Article Intro

Trainers are invited to write lessons, tips, and experiences with NVC.

Submitted by Bryn Hazell, Oct, 2016

Ah, fall. It’s my favorite time of year… the cooler, crisper mornings; the spectacular red and yellow shimmer of leaves, the slant of the sun that turns things golden and soft. I am suffused with a joy that seems to reach every cell of my body. One of the great gifts of NVC for me is this being present for and letting in the wonderful that surrounds me.

I think of myself as having a physical and emotional “capacity” tank. Stress, worry, challenging experiences, disconnection and confusion can reduce the level of my capacity tank. Acknowledging needs met and practicing those things...

Submitted by Bryn Hazell, Sep, 2016

"When someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don't stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high."

Those are Michele Obama's words spoken during her speech at the Democratic National Convention. And it got me to thinking, what does it look like to "go high"?

I hear those words encouraging us to respond to name calling, insults, labeling and other disconnecting communication by following the practice of Compassionate Communication and connecting to our values.

If someone calls me "stupid" for my opinions, I could say...

Submitted by Selene Aitken, Aug, 2016

Privilege. That’s the big word in much of the NVC trainers’ world. Some of us have taken online courses and joined in groups to learn how to become allies for people of color. Others also participate in conversations on how to deal with the distress of having privilege in the face of wanting everyone’s needs to matter equally.

The population of my town, Ashland, is white and economically and culturally, mostly middle class. Thanks to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) and the university, some, not many, people of color, primarily African Americans, live and work here. Recently,...

Submitted by Sarah Peyton, Jul, 2016
  1. Are you more aware than others of subtleties in your environment?
  2. Is there some agony for you in simply existing in this world?
  3. Are beauty and precision food for your soul?
  4. Do you need to manage your environment carefully to care for your emotional body?
  5. Do you experience the world being too fast, too loud, too messy, too bright?

In mammals, 20% of any population is especially sensitive. In humans, there is a particular cluster of sensitivities that runs in concert: being sensitive to external stimuli (noises seem louder, colors and...

Submitted by Sarah Peyton, Apr, 2016
  1. Are you very self-aware?
  2. Are you thoughtful?
  3. Do you enjoy understanding details?
  4. Are you interested in self-knowledge and self-understanding?
  5. Do you tend to keep your emotions private?
  6. Are you quiet and reserved around large groups or unfamiliar people?
  7. Are you more sociable and gregarious around people you know well?
  8. Do you learn well through observation?

How was it to read through these questions? Did you answer “yes” to any of them? Or were they all “no’s”? Most people answer with combinations of yesses...

Submitted by Gary Baran, Apr, 2016

Suppose someone unfamiliar with Nonviolent Communication asks you about it. What might you say to that person (in 40 words or less) that you think might convey the essence of NVC and possibly inspire them to learn more about NVC?

Two experiences I had with Marshall may be helpful to you in crafting a response. The first was a recommendation he made during an IIT in 1996 that the less time we have available to make a presentation about NVC, the greater proportion of that time be allocated to hearing from the other person(s), and then responding to the needs we heard. The second was a...

Submitted by LaShelle Lowe-Charde, Apr, 2016

Most things that you want to learn fully require transformation on multiple levels. Knowledge and understanding the concepts is not enough for true mastery. The same is true of Compassionate Communication (NVC). It can easily be misused by those with only a superficial understanding. Over the years I have read or heard people talk about how NVC is actually violent, manipulative, or otherwise flawed. Unfortunately what's usually happening there, is someone has simply learned enough to do what they have always done, but just with a new vocabulary. This is painful and confusing for everyone...

Submitted by Sarah Peyton, Mar, 2016

Last year I had a participant in an extended workshop which happened over the course of a year. He was low in energy, found it hard to get going in the mornings, and could only name exhaustion, overwhelm and depression as his feelings.

As we worked together over those months, we began to make sense of a world that had stopped making sense. There had been deaths, external and internal. His sister had died. A part of him died with her, only he didn’t know, because he had been fooled by the part of him that kept going. There had been betrayals. People he loved had not told him the...

Submitted by LaShelle Lowe-Charde, Feb, 2016

You have just had a close and fun weekend with your girlfriend Alice (substitute your own partner here). You drop her off at her home with plans to see each other again on the weekend. You sit down to have dinner together the following Saturday and she says, "I am not sure if I fit into your life." You sit back in shock. You remember all the things you did together last weekend. Examples of how you showed she's important to you spring to mind. You feel a wave of indignation.

Between the time you dropped her off and saw her a few days later, Alice had fallen down a rabbit hole filled...

Submitted by LaShelle Lowe-Charde, Dec, 2015

You express a difficult experience and hear your friend respond with everything but empathy. As you become more familiar with self-empathy and empathy, you realize its power and the rewards of just turning towards your experience and staying present. Unfortunately some of your loved ones haven't learned this yet. You know they care about you and mean well. At the same time, it's pretty disconnecting to share in a vulnerable way and hear your friend say something like, "Come on, it's not so bad, look at the bright side, you..." In an attempt to be helpful, your friend directs you away from...




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