Jackals are tragic expressions of unfulfilled needs.

Marshall Rosenberg used the phrase “Jackal talk” to represent the kind of communication that makes it harder for us to give to people in a way that we want to give. We all like to give to people when we do it willingly. We hate to give when we are doing it out of coercion or to avoid guilt, fear, or shame.

But this description already places the Jackal in relationship and views his impace as it were from a Giraffe point of view. Within the clean Jackal world, there is no or little awareness of the tragic impact of this way of communication.

The blame game is the traditional domain of expertise of the jackal. The better a person is at blaming others, the more he or she can be appreciated in the jackal world out there. Some jackals are so good at this game, that they turn into comedians, politicians, writers or famous leaders.

These are sometimes very powerful and their talk can lead to real catastrophes in the longer run. At first they are fascinating people and tend to express needs that ring true for many people, albeit in a tragic way. The tragedy becomes clearer when one looks at the ultimate consequences, what the blame talk leads to in the end.

Classic Jackal

Jackals tell people what they don’t want.
Jackals negate easily, especially when talking with themselves.
Jackals – while feeling discomfort – make irritating request-free statements.
Jackal eyes – when we think that another person is not treating us as a human being, we get jackal eyes.
Jackals request feelings from other people – Don’t worry, be happy.
Jackals put their needs in terms of judgments and make it very hard for other people to give them what they want.

Giraffe requires the wonderful human characteristic of our being able to imagine a future that is better than the present.
Giraffes put requests into a positive-action language.

How a Giraffe can learn to meet the Jackals

Embrace your jackal today.
Meet yourself and your ancestors – with more care and understanding.

What does it mean – embracing a jackal with care?

It means that we can change our perspective, if we wish to do so. We are free to look at all expressions with a sense of animosity or we can drop this perspective and adopt a caring perspective, that sees any rude, violent or unpleasant expression as a request for help or support, that is done in an unskillfull way.

A person wants love and acts in a violent way. That is what I would call “unskillful”. Because such a way to request love with not lead to the wished-for result and only make matters worse. Right?

Choice and Intention

It is important to understand that we have choice in every moment of our life about this moment of “to care or not to care”.

When a person acts in an unpleasant way for us, not matter how small or intense, we can intend to meet this moment with care – care for ourselves and care for the other person.

That intention is the first very important step.

Acceptance for Current Limitations

Then – we can note that this attitude of caring is fine in theory, but quite impossible to do in many moments of our life. To notice that is another important step.

Then – we can be kind to ourselves and accept our limitations in certain situations to not act from a caring perspective. It is okay to not be able to make true something like that, because we did not receive a good education how to do it and the world seems to be full of teachings of non-caring about others.

Practing Self-Compassion

That is where we can pratice self-compassion. And we can use the method of compassionate communication – looking at our observations, feelings, needs and requests in relation to any given difficult event. That is an act of care – deepening our understanding about our own feelings and needs, what is on our heart.

If we can ask for support in difficult moments, that adds another layer of self-care in practice.

Practicing Compassion

Lastly, having done this practice of self-compassion, we can also turn to the jackal that was offered to us and try to kiss the prince in the ugly frog that appeared on our horizon, darkening the sun and being such a monster.

With care!