has accomplished as I have been able to see the progress of her projects up to the completion of her current site in 2020.
- Léti’s official website : Apprentice Giraffe, a pacifying communication illustrated
What are your current feelings and needs?
Before you begin the game, I invite you to take 5 minutes of your time and ask yourself the following questions:
- What are you feeling right now? What is your emotion?
- Are your needs being met or not?
Often when an emotion is positive, it means that a need has been satisfied, and when it is negative, it means that the need is dissatisfied.
This is a really interesting exercise that allows you to reconnect with yourself. Be honest with yourself without fear. If you don’t know how to answer these questions right away or your emotions are blurred. The needs and emotions cards can be a great help for those who are not used to listening and responding to themselves (that’s normal!).
I used to be one of those who were not used to listening to their needs and emotions. I had come out of a difficult divorce in 2013-2015 and then I was lucky enough to be in a healthy relationship with Nounours for 5 years. These two milestones in my life taught me so much about listening to my needs and loving myself, but also being listened to by my partner. I am proud of myself for having had the courage to leave all those ex-toxics who never left any place for my needs or my emotions, especially the negative ones because they systematically disempowered themselves. With Nounours, I learned to live again even if sometimes I was still carrying within me the sufferings of the past with my exes. I felt listened to and heard to such an extent that I discovered the allure of Princess Petit Pois. A personality that I fully assume with pride and self-deprecation.
So I realized that it is really harmful and dangerous that the other partner (or any other person) does not give us the right to express ourselves and to welcome our emotions and needs by judging them inappropriate or capricious for example. This was often my case! As a result, they did not allow me to be myself. If it is a repeated feeling that you feel, you must be vigilant and protect yourself. A toxic person does not give you the right to exist. Pay attention. It also helps to sort out any of your relationships very quickly, whether they are romantic, family or professional. If the other person doesn’t meet our needs, it’s not worth wasting our time and energy on a relationship that doesn’t suit us. Respect yourself and your values.
How good it is to discover my hidden needs and to discover new ones as I evolve on my life path. I realized that it is fundamental that we are able to fulfill our needs by ourselves, otherwise we give power to others over us, over our way of acting, thinking and choosing. It is therefore important to take back our full power and to learn to know ourselves better (through these cards for example).
Express yourself with authenticity
The game is really easy to play. It can be played individually, in pairs or in groups. I tested it with my daughters, with my best friend and also with my daughters’ friends and one of the parents.
It can be intimidating for teenagers because they are still parasitized by society, have difficulty asserting themselves, and sometimes find it hard to express their needs and emotions. So my youngest daughter was not thrilled with this game because you have to reveal yourself. And that is really very intimate! For me, I saw this game not as a way to harm the other person by getting intimate things about them, but rather as a way to understand the other person more. It is indeed the needs and the feelings that define us and not the material goods! I understand that this is not an easy exercise when you are used to “playing a role” or “pleasing the other” for fear of not hurting the other, for fear of being judged, rejected, reprimanded, etc. This game ensures no misunderstanding. This game ensures no misunderstanding. The message will be loud and clear when you express yourself through the cards.
I was right to insist on this with Meimei. To my surprise, once I started, she didn’t want to stop while I wanted to take a break! Do you know why? It’s because it’s so nice to feel listened to, to know that we welcome our needs and emotions without judgment. Moreover, it allows us to dig deeper when we don’t understand the other person’s need because we have another perception on this need etc. This really helps to strengthen communication and to recreate the reconnection of love between us.
This game is therefore a great tool to dare to express without fear its emotions and feelings. It’s fun and we have a good laugh. It gives us the right to exist!
These cards have also helped me a little to let go of difficult and unfair situations that have come my way. It is true that I cannot control or oppose the free will of people who are free to think, say and act as they wish.
I know myself well enough to say that I am a person without history. That’s why I have every reason in the world to be angry, upset, disappointed even, and then sad when I hear false statements about me. It is obvious that the person clearly intended to hurt me. It is an emotion that I accept in myself in order to make myself respected. Sometimes I admit that it is not easy so I invite you to read this:
For my part, my anger has been transmuted by always focusing on the things that make me happy. For example, by feeding my site “Les Trésors de la Vie” where I can put my emotions, including the discovery of treasures on my life path. So you want to know what emotions I feel when I post an article on my site as well as the needs that make me happy?
This site allows me to express and to exist myself fully. I feel alive, vibrant, authentic and loving. All this gives meaning to my life. So all my needs have been met by myself and I feel energized and full of love.This is what I wish to share with you my dear visitors.
I invite you to look at Léti’s great little advices:
- Taking responsibility for your well-being
- 4 ways to hear a difficult message
- Listening increases my chances of being heard
Playing with non-family members
I’ll show you some examples of the cards we drew while playing with others. The pink ones are about emotions, the blue ones are about needs and the purple one is about the connection between players.
I tested this game with my best friend to get an idea and the result is really great. We came out of this game filled with love because we felt understood, heard and listened to! It also proves that I know him quite well and so does he. We had some very interesting discussions. I highly recommend you to play with your friends.
I also tested it with my daughters’ friends with whom we get along superbly, as well as with one of their parents. It was great! It created even more connection between us, love. Our needs and emotions were understood and accepted. The most interesting thing is to draw the card where you have to tell something unpleasant or pleasant and the other players have to detect the needs that were or were not met. Having the feedback from each player is really interesting and gives us something to discuss. It teaches us to learn to listen to the other player, and to detect the needs that are hidden behind their joy or sadness.
The emotions felt at the end of the game are :
- feeling of love
- feeling of complicity
- being loved for who we are with our needs
- accepting the other in his authenticity
Give yourself this gift, listen to your emotions and needs. It is not money or material that will make you evolve but it is the emotions and needs that will make you feel loved, alive wherever you are. This is how you will find your place in harmony with yourself and others. A good tool to question yourself without entering into conflict with the other person without sacrificing yourself and erasing yourself!
Read “Words are windows (or they are walls)” [Non violent communication: a language of compagion]
I love the title of the book, which I find so true. Moreover, Léti illustrates so well the situation where words are walls: 4 communication blockers. In my experience, non-violent communication has not worked with narcissistic jackals.
A book that will bring you a lot, it is interesting and instructive! You may not agree with some of the methods, but like everything else, it takes practice to get our caring giraffe side to speak up rather than our jackal side!