Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
By Marshall Rosenberg
The purpose of Nonviolent Communication is to create relationships based on honesty and empathy. The teachings in this book seem simple, but are actually elegant, profound and transformational.
Our lives, our relationships, our world change when we identify, acknowledge and express our needs that underlie our feelings and our requests from others.
Here is the “simple” formula:
When I ____(observation, not evaluation)__________.
I feel _______________.
Because I need/value __________________.
Would you be willing to ________(concrete, positive, action)___?
We communicate our feelings and needs through this process and we learn to listen for the feelings, needs and requests from the other person.
Seems simple, but it is actually very difficult to apply in the heat of the moment.
The book is an incredible resource for understanding:
1. How we confuse observations with evaluations— “You did not hang up your clothes this morning.” is an observation. “You are lazy.” is an evaluation.
2. How we confuse feelings with thoughts and judgments. “I feel you are a jerk.” is not a feeling statement even if it begins with “I feel.”
3. Our shared human needs and values. I am so bad at identifying my needs that I am carrying his list in my pocket so I can practice.
4. The difference between a request and a demand.
5. The value of anger.
I could go on and on or you could just get the book. Please do. You can also check out the web site at cnvc.org.