Nonviolent Communication

Nonviolent Communication is an awesome approach to learning how to say what you mean and mean what you say. NVC teaches you to think and talk in a way that tries to serve life, rather than disconnect us from our feelings and needs (the way we’re normally taught to communicate).

Here’s how you can learn NVC:

  1. Search “nvc marshall rosenberg” on YouTube and watch the 3-hour video with him in the red shirt.
  2. Read his book “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life”
  3. Practice a lot.
  4. Be prepared for all your friends to get angry.
  5. Keep practicing.

Podcast episodes about NVC

  1. #34 – Nonviolent Communication
  2. #38 – Empathy
  3. #39 – Requests and Being Bulletproof

Blog posts about communication


These are some notes I took while listening to Marshall Rosenberg talk about anger.

  1. Be conscious that the STIMULUS of the anger isn’t the CAUSE of the anger.
  2. Be conscious that the cause of the anger is a life-alienating way of evaluating the stimulus (“I’m feeling angry because I’m telling myself…)
  3. Look for the need that is the root of the anger.
  4. To the other person: reveal the stimulus, express how we’re feeling, the need, a clear present request.

Judgments are based on the idea that people deserve to suffer for what they’ve done wrong

Two questions to see why punishment sucks:

  1. What do we want the other person to do differently?
  2. What do we want their reasons to be for doing what we want them to do?

(He didn’t say “punishment sucks”, exactly. Those are my words.)


When someone’s complaining about something, it can be tempting to agree just to make them feel better. But, agreeing with someone’s decision is not the same as empathizing with them.

It might make them feel better, but it won’t make them feel heard. Not in a profound way, anyhow.

Look at your own experience. Do you just want to surround yourself with people who agree with everything you say? Is that satisfying?

You already know that even YOU don’t agree 100% with what you’re saying. After all, that’s why you’re complaining. If you felt completely validated already, there’d be no need to vent about it.

Notice when you agree with others. Why are you really agreeing?