Nonviolent Communication {A Book a Day 22}

We often know what we want in a relationship.

But do we think about what we need from another person?

And even if can identify a need, do we know how to communicate that need?

“Most of us grew up speaking a language that encourages us to label, compare, demand, and pronounce judgments rather than to be aware of what we are feeling and needing.”
– Dr. Marshall Rosenberg

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life is a wonderful book to help us trade in our harmful communication patterns for healthy ones.

Nonviolent Communication

Instead of defending, withdrawing, and attacking, use observing, identifying, and articulating.

“No matter what else is going on, we all have the same needs. Needs are universal.”

Author and psychologist, mediator, and teacher Marshall Rosenberg (1934-2015) also wants us to differentiate between our feelings and our thoughts. We often confuse statements of “I feel…” and “I think…” to our detriment.

Why does it matter?

Because Dr. Rosenberg says that articulating what we feel (not just what we think) is one of the first steps to identifying what we need.

“The objective of nonviolent communication is not to change people and their behavior in order to get our way; it is to establish relationships based on honesty and empathy that will eventually fulfill everyone’s needs.”

It may sound easy, but anybody in a relationship can attest that communication between any two people can be tricky.

We all have room for improvement.

This book is a great place to start.

“When we listen for feelings and needs, we no longer see people as monsters.”

Quotes from Nonviolent Communication 

“Connect your feeling with your need: ‘I feel…because I need…'”

~ * ~

“Expressing our vulnerability can help resolve conflicts.”

~ * ~

“What others do may be the stimulus of our feelings, but not the cause.”

~ * ~

“Use positive language when making requests. [You can’t do a don’t.]”

~ * ~

“Listen to what people are needing rather than what they are thinking. . . . You’ll find people to be less threatening if you hear what they’re needing rather than what they’re thinking about you.”

~ * ~

“Focus on what we want to do rather than what went wrong.”

What do you most need from a relationship? Share your thoughts in the comments.

You are on Day #22 of the series, A Book a Day {Nonfiction Favorites}.

The Table of Contents for all 28 books is here, updated daily.

Table of Contents - A Book a Day

How to Human” {Book 21}

Platonic” {Book 23}

4 thoughts on “Nonviolent Communication {A Book a Day 22}

  1. Jeanne Takenaka

    Lisa, I love this. Just last night, Hubs and I were discussing a situation where communication between a loved one and an authority in their life broke down. When this loved one left a voicemail sharing the situation, there was so much debris that it was hard to truly understand the message they wanted to convey. Knowing how to listen well, seek to understand the other’s needs, and to validate even in hard conversations is a learned skill, and it’s so essential for many areas of our lives.

  2. Amy

    I had heard the term “non-violent communication” a lot but never really understood what it entailed. This looks like a great book! I’m all about connection and authenticity. 🙂

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