Contribution to Peace: Points to remember

Nada Ignjatovic Savic (1947-2011) developed the Smile Keepers Program (Learning To Manage Our Emotions for Children) during the Balkan war in the 1990s.


  1. Check your intention to see if you are as interested in others getting their needs met as your own.
  2. Chek if your trust that the other care about your needs being met as well as his/her own.
  3. When you are asking someone to do something, check first to see if you are making a request (being open to receive both Yes and No) or a demand (having a fixed idea that he/she must do it.
  4. When someone is asking you to do something, check first if you are receiving it as a request or a demand.

IF NOT, and especially if you feel hatred and wish revenge, find someone to listen to you with empathy so you can heal and reconnect with your human core.

  1. Before reacting to anyone’s opinion, try to connect empathically with what you and that person are feeling and needing in that moment.
  2. Instead of saying what you do not want someone to do, say what you do want the person to do to meet your needs.
  3. Instead of saying what you want someone to be, say what action you would like the person to take and what need of yours will be met by that.
  4. Instead of saying NO, say what need of yours is preventing you from saying YES
  5. Instead of receiving NO as a rejection, try to tune into what the other is needing in that moment that is preventing him/her from saying YES to you.
  6. If you are feeling dissatisfied, focus on what need of yours is not being met, and what you could do to meet it, instead of thinking about what is wrong with others or yourself;  Differentiate your judgments from the facts – what the person actually did or said, translate your judgements/ interpretation/ preconceived ideas into your needs and clear ‘doable‘ requests.
  7. When in conflict, remember to
    1. Listen to your own needs and feelings silently, as long as it takes to come in touch with your need to listen to the other with empathy.
    2. Listen to the other with empathy, open heartedly, until you and s/he are fully connected to her/his needs; SIGN OF RELIEF IN HIM /HER AND YOU WILL MARK IT.
    3. Express what you are feeling and needing, what is alive in you at that moment, after listening.
    4. Check how it is received; if you get back signs of disconnection, go back to step A, etc.  If you are connected, go to step E.
    5. Explore or co-create together strategies that meet both your needs.  Celebrate your creativity and connection.
  8. Step into conflict honestly, compassionately and courageously, trusting that it will help you to move further in your own development and intimacy with others, and also to contribute to the new steps in the healing o humankind.

Remember that if we are trying to avoid conflicts, we are disconnected from life in ourseves and others; we stagnate lonely.

We need to learn to trust in abundance, and that every human being has the same needs for autonomy and interdependence, selfcare and care about others, so we can sail joyfully through our differences, seeing them as invitation to dance and grow together.

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