Category Archives: Nonviolent Communication

Photo Credit: Youssef Hanna on Flickr.

Checking In: An Exercise in Self-Empathy

Photo Credit: Youssef Hanna on Flickr.

I have taken a couple of Sundays off from writing about Nonviolent Communication, mostly because by Sunday evening the idea of getting up from the bed after I get Annabelle to sleep has been unappealing. This topic has been on my mind today, however, and I really want to take the opportunity to write about it.

On days like today, when I find myself grumbling around the house, finding another reason to be ticked off at every turn, I really benefit from a little NVC-style checking in exercise. I think I would have had a much more pleasant afternoon today if I had taken the time for it, and I’m hoping that by writing about it, I’ll bring it back to the forefront of my mind and return to it more readily the next time. This little exercise does not come directly from the book Nonviolent Communication, but it’s an adaptation of the NVC process, inspired in part by practices in The Mindfulness Workbook, that has worked wonderfully for me.

I was in a really great groove for awhile, where I took ten or fifteen minutes for myself before making dinner each evening. Sometimes just going into a quiet room and being still for a few minutes was all that I needed, but other times I was really on edge and needed more to bring myself back to ‘center.’ Here’s what worked: Continue reading

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Nonviolent Communication: Denial of Responsibility

I’ve been using Sundays to blog about Nonviolent Communication as I see it. I started out with an introduction, and have since added pieces on Giving From the Heart and the value of value judgments.

As I explained in last week’s post about value judgments, there are several types of communication that Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life‘s author refers to as “life-alienating.” The wonderful Zoie pointed out something really important, which is that the author, Rosenberg, is not always careful to use terms that would make sense to the outsider. He describes his philosophy of communication using a lot of self-created jargon which is valuable if you have taken the time to read along with him from start to finish, but that may confuse someone trying to learn about NVC by bits and pieces. Continue reading

Photo Credit: niznoz on Flickr.

Value Judgments Can Be Valuable

This post is part of a series I’m writing on Nonviolent Communication, or NVC. Other posts in the series include:
Nonviolent Communication: An Introduction
Giving From the Heart

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Photo Credit: niznoz on Flickr.

Nonviolent Communication is perhaps the most life-changing book I have read to date. A surprising byproduct of studying the book’s concepts has been a new found sense of compassion for myself, which I believe is a crucial step on the path to being a more compassionate person in general. I can be extraordinarily hard on myself, but NVC has given me a whole new perspective on some of my very human tendencies. While my desire to change and improve upon the things I do not want to be has not diminished, my ability to accept myself as I am today has grown by leaps and bounds. Continue reading

Photo Credit: Jesslee Cuizon

Giving From the Heart

When I decided to write through my study of Nonviolent Communication, I thought I would dedicate a post to my experience with each chapter, for a total of thirteen posts. As I write, however, I’m reminded of how very much there is in each one, and how deeply they all resonate with me. Instead, I’m now planning to move back through the book, writing on each concept that has touched me separately. This means, of course, that my Sunday posts may go far beyond NaBlogPoMo (yes, I missed a day). We’ll see where this goes!

Giving From the Heart

Photo Credit: Jesslee Cuizon on Flickr.

The title of the first chapter in Rosenberg’s book is “Giving From the Heart,” a concept that has been on my mind almost constantly since I encountered it in my first reading months ago.  We all give of ourselves on a regular basis: a smile, a word of appreciation, a gift, an act of kindness. Many times, we do these things simply because we would like to. I hug and kiss my husband and daughter because I love them. I cook for them because this love gives me a desire to care for them. I say kind words to friends because I feel they deserve it, and I want them to know that.

These small gifts not only gratify the receiver, but knowing that I have been able to give something of value, however tangible or intangible, brings me a great deal of joy as well. At the same time, my relationship with those I give to often leads to a desire in them to give back to me, and the cycle continues, ideally anyway. Continue reading

A Peace Rose. Photo Credit Maia C. on Flickr.

Nonviolent Communication: An Introduction

A Peace Rose. Photo Credit Maia C. on Flickr.

I mentioned several weeks back that I had been reading, and really benefiting from the book Nonviolent Communication: A Language for Life. At this point, I would still call it the most valuable book I have ever read. It has been so useful for me that I asked around my network to see if anyone was interested in going through the accompanying workbook with me week by week, to take our practice of the book’s concepts a bit deeper. I didn’t want this to become another beautiful idea that I brush against in a fleeting moment. I really want these concepts to transform my default methods for communication, so I’m keeping at it.

Each week, as I have time, I’m going to try to write a bit here about a chapter, section, or concept related NVC in hopes that by sharing it with you, I’ll gain a deeper understanding myself. To start with, I’ll share a bit of an introduction, focusing on some of the important concepts from the first chapter of the book.

My husband asked a question that I imagine a lot of people who hear about NVC would like to know: “I don’t think that my communication is violent. What would constitute “violent” communication?” Rosenberg would tell us that, even if we don’t feel we’re speaking violently, the words we use can be hurtful to others. To quote:

I call this approach nonviolent communication, using the term nonviolence as Gandhi used it-to refer to our natural state of compassion when violence has subsided from the heart. While we may not consider the way we talk to be “violent,” words often lead to hurt and pain, whether for others or ourselves.” Continue reading