Nonviolent Communication aka Compassionate Communication

I am a student of nonviolent communication (NVC), also known as compassionate communication. Marshall Rosenberg has developed this skill of speaking with language based on the heart connection that all humans share rather than the often unproductive and disconnected manner of speaking that most of us learned growing up. Marshall uses NVC to mediate peace in war zones throughout the world, between people of such opposing views that the fence is nowhere in sight; rather it is hidden by the smoke of exploding bombs. He has used NVC to mediate peaceful connections between hostile enemies in the Middle East, Africa, Bosnia, and inner city gangs among many other groups. NVC can not only help you to better connect with others, it can help you transform your relationship with yourself.

Spirituality and religion, at their core, are systems that take us beyond ourselves. They teach us of our Divine potential; of how to live authentic, joyful and fulfilled lives. They teach us to get beyond toxic judgments and thoughts to a loving place that exists within all human hearts. Yet, most of us never learned to connect our mouths to our heart. This can often be witnessed in the parking lots of religious gatherings as the instant traffic jam seems to instantly obliterate the message of the service!

NVC can help you uncover unknown aspects of yourself. It can bring into your conscious awareness thoughts, judgments and needs that you may not even realize you have. It will help you blast through roadblocks to your happiness that may have kept you from feeling joy and true connection all of your life. NVC is about learning to consistently bring the wisdom of your heart into the physical world. It will teach you how to treat yourself and others with loving compassion.

“The more ugly the judgment, the more beautiful the need behind it.”
~Marshall Rosenberg

I personally think that NVC should be taught, beginning in kindergarden, to every student in the world. This would transform this planet in a single generation. That isn’t happening yet but still the tide is flowing. NVC is being taught in 65 countries around the globe.

There is further information and many articles offered at no cost at The Center for Nonviolent Communication’s website

I am studying NVC through an online course offered by Thom Bond at the New York Center for NVC at It consists of short weekly lessons delivered through email. There are over 2,200 people participating in this cyber class from around the world. Though we are 22 weeks into the course, I am sure Thom will be offering it again soon. He gave prospective students the option of supporting his work through paying for the class or taking it at no charge if that better fit the budget.

I am involved supporting many addicts and (mostly) female convicts in a non-professional capacity. When I told them how excited I was about NVC, many expressed an interest in learning more. So, our informal NVC group was born. I send them the lessons and then we share each other’s weekly practices and exercises. I can tell you that these women are putting this information to work in their lives in such powerful ways that I am humbled. I actually feel my heart opening even further when they share their weekly stories. They are connecting to their hearts. They are learning to show themselves and others compassion. They are using NVC to thrive in their hostile environments to a higher degree than they could have imagined before they began their studies. Imagine what learning NVC could do for you and those you love.

By learning to deeply listen to needs behind the words being spoken by others, and by deeply recognizing and voicing your own needs in a compassionate manner, you can transform your relationships with parents, children, friends, lovers and complete strangers. You will increase the amount of joy and gratitude for living that you feel. You will be part of the solution. NVC can help you raise your own vibration, and that, my friends, is contagious.

If you want to learn more about NVC, check out those links above. Read an article or a book about NVC. Check your phone book for local NVC centers. Many offer free weekly practice groups. Nonviolent Communication is helping to heal the world, one person at a time. It can help you heal yourself.

Marshall likens NVC to giraffe talk. Gentle. Quiet. Soulful. Here’s to giraffes!



© Louise Kearns 2013. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to share this article in its entirety on the condition that full credit is given to the author, it is distributed freely and the URL is included.

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One Response to Nonviolent Communication aka Compassionate Communication

  1. Pingback: Transitions and Nonviolence | Knocked Up - Knocked Over

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