Non Violent Communication

Chapter 1

Four components of NVC:

  1. observations
  2. feelings
  3. needs
  4. requests

NVC Process:

  1. The concrete actions we observe that affect our well being
  2. How we feel in relation to what we observe
  3. The needs values, desires, etc. that create our feelings
  4. The concrete actions we request in order to enrich our lives

Chapter 2

Communication that blocks compassion:

  1. Moralistic judgments

Stating that things are “Good” and “Bad”, placing things into dualistic containers.

  1. Making comparisons. Comparisons are a form of judgment.

Comparisons are simply another form of judgment.

How to Make Yourself Miserable by Dan Greenburg seems like an excellent and hilarious book. Kind of the same appeal that The Screwtape Letters has I’m guessing.

  1. Denying responsibility

Phrases such as, “I have to” and “it makes me”. Hiding the fact that we are in fact responsible for our thoughts and actions.

Hannah Arendt quotes Eichmann saying that he and his fellow officers had their own name for the responsibility-denying language they used. They called it Amtssprache, loosely translated into English as “office talk” or “bureaucratese.” For example, if asked why they took a certain actions, the rsponse would be, “I had to.” If asked why they “had to,” the answer would be, “Superiors’ orders.” “Company policy.” “It was law.”

We deny responsibility for ours actions by attributing their causes to outside forces:

  • vague, impersonal forces: “I emptied the litter because I had to.”
  • our condition, diagnosis, or personal or psychological history: “I smoke because I have an addictive personality.”
  • actions of others: “I hit him because he was being noisy.”
  • authority: “I lied because my boss told me to.”
  • peer pressure: “I started smoking because my friends did.”
  • institutional policy: “I have to fail you because it’s the school’s policy.”
  • societal roles: “I hate going to work, but I do it because I am a husband and a father.”
  • uncontrollable impulses: “I was overcome by my urge to masturbate.”

We can replace language that implies lack of choice with language that acknowledges choice.

We are dangerous when we are not conscious of our responsibility for how we behave, think, and feel.

  1. Stating desires as demands.

We can never make people do anything.

Thinking based on “who deserves what” blocks compassionate communication.