Knowing how to communicate is something all of us should learn and understand. Because, although we believe we do it properly, conflicts and misunderstandings continue to arise in our relationships. To put an end to this, the American psychologist Marshall Rosenberg developed a new tool to understand us: Nonviolent Communication, or also called empathic communication or collaborative communication.
What is Nonviolent Communication?
Communication is the cornerstone of our relationships. Through it we understand each other and we can move towards the creation of a better world, the problem is that we do not know how to communicate as well as we believe. Unfortunately, most of us have been educated under models that emphasize competing, judging and labeling along with the anticipation of the facts and the moral classification of good and evil. And this does nothing but complicate our conversations by generating misunderstandings and provoking violent reactions in the worst case.
We have a bad habit of wanting to be right, impose our criteria on others and limit ourselves to our perspective. And in the case that we listen, we only do it to refute or criticize. Our communication is aggressive. A vice that complicates our relationships and sometimes generates suffering.
Given this scenario and based on the premise that conflicts arise from not knowing how to clearly communicate needs, the psychologist Marshall Rosenberg devised a new type of communication with the aim of finding a system that would allow us to communicate more assertively and coherently with our Personal values. And this is how Nonviolent Communication emerged as the opportunity to reinvent our way of relating to each other.
This new type of communication helps us to exchange the necessary information to resolve the different conflicts that arise from empathy and tranquility. The NVC consists of speaking and listening from the heart to connect with ourselves and with others, allowing a feeling of compassion to emerge. In Rosenberg’s words “When our communication allows us to give and receive in a compassionate way, happiness replaces violence and suffering”.
Luis Fernando Mises interviews Katie Testa on NVC
The four components that make the NVC possible, according to Marshall Rosenberg, are:
Observe without evaluating. Knowing how to communicate implies getting rid of the possibility of carrying out all value judgments and labeling. It is about turning our words into windows instead of doors that block a conversation. This does not mean that we do not judge but that we are able to separate what we observe from our judgments.
Identify and express feelings and emotions. Expressing how we feel from responsibility facilitates the relationship with others because we invite you to know us. In this way we become visible and can take us into account, although we uncover our vulnerability on the other hand.
Recognize and understand the unmet needs behind feelings. This component refers to emotional responsibility in every rule. So the others are not the cause of how we feel, because that emotion is generated by us. The key is to know how to collect our emotions and take responsibility for them. Otherwise, we will be giving others control over our lives. Behind every emotion there is a hidden need.
Use positive and healthy language to ask for actions that increase our well-being. Caring for the way we address others is essential to get rid of conflicts and misunderstandings. Knowing how to express what we want under calm and a positive language will enhance our relationships.
Part 2 will be released tomorrow where we look into how to implement NVC into your daily life.
Do you have any experience using NVC? If so I would love to know in the comments below!