Non Violent Communication

The problem with the name “non violent” communication is that it instills an idea that the concept is centered around the being of violent rather than its actual soul purpose, to dispel aggression and violence by acting in a way that encourages positive change.

It is a way of communicating that allows an individual to face difficult situations that they may come up against in life, from war zones to relationships to create productive outcomes rather than destructive ones. By following the teachings of Marshall B Rosenburg we can learn how to facilitate change in the way we and subsequently others interact with each other. Achieving this focuses on the realization that an individual acts with aggression or judgement because his or her needs are not being met.

Most people are brought up to converse with a fairly limited vocabulary this means that as humans we cannot communicate what needs of ours are not being met. Instead we innately judge a person or a situation on the rightness or wrongness of a person or their actions. When met with judging words like “you are so lazy” or such like then the human response is to reply with defensiveness. With this conversation pattern, it isn’t communicated what either individual actually needs from the situation. Instead of “you are so lazy” approaching the situation with “I feel stressed because i need more cooperation from you to maintain our shared living space” this is only stating fact, this sentence itself contains no judgement. By just approaching fact when initiating a difficult conversation it will immediately prevent the need for the other person to defend themselves.

When being approached with violent language yourself it is important to realised that the individual speaking has a need that isn’t being met and it is important to identify what this need is. Behind every angry person there is a need that is being sought and is making their life less wonderful. By approaching the issue to clarify the need it can help the listener really understand why their counterpart is fundamentally unhappy.

I don’t need that I’m not in a war zone...

Non violent communication can be used anywhere, at home, at work or even when teaching children. It is sad that in this culture we live in we often teach children directly to use violent communication. By telling children that they are naughty, we aren’t communicating anything to them. A child does not understand the concept, by punishing a child it will not directly cause good behaviour, it may once or twice but in the grand scheme of things it is not a healthy approach. Children need to understand what they have actually done and the impact of the result of their behaviour, by telling them they’re naughty we are fundamentally removing their ability to communicate their needs in the future.