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Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
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Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  6,706 Ratings  ·  701 Reviews
Do you hunger for skills to improve the quality of your relationships, to deepen your sense of personal empowerment or to simply communicate more effectively? Unfortunately, for centuries our culture has taught us to think and speak in ways that can actually perpetuate conflict, internal pain and even violence. Nonviolent Communication partners practical skills with a powe ...more
Kindle Edition, 2nd edition, 242 pages
Published May 19th 2008 by Puddledancer Press (first published 1999)
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Lauren As this book is simply an edition of an older book, it should be available in most public libraries (if not at your local library, it should be…moreAs this book is simply an edition of an older book, it should be available in most public libraries (if not at your local library, it should be available through inter-library loan). It is an incredibly old concept, so if not this book, you could likely find other on the topic quite easily.(less)

Community Reviews

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Oct 26, 2010 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is the type of book that I would never pick up in a store or library. The design (the earth inside a flower), the subtitle "a language of life," the emphasis on the "Phd" after the author's name - all cues to me of a likely unhelpful, overly cutesy "self-help" book. Blech.

But so many people have recommended this book to me that I looked past these things and recently ordered a used copy. For a moment, I thought I was about to be punished for relaxing my previous resistance. Beware: there is
May 08, 2013 Angelique rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I had read this book a long time ago. "Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life" by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D. is full of wisdom.

The book starts off by explaining the process of Nonviolent Communication which boils down to four steps:

1. Observe what's happening - what's really going on? What is happening or being said that you either like or dislike?
2. Identify your feelings about it - anger, joy, hopeful, inspired, lonely?
3. Figure out what need you have that is driving that feelin
Jun 11, 2012 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I've read this book before, years ago and was enormously impressed with the ideas in it. However, I found it difficult to put the ideas into practice. Am now currently taking a course in Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication theory and have renewed hope about my ability to put the ideas into practice. I figure if I can learn to communicate with compassion it will be the first step towards being a wise person! :)

A warning about this book: If you'd rather remain blissfully ignorant of your own emo
In some of the circles I move, this book (or rather NVC in general) frequently gets a bad rap for being focused on communication and how sometimes it feels manipulative and stilted for those on the receiving end of someone practicing it. About 2/3rds of the content of the book is dedicated to the how's of the communication, so I think its easy to see why folks feel this way and to then dismiss it as a specialized form of talking. But focusing on the remaining 1/3rd of the book (which is spread o ...more
Aug 02, 2011 Bill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I listened to (i.e., did not read) this book in the car. Without any doubt, the concepts contained in it should be taught to the young in this country. And the old. And all over the world.

I'm not sure this was the best presentation of it, and the book is dated. The audiobook, in particular, was quite a struggle to get through. One of my pet peeves is when an author makes up stories and then claims them to be true when he tells them, pointing out how the story just so naturally fits in with his t
Nayla Caruso
I stopped at 100 pages in. I think it is important to point out that this method of communicating is decades old. It was not based on any research at the time, it has not been updated in accord with research, and it has not had any research verifying its effectiveness. There is no consensus, there are anecdotes and there are endorsements.

As a method, the process taught inside was not enough to fill the book and the description was padded out. As literature there were lengthy quotes of poetry (of
Oct 23, 2008 Keith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Keith by: Cheri Krause
While many of the techniques presented in this slim volume are entirely worthwhile and of great value in making oneself clear and defusing potentially tense communications, I still disagree with some of the author's fundamental categorization of "needs." While it may be useful, or even necessary under certain circumstances, to address the desires of another person in addition to, or even perhaps prior to, their needs, I continue to maintain that there is an important distinction to be made betwe ...more
Jan 07, 2010 Nick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant handbook for how to talk to people without judging them, alienating them, or really pissing them off. The book is enlivened with a number of transcripts of conversations in which the author and his acquaintances get it right sometimes and fail at other times. The basic idea will be familiar to anyone who has had a little therapy or knows a therapist: you talk about your feelings, not what the other person is doing wrong. Of course, that is difficult to do under the best of circumstan ...more
Apr 02, 2009 Elle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I applaud Rosenberg's intention to bring peace and reconciliation through better communication. Rosenberg offers many potentially helpful insights in this book. His call for a therapist to bring him/herself into psychotherapy was refreshing. It could create less of a power differential and perhaps be more healing in its inclusivity and open acknowledgement of all individuals in the room. He also shows how we can get stuck in patterns that defeat the outcomes we're hoping for, and suggests, via M ...more
Liisa Louise
Apr 23, 2014 Liisa Louise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this life-changing book. It revolutionized my thinking. It's such an excellent guide to communicating, that I wish I had been taught this stuff in Kindergarten, and again in middle school and high school. The book emphasizes personal responsibility. It empowers one to fully experience one's emotions without being controlled by them. It gives you permission to experience the full spectrum of human emotions, not just the "good" ones like happiness. It integrates human rationalit ...more
Xavier Shay
Feb 01, 2014 Xavier Shay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Life-changing. Everyone should read this. Rosenberg has well over three decades of experience and stories, and delivers it well.

