Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B. Rosenberg
“If ‘violent’ means acting in ways that result in hurt or harm, then much of how we communicate could indeed be called ‘violent’ communication.”Words matter. Find common ground with anyone, anywhere, at any time, both personally and professionally.
At one point in time I confessed to my parents I did not know how to communicate. I felt alone in my feelings in fear to express them to anyone. After a very hard conversation I realized my fear was a false construct created by me.
“It felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders” I said after years of not having the courage to express how I felt, and saying yes only to please other people.
I realized that fear was a doorway showing me the entire time what I needed to do. How to communicate and truly hear what another person is saying. Making a connection on a deeper level by Observing, Feeling, Needing, and Requesting.
It’s very easy to pick up on when someone is not listening, or when there is no connection. Sometimes we are hesitant to converse with other people because we get caught in a cycle of small talk. “How are you”, “I am good, how are you”, “I’m good.” Awkward pause.. We all want to be understood and it starts with the understanding of the other person.
We have been conditioned to want to state what “I” did, doing, or are going to do. While the other person is talking we are thinking about what to say next instead of listening. Getting in our own way.
As stated in the book on page 3, The concepts of Nonviolent Communication is founded on language and communication skills that strengthen our ability to remain human, even under trying conditions.
The Nonviolent Communication Process
The concrete actions we observe that affect our well-being
How we feel in relation to what we observe
The needs, values, desires, etc. that create our feelings
The concrete actions we request in order to enrich our lives
The two parts of Nonviolent communication start either by 1) expressing honestly through the four components, or 2) receiving empathically through the four components.
In hindsight, the conversation I had held true in all four components of nonviolent communication. Before ever reading this book let alone hearing about it I used nonviolent communication to get through the self-created hell.
Words are limiting, but hold a enormous amount of power because of their limitation. We have an experience which we translate into language. Lacking the communication skills to express our feelings and needs is dangerous. “We are dangerous when we are not conscious of our responsibility for how we behave, think, and feel” (page 21).
Most people are walking around unconscious of the power of word. Therefore, much of our modern day problems stem from a lack of communication. In a state of fear.
And God said let there be light and there was light.
Other resources to understanding Nonviolent Communication
What conversation are you afraid to have? Who is it with? What observation relates to your feeling (What did someone do/not do that made you feel that way)? What need created your feeling? What doable action do you request to enrich both of your lives?
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