Non Violent Communication
©1996-2017 Roedy Green of Canadian Mind Products
Book referral for Nonviolent Communication: a language of Compassion
||recommend book⇒Nonviolent Communication: a language of Compassion|
||Marshall B. Rosenberg
|Greyed out stores probably do not have the item in stock. Try looking for it with a bookfinder.|
Ken Keyes, the founder of Living Love, never mentioned the
NVC (Non-Violent Communication) work of Dr.
Marshall B. Rosenberg, but I’m sure had he encountered it, he would have loved it,
and would have incorporated it into the formal living love system. You can think of
NVC as an
elaboration of the prescriptions for
Happiness, as a variant EIP process, or as an
elaboration of positive
NVC In A
According to Dr. Rosenberg, humans speak two languages, Jackal and Giraffe
(the land animal with the biggest heart). Jackal is mostly about blaming others for our
pain. Jackal is mostly concerned with the past. Giraffe, on the other hand rigidly
confines itself to four topics:
When Giraffe speakers encounter Jackal speakers, Giraffes try to guess the feelings
and needs behind the Jackal blame and shame games. This is much easier said that done.
Giraffes try to help Jackals focus on their own present feelings and needs.
- Observations of what is happening now. These are Sergeant Friday,
just-the-facts-Ma’am descriptions, without evaluating, moralising or
- What I am feeling and what I guess you are feeling.
- What it is I think I need and what it is I think you need.
- Concise, specific, concrete, doable, clear requests of others to meet those needs.
A five year old would likely be able to tell if the request were granted. You
can’t ask that X love you, but you can ask for a kiss or a cherry pie. State them
postively, what you want others to do, not want you want them to avoid doing.
What Rosenberg discovered, is when you get a group of people (mixed Giraffe and Jackal
speakers) focusing on their own feelings and needs, automatically they start to
co-operate to help each other get those needs met — even Rwandans who days earlier
where slicing each other’s children to bits.
A skilled Giraffe can figure out what the feelings and needs are behind a vicious
attack and sees those needs and feelings only, ignoring the attack itself. Giraffes
don’t concern themselves with what Jackals think, just how they are feeling and
what they need. They constantly lead the Jackals away from their thoughts and judgements
to their feelings and needs.
The word should is short hand for "I want that
person punished for doing that. I want them to suffer." It is therefore a word not
used in Giraffe.
People don’t make you angry, your attack thoughts about them do.
If you are not in touch with your needs and feelings, chances are you won’t be
very skillful in getting your needs met.
Jackals make the error of blaming some other person, rather than going directly for
getting their needs met.
The way you tell a request from a demand, is what you do if the other person does not
Jackals are usually completely unaware of their needs.
If someone is psychologically troubled, it does not help to dwell on the past or root
about in the past to discover the causes of the current malaise. It is better to focus on
what current feelings and needs are and what could be done to satisfy those needs.
Both praise and blame are attempts to manipulate. They will eventually backfire. Let
your appreciations be heartfelt.
A good Giraffe spends a lot of time paraphrasing what others tell him to
let those people know they have been understood. It turns out this is what people need
far more than having their problems fixed for them.
People attempting to be empathetic will typically make the following errors:
What is more likely to work is trying to glean the troubled person’s feelings
and needs and echo them back to them, until both you and the person you are talking to
are clearly aware of them.
- advising: I think you should… How come you didn’t?
- one-upping: That’s nothing; wait’ll you hear what
happened to me.
- educating: This could turn into a very positive experience for
you if you just…
- consoling: It wasn’t your fault; you did the best you
- story-telling: That reminds me of the time…
- shutting down: Cheer up. Don’t feel so bad.
- sympathising: Oh, you poor thing…
- interrogating: When did this begin?
- explaining: I would have called, but…
- correcting: That’s not how it happened.