My key takeaways:
* Using "I feel" for everything is a good start but doesn't go far enough. Still need to connect to self needs and specific actions of others.
* Use needs to find common human ground, especially when you disagree strongly with someone.
* Not everything needs to be "fixed". People want to be heard / listened to / empathised with.
Jeff Saltzman
Jun 09, 2008 Jeff Saltzman is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anybody who speaks to people
I heard Marshall Rosenberg speak with Terry Gross last year and was captivated. I am still wrapping my head around the practice-- very difficult to break old habits-- but the few times over the last two days I've tried this, honest, constructive information burst out immediately. I will try to integrate these methods into the classes I am currently teaching-- this is communication gold.
Sep 03, 2016 Pegah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
جز کتاب هایی هست که خوبه خونده بشه ... رو شها و تمرین هایی در آن وجود داره که آدم رو به مشاهده درست رفتار و احساس خود متوجه میکنه که گاهی اوقات باعث سوء برداشت های اشتباه میشه و با پیدا کردن یک روش آگاهانه سعی به برطرف کردن آن می کنه..
ارتباط بدون خشونت زبان زندگی رو از بهترین نسخه هایی می دونم که توسط برنامه حال خوب معرفی شد. من هرگز کتاب روانشناسی زرد رو توصیه نمی کنم. انهایی که توسط این برنامه معرفی می شه کتاب به معنای واقعی هستند.علاوه بر اموزش کنترل خشونت و اینکه ما در خشونت چه نیازهایی داریم انواع نمونه ها رو با مثال هایی که همه ما در زندگی مان داریم ارائه می ده. چگونی همدردی با فرد عصبی و درک او و استفاده از جمله بندی ارامش دهنده و فن بیان می تونید به شخص عصبی کمک کنید تا نیازش رو با ارامش بیان کنه. مخصوصا وقت هایی که ...more
Greg Brooks-English
If you want to learn to experience more connection of compassion, warmth, love, and understanding - read this book. This book is a great companion volume to any serious meditation or contemplative prayer practice. It will teach you how to spot the differences between evaluations and observations, feelings and thoughts, needs and strategies, and requests and demands - most of which people confuse unconsciously due to very old habit patterns of the mind. This book is for those who want to change t ...more
Jan 10, 2017 Eivind rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
The core ideas in this book are sound, and it does seem likely that someone striving to implement
them in the way they communicate, especially how they communicate when in conflict, will see some of their relationships improve and some conflicts resolved.

This review is for the BOOK not for NVC as such. The actual core ideas of this book I'd give 4 stars, it's the presentation in this book that I think is severly enough flawed to deserve a couple stars less.

On a positive note, the writing is clear
Pavel Annenkov
Jan 15, 2017 Pavel Annenkov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Классика на тему правильного общения. Для обязательного чтения, если хотите уметь договариваться с людьми.
Adam Shand
Oct 31, 2012 Adam Shand rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spirit, facilitation
During the last couple of years of my marriage I understood that the only chance I had to save my marriage was to learn to use language more effectively. I began experimenting, initially subconsciously, with how I could express myself in ways which weren't destructive to the fragile remnants of our relationship. It was an ultimately doomed process but one that taught me a lot about the power of language. I learned a lot about why things went wrong, but never quite made sense of why things someti ...more
Jen Marin
This book is a fabulous introduction to the notion that we can help create a more peaceful world by improving our ability to communicate effectively and compassionately. Rosenberg points out a disturbing fact: we have more words in our language with which to judge each other (and ourselves) than we do to express our emotions. By learning to feel and express our emotions with words, we become less likely to act aggressively from these same emotions. When we can honestly say, "I feel angry when yo ...more
Sep 19, 2012 Bob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For me, life-changing.
Crawford Comeaux
This book changed my life by teaching me how to empathize, but it took work (see some of my tips below for easing the learning curve)! Nonviolent communication (NVC) can be a challenge to practice because it only works when I'm able to operate while keeping in mind its core principles & many of those principles run counter to American cultural norms. Having said that, the payoffs are absolutely worth it!

