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

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  3,383 ratings  ·  409 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
Paperback, 220 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Puddledancer Press (first published 1990)
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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
Louise Reid
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
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
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
We will read this book again!
I discovered this book skoob website (a Brazilian readers community) last year. At that time, I didn't find anyone who wanted to exchange it. A week ago, it was on sale with 50% discount in a bookshop("Saraiva") close to my house. I couldn't resist and bought it. Also, this week I had a meeting with my boss to revise the semester performance. All these meetings are very difficult to me. I couldn't use all Non Violent Commnunication (NVC) methodology , but I used it p
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
Jan 28, 2010 Keith rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
Jun 09, 2008 Jeff is currently reading it
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.
Liisa Louise
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
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
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
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
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
Tee Minn
Although I knew I had work to do in communications, the book opened me up to many areas to improve. I am working on developing empathy when listening and speaking, but this too is difficult, especially if these skills feel foreign from old patterns. I thought I wasn't an empathetic communicator because it wasn't a core personality trait; I now think I just wasn't surrounded by the how to. I also prided myself on my analytical thinking and speaking. NVC is about hearing the other, not analyzing a ...more
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
Mar 11, 2009 Belcantomom rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in a kinder world
This was an amazing book that I really wasn't expecting. Some of the ideas are total opposites from what we are taught about people and communication all the time. I know it will probably take me a lifetime to implement some of the changes in my communication style. I have to constntly remind myself that my immediate goals are not just to have my kids obey, but that I am making connections that will last through eternity, and both of our needs have to be met in order for those connections to be ...more
I enjoyed this book.

I've wanted to read about Nonviolent communication for years, and kept forgetting to add it to my bookshelf. Who couldn't communicate more effectively?

What I quickly discovered is that I've fallen into communication traps--it's almost part of our culture. I particularly loved Rosenberg's section on anger, which discussed the emotion of anger as an emotion dependent upon our needs. He uses the example of a friend arriving late. If I felt impatient and bored waiting on my frien
Don't let the title fool you- this book has less to do with the violence we're trained to recognize and more to do with the subtle kind that can overwhelm our communication; compassionate communication sums up better, the contents of the book.

We're taught some of the basics of how to make requests and what to think of conflict/discussion/relationships but how much do we really know about a peaceful way to go about it? Very little. At least such was the case for me. I was taught how to view mysel
Jul 22, 2013 Kim rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone - personal and professional benefits are wide ranging
Recommended to Kim by: Heard about it at the Chopra Center
What a great and timely book. I look forward to witnessing how this changes my relationships. As the author says, the role of language and words we use play a crucial role in our ability to stay compassionate and invoke peace. The 'prescription' (1. observations 2. feelings 3. needs 4. requests) for non-violence through the words/mind/body communication we invoke is simple and straightforward, yet will take much practice to transform and become natural in application, however, worth it consideri ...more
The non-violent communication process: the concrete actions we are observing that are affecting our well-being.
How we FEEL in relation to what we are observing
The NEEDS, values, desires, etc., that are creating our feelings
The concrete actions we REQUEST in order to enrich our lives.

Marshall Rosenberg quotes Marianne Williamson at the end of this book:
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that f
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
This is one of the best books I have found on improving communication skills. Presently, there is a huge vacuum in the education system when it comes to teaching how to improve communication skills.
We are educated to think in different ways, judging and demanding, rather than hearing the needs of others. It is extremely difficult in complex situations to change gear and transform one's thinking and language to follow Rosenburg's suggestions. Of course it has to happen if you want to change your
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
Steven Horne
This is one of the most amazing books I've ever read. I wish that I could have found this book ten years ago. I believe it could have made a big difference in relationships I've been in. It teaches how to communicate empathetically, both to listen and to express, from the perspective of feelings, needs and requests, rather than thoughts, judgements and demands. I can see how many mistakes I've made in communicating with people I care for over the years and I'm determined to learn how to use the ...more
Xavier Shay
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.
Sep 24, 2014 Anna marked it as to-read
Dustin Moskovitz reco
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?
Joshua Feierman
I think I will be discovering new insights into how I communicate with others for a long time after I'm through with this book. Even though it didn't highlight kids specifically, I found the information applies quite well to children. I think my favorite quote (among many) would be the one where the author describes how his children taught him "that [he] could make all he demands in the world, but still couldn't make [his] children do anything." The fundamental shift of demanding behavior versus ...more
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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...
Raising Children Compassionately: Parenting the Nonviolent Communication Way Speak Peace in a World of Conflict: What You Say Next Will Change Your World The Surprising Purpose of Anger: Beyond Anger Management: Finding the Gift Speaking Peace: Connecting with Others Through Nonviolent Communication Being Me, Loving You: A Practical Guide to Extraordinary Relationships

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“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.” 59 likes
“We only feel dehumanized when we get trapped in the derogatory images of other people or thoughts of wrongness about ourselves. As author and mythologist Joseph Campbell suggested, "'What will they think of me?' must be put aside for bliss." We begin to feel this bliss when messages previously experienced as critical or blaming begin to be seen for the gifts they are: opportunities to give to people who are in pain.” 17 likes
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