Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life” as Want to Read:
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life

4.28  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,519 Ratings  ·  586 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.

Popular Answered Questions

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)
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. CoveyThe Secret by Rhonda ByrneHow to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale CarnegieEvery Silver Lining Has a Cloud by Scott StevensThink and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Best Self Help Books
42nd out of 799 books — 1,058 voters
More Than Two by Franklin VeauxThe Ethical Slut by Dossie EastonOpening Up by Tristan TaorminoSex at Dawn by Christopher  RyanStranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
Best Books for Polyamory
10th out of 65 books — 131 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 26, 2010 Megan rated it really liked it
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
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 29, 2012 Louise rated it really liked it
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
Sep 10, 2013 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
Jul 20, 2014 Isotilia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nao-ficcao
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
Nayla Caruso
May 11, 2015 Nayla Caruso rated it it was ok
Shelves: quit-reading
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
Jan 28, 2010 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
Liisa Louise
Apr 23, 2014 Liisa Louise rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 31, 2010 Elle rated it it was ok
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
Jun 01, 2011 Nick rated it it was amazing
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
Xavier Shay
Feb 04, 2014 Xavier Shay rated it it was amazing
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.
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.
Dec 06, 2014 Kerry rated it it was amazing
In a world that often lacks empathy, this book illustrates ways to connect with people (and ourselves) in a non-judgmental and understanding way. Though in some respects the chapters oversimplify and provide examples that show only the best-case scenarios when practicing NVC, the basic outline of information made it readily digestible and able to be implemented towards others and the self . . . with the reminder that it requires practice.

An interesting revelation contained within the book that i
Greg Brooks-English
Dec 28, 2008 Greg Brooks-English rated it it was amazing
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
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
Adam Shand
Jan 02, 2013 Adam Shand rated it it was amazing
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
Andrea James
Dec 17, 2014 Andrea James rated it really liked it
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
Jun 25, 2014 Malda rated it liked it
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 21, 2013 Irene rated it really liked it
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
Jul 21, 2013 Rebecca Waring-Crane rated it it was amazing
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
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
Feb 03, 2010 Kate rated it it was amazing
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?
Robson Castilho
Feb 07, 2016 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.
Adrian Crook
Apr 30, 2016 Adrian Crook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recently I was confronted with a stretch of time in my personal life when what I was saying and doing directly contradicted what I wanted. It culminated in a discussion that went even worse - I was left unable to express my feelings or needs, and instead resorted to trying to make the other person do what I wanted through a variety of means that were orthogonal to my desire for connection.

I felt imprisoned and helpless due to my inability to articulate my feelings.

I wasn't behaving in harmony
Adam Ross
This book has done a world of good for me. Rosenberg's method of nonviolent communication has to do entirely with active listening, which has less to do with listening to the words as the emotions behind them, and the practice of non-judgmental methods of communication. The anxiety people feel about not having been understood increases exponentially, so taking the step of actually trying to listen and empathize with them, rather than dismissing them, changing the subject, or avoiding the difficu ...more
Jan 28, 2016 Ilona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book has everything you need: poems written by the author, Phd., stories about forgetable people in abstract situations, word-to-word cheetsheets teaching you how to speak like a robot.

And even though I lacked method here - instead I got humblebrags about the proven track record of NVC efficiency - the book came in handy. The techniques it offers, especially about paraphrasing, and elements of recognizing the feelings/needs of your partners were interesting to remind myself about. It should
Tee Minn
Jun 20, 2014 Tee Minn rated it liked it
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
Mia Wolfe
Dec 13, 2014 Mia Wolfe rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and I definitely read it at the right time in my life.
I do have a psych/behavior analysis background (in schooling and profession) and this seemed right along with everything else I have learned about positive behavior support, reflective listening & diplomacy skills, etc.
I just suffered through an arduous, heartwrenching and extensive breakup that took place earlier this year. I have been in a bit of pain needless to say.
When I read about NVC it seemed like just what I
Jul 19, 2015 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: be-the-change
In Nonviolent Communication, Marshall Rosenberg introduces a simple but revolutionary communication framework. Instead of judging what is right and wrong with people, Rosenberg focuses on observing and reflecting on the feelings, needs and requests behind people’s words. He explains his ideas in easy to understand ways, using real world examples and exercises. I really liked his extremely positive view of human nature and his focus on compassion, empathy, and spreading peace in the world. These ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Nonviolent Communication Companion Workbook: A Practical Guide for Individual, Group, or Classroom Study
  • Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids: 7 Keys to Turn Family Conflict into Cooperation
  • What We Say Matters: Practicing Nonviolent Communication
  • Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers
  • Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves
  • How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable
  • Dialogue: The Art Of Thinking Together
  • The Continuum Concept: In Search Of Happiness Lost
  • Kids Are Worth It!: Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline
  • The Natural Child: Parenting from the Heart
  • Parent Effectiveness Training: The Proven Program for Raising Responsible Children
  • Mothering Your Nursing Toddler
  • How to Be an Adult: A Handbook on Psychological and Spiritual Integration
  • Attached at the Heart: 8 Proven Parenting Principles for Raising Connected and Compassionate Children
  • Connection Parenting: Parenting Through Connection Instead of Coercion, Through Love Instead of Fear
  • Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships
  • Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason
  • Where to Draw the Line: How to Set Healthy Boundaries Every Day
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...

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.” 80 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.” 25 likes
More quotes…