I entered into recovery from addiction in September 2015 after 20+ years of numbing my e
Andrea James
This book came recommended by several people from completely different areas of my life and so I decided that I'd (finally) take a look at it. (And I don't think it's because they thought I was violent in my communication - at least I hope not!).

I can see why this book is so popular - it explains the concepts in clear language and gives lots of examples of how interpretations, judgments and a lack of empathy (self-empathy and with others) get in the way of our ability to connect and communicate
Nov 22, 2016 Tori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was life changing for me. Marshall Rosenberg's communication method is clearly and succinctly laid out in this book, with lots of examples to help illustrate his points. Not only did this book help me to rethink my communication choices when dealing with others, it's helped me identify some of my own destructive self-talk habits. Rosenberg illustrates clearly why many common communication (including self-talk) habits are destructive, why they are perpetuated in our culture, and what we ...more
Jun 25, 2014 Malda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The title of this book is very intriguing to me as I find myself a violent communicator. By violent communication, the author implies that every bit of communication can and may lead to a negative outcome whether anger, frustration, or hurt. Marshall Rosenberg explores how people communicate with each other and unwillingly fall in a trap of violent vibes and the only way we can avoid or prevent them is to learn to speak well in answer to people or simply in our demands. It does seem to spare us ...more
Jun 09, 2013 Irene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
NVC is a very interesting concept and indeed a hard one to implement. It requires constant awareness of one's behaviours.

The concepts in the NVC book seem to be a mix of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness principles.

I can't say this was a life-changing book for me, but it certainly gave me food for thought. I am trying hard to be more aware of my behaviour and how it affects others, and to keep my head cool in potentially confrontational situations.

The book was suggested to me because
Rebecca Waring-Crane
My son used this title for a class he took his senior year in high school.

Gratitude. That's what I feel after finishing Rosenberg's book. And I know I will read it again, perhaps many times, because the ideas, so plainly presented, are foreign to my experience and way of thinking. I found myself in tears after reading the chapter "Expressing Anger Fully". The information resonated deep in my heart as true but also highlighted the experience of my upbringing in a home where anger and the unmet ne
Apr 01, 2012 Chrissy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Buddhism for Mothers referenced this book, since it talks about how we tend to view the world as right or wrong, and discipline our kids according to this model. Rosenberg's book suggests a totally different theory: the concept that people have needs and that all our hard feelings result from not getting our needs met. So instead of scolding our kids for making a mess, this book encourages the notion that we really need cleanliness or respect for our home.
It's great theory, and I'm really strug
Robson Castilho
Aug 20, 2013 Robson Castilho rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: people
This book is all about communicating in an enriching way with other people.
NVC focus at its four components:
1. observations
2. feelings
3. needs
4. requests

NVC also helps us with connecting empathically with other people, expressing anger "the right way" and receiving/expressing appreciation.

Very interesting insights and very hard for me to put its concepts in practice, but definitely I'll give it a try.

Recommended reading.
Andrey Frolov
book of one idea: try do identify your needs and the needs of the people you communicating to. build the conversation around the intent to meet the needs of each other.

I totally agree, it's helpful technique. It's easier to get to win-win solution in this framework compared to usual arguing about words or suppressing the opponent. But I don't think anyone should push this idea to the absolute and always communicate in such a way.
Feb 03, 2010 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't be turned off by the la-dee-la global sunflowers on the cover! This book is a surprisingly technical how-to manual in dealing with people - what to say, what to listen for, how to cut through defenses and baggage to figure out what is really going on. Rosenberg will turn some of your ingrained ideas upside down. Following the principles of this book has helped people save themselves from being raped and assaulted. Can ya dig it?
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Marshall Rosenberg is an American psychologist and the creator of Nonviolent Communication, a communication process that helps people to exchange the information necessary to resolve conflicts and differences peacefully. He is the founder and Director of Educational Services for the Center for Nonviolent Communication, an international non-profit organization.

In 1961, Rosenberg received his Ph.D.
More about Marshall B. Rosenberg...

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“What I want in my life is compassion, a flow between myself and others based on a mutual giving from the heart.” 554 likes
“All violence is the result of people tricking themselves into believing that their pain derives from other people and that consequently those people deserve to be punished.” 95 likes
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