Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  3,096 ratings  ·  395 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Nonviolent Communication, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Nonviolent Communication

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. CoveyEvery Silver Lining Has a Cloud by Scott StevensThe Secret by Rhonda ByrneHow to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale CarnegieThink and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Best Self Help Books
40th out of 482 books — 709 voters
The Ethical Slut by Dossie EastonMore Than Two by Franklin VeauxSex at Dawn by Christopher  RyanOpening Up by Tristan TaorminoStranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
Best Books for Polyamory
7th out of 26 books — 83 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Megan
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...more
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...more
Angelique
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...more
Bill
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...more
Isotilia
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...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
Keith
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
Thystle
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
Nick
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
Jeff
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
Elle
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...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
Tony Bertauski
Sometimes a book makes you see yourself and the world differently. This is one of those books.

Rosenberg does a masterful job of breaking down our thoughts and feelings, developing a system in which we can discover for ourselves what feelings are and what they aren't, what needs are and how we get them met. And when we can't identify our unmet needs, it becomes clear how they manifest.

I have been able to integrate this vision into a practice of self-discovery. His sections on anger are especial...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
Belcantomom
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
Cheryl
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...more
Adam
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
Kim
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
Ileana
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...more
Irene
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...more
Florence
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...more
Chrissy
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...more
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
Malda
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
Kate
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
Sam Rosenthal
This was a pretty astounding discovery. A way to formulate your communication in an attempt to diffuse conflict, rather than encourage it. One of the great ideas from Rosenberg is: even more than having a problem solved their way, people want to feel respected while you communicate about your disagreement. Expressing your feelings and needs, without attacking or blaming or being judgemental is a wonderful lesson. Highly recommended
Carol
A very interesting discussion on the art of communication. Rosenberg describes many instances of conversations that cause anger. While that probably frequently occurs, I viewed the many times that conversation is not well defined leaving all parties uninformed at the end of the conversation. Rosenberg sets the language skills to include both verbal and listening skills. Conversations frequently are not defined for lack of listening. The book felt so rote but maybe that format develops his thesis...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids: 7 Keys to Turn Family Conflict into Cooperation
  • Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves
  • The Continuum Concept: In Search Of Happiness Lost
  • Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children
  • Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers
  • Dialogue: The Art Of Thinking Together
  • Connection Parenting: Parenting Through Connection Instead of Coercion, Through Love Instead of Fear
  • The Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense
  • Conscious Loving: The Journey to Co-Committment
  • Attached at the Heart: 8 Proven Parenting Principles for Raising Connected and Compassionate Children
  • Kids Are Worth It!: giving your child the gift of inner discipline
  • The Answer to How Is Yes: Acting on What Matters
  • Playful Parenting
  • The World Cafe: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter
  • Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too
  • How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving
  • Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others
  • Mothering Your Nursing Toddler
40541
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
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

Share This Book

“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.” 58 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.” 16 likes
More quotes…