How Nonviolent Communication Can Improve Your Relationships?

What Is Nonviolent Communication?

“What I want in my life is compassion, a flow between myself and others based on a mutual giving from the heart.”
― Marshall B. Rosenberg, Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life

How many of us are culprits of miscommunication or conflicts in our relationships?

How many of us take everything personally?

How many of us blame others for something going wrong in our lives?

Well, if you are like me, reading about Nonviolent communication may be of interest to you and you can also register to learn about our group program that practically inculcates NVC.

Nonviolent communication - Insightful Counselling

Nonviolent communication is also called collaborative communication or compassionate communication and is known as NVC. NVC is a communication approach that focuses on principles of nonviolence and promotes conflict resolution.

  • NVC promotes clear and honest communication with oneself and with others.
  • It encourages self-awareness and growth.
  • NVC teaches how to be compassionate with oneself and with others.
  • NVC promotes resolving disagreements and conflicts with empathy, compassion, and recognising our unmet needs.
  • NVC helps to improve empathy skills and the quality of life of people who use this approach of communication and those around them.
  • Collaborative communication aims at meeting fundamental needs by primarily focusing on and using effective strategies for all parties in the conversation.
  • The goal of using this method of communication is to obtain harmony.
  • NVC has proven therapeutic techniques used in bringing peace in relationships and even at workplaces. Recent studies have indicated NVC to be highly effective.

The NVC method has four steps:

  • Observation:

The NVC method has Four Steps - Observation

Many times, we forget the art of observing. It will involve getting in contact with ourselves, our feelings, our thoughts, and our behaviour. It’s a mindfulness activity without inviting criticism or judgement.

We cultivate our observable behaviour with NVC. We express what we see instead of criticism or accusation.

For example –

“I observe that you are late from school. Tell me more.” Instead of saying, “You are again late from school, you must have been loitering with your friends”.

  • Feelings:

The NVC method has Four Steps - Feelings

Feelings give an overview of our needs, that is, whether they are met or not. So, for example, if I feel angry, I may want to stay with this observation of my feelings and inquire into the reasons for this feeling.

“At the core of all anger is a need that is not being fulfilled.” – Marshall B. Rosenberg

The enquiry may lead me to answers to the needs that are not being fulfilled for myself. For example, it can be that my need to feel important or a need to be loved is not being met. And my coping mechanism is anger. However, is anger resolving any of my needs?

NVC promotes reasons behind the feelings and taking responsibility for our feelings.

With NVC, we also learn to be vulnerable and communicate our feelings.

  • Needs:

The NVC method has Four Steps - Needs

Since the time we are born, we have had needs. There are primary needs for water, food and air.

Then there are other needs to belong, be affirmed, be successful, be recognised, etc. When some of these needs are not met or fulfilled, they give rise to our feelings. So, we learn since childhood to develop different coping strategies to meet them.

NVC helps us to be aware of our needs and communicate them effectively without criticism or judgements. It gives us space to be vulnerable.

  • Requests:

The NVC method has Four Steps - Requests

NVC promotes expressing our requests to other people in positive language, like what you would like from another person rather than what you do not want. NVC helps us observe our body language, facial expressions, tone of our request to ensure it is received positively.

It’s also essential to check on how the other person is receiving your request.

If the other person is not keen to agree to the request, NVC promotes inquiry with empathy on the reasons behind the disagreement instead of giving up. Clear communication with empathy and compassion helps deflect conflicts and clear up miscommunications.

Who introduced this?

Nonviolent communication was developed by Marshall Rosenberg

Nonviolent communication was developed by Marshall Rosenberg, who was a clinical psychologist in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Nonviolent communication uses concepts of Person-Centered Therapy by Carl Rogers. Rosenberg understood the power of language thanks to his years of experience working with children with learning disabilities. The program has undergone a series of developments from its initial development to incorporating the same in institutions to create harmonious relationships. This program aims to build societal relationships based on mutual respect and partnership rather than a fear-based paradigm.

What Are the Benefits of This Program?

What Are the Benefits of This NVC Program?

Here are some of the benefits of nonviolent communication:

  • We learn that differences occur due to difference in the needs in different people.
  • Deepen our emotional connections. Practising nonviolent communication allows us to be more understanding by listening to ourselves and others; we also get what we want without guilt or demands.
  • Resolve conflict peacefully. Whether personal, public, domestic, or international conflicts, this program gets to the heart of the conflict or dispute and resolves it peacefully.
  • By improving cooperation, criticism and blame are transformed into compassionate connections, preventing future pain or misunderstandings.
  • NVC promotes family bonding by minimizing family conflicts and sibling rivalry. NVC helps build up the quality connection in families that embodies unconditional love.
  • It helps to transform power struggles to trust and cooperation.
  • It also empowers, nurtures, and empowers the autonomy of children reducing any disputes in the family.
  • If a person is a student, NVC helps to increase their potential. By listening to the needs of students, we strengthen their interest and connection to their work. This not only improves trust and safety but improves cooperation as well as efficiency.
  • Fosters employee morale and loyalty. This program helps resolve workplace conflicts quickly and effectively; this helps maximise the potential of all employees. Also, it reduces any form of work-related stress or absenteeism.
  • Helps deal with many feelings including anger. Facilitates to be aware of our feelings and needs behind these feelings anger before we do something that we may regret.
  • Boosts spirituality. By connecting our actions to our spiritual values, we connect more to our common humanity, and this makes us overcome anything that might bring about or promote violence.

Who Will Benefit from Learning NVC?

Anyone who learns NVC will benefit from the program. The reason being is that most of us have been educated using the same system and have been shaped to thinking what is wrong or right. Our habits can hinder communication, create misunderstandings and frustration.

By learning NVC, we become emotionally conscious. We discover the truth within us, how our actions, feelings and thinking are triggered from our needs (met and unmet).

This program enables us to explain what is going within us and in others at any given moment and what we can do to understand these feelings. The NVC program is a simple process that can benefit anyone who learns the course. It has already proven resourceful for thousands of people globally who have improved their relationships and lives.

What Is Different About NVC?

What Is Different About NVC?

NVC focuses on respectful and assertive communication and avoids traps in communication that might lead to clashing ego or make the other person in the conversation feel they are untreated disrespectfully or unfairly. NVC is compassionate, and it uses an approach that meets the needs of everyone rather than being one-sided communication.


Nonviolent Communication Serves our Desires.

Nonviolent communication serves our desires in the following ways. For example, it increases our ability to live with others’ choices and connections, ensuring that everyone benefits by sharing our resources and empathising with others to have more satisfying relationships. The bottom line is that NVC provides a unique set of skills and a framework to address various concerns and provide a peaceful method of resolving conflicts. All those who practice this program sharpen their language awareness, which helps them address what matters to them.

At Insightful we are bringing in Anisha to conduct Group Programs to learn to Navigate difficult conversations. Please visit our page on group program and if you are interested, please do register.

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