Reading “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
Or should I say, “re-reading.” I heard great things about this book years ago, when it was first published in 2003 and when I worked at a spiritual bookstore. They actually held groups or trainings there for many years. In the book written by Marshall B. Rosenberg, he states, “What I want from my life is a compassion, a flow between myself and others based on a mutual giving from the heart.”
Such an amazing book for revealing how we can use “nonviolence” in our daily lives. The work is based on Gandhi’s ideas with an introduction by Arun Gandhi, Gandhi’s grandson. When Arun was angry and thirteen, his grandfather taught him how to face difficult life situations by using the principals of nonviolence.
Okay, I’ll be honest. I was a little turned off by the title, because I don’t think of myself as a “violent” communicator, who needs reforming. I never yell at people, I co-exist rather well with my friends, my adult children, sisters, and community members. Bu, occasionally, I do run into communication and relationship issues. Especially with my boyfriend, who when I am angry, I call my un-boyfriend. Can you believe that? Before we get started, I just want you to know I am right. (Just kidding)
Here are the summarize techniques found in the back of the book:
- Express how you are feeling using the “I am” sentence without blaming or criticizing.
- Observe what is not contributing to your well being.
- Observe what you are feeling (rather than thinking.)
- Figure out what you need or value.
- Clearly request what would enrich your life without demanding.
So easy. Right? In the heat of life, often we first need a cooling off period. Sometimes it helps to journal, work the Twelve Steps, talk to a friend or counselor, and then begin the process of communicating. Don’t forget to listen with your heart to hear what your friend might need. With practice we can get better. You just might want to own your own copy and read this